If you're just tuning in, get up to speed with Part 1 and Part 2.
The Missus, The Mister and I got off to a bit of a late start on Saturday (blame that on The Mister and me, as usual) so we didn't actually hit the streets of Chi-town until around 1 in the afternoon. First stop: The Art of Pizza for a slice of deep dish. And by slice I mean slab. I've had so-called "Chicago style" or "deep dish" pizza in other cities before and always thought it was good, but it was not the real deal. I've discovered that if you can eat it with your hands and you can eat more than one piece, then it's not true deep dish, or "stuffed" (a more fitting term) pizza. As for The Art of Pizza, it looked like a crappy little hole in the wall place that you'd only go to at 3 in the morning when you're drunk and starving. But what they lacked in atmosphere, they more than made up for in their pizza. It was fantastic. My friends said it's currently their favorite deep dish in Chicago, and I've seen it on several "Best of" lists. Highly recommended!
We drove around a bit to let our stomachs settle before stopping in Wicker Park to walk around and check out some cool stores, including Reckless Records and The Boring Store. I'm not sure why The Boring Store was the only place I took pics of, because I adored The Worm Hole, a little coffee shop full of '80s junk, most notably a DeLorean in the front window. I didn't check to see if the flux capacitor was functional, but since I didn't see a lightning rod or anything on the roof of the building, I'm assuming that they'd never be able to generate the 1.21 jigowatts of power needed to make it work. They also had a talking E.T. doll on the front counter that said some questionable things. I mean, it said, "I'll be back." And then at one point, it just groaned. That's when I got the hell out of there.
"Chicago At Night," Spoon
After a brief stop at the meat market (the plan was to grill some brats at the beach on Sunday), we took the train down to the Sears Tower (yeah, yeah, Willis, but I'm still calling it Sears) to catch the sunset. Well, that was the plan. After waiting forever in a line that never seemed to end, but rather just spilled out into different holding areas, and then being forced to watch a movie about the building's history, we made it up to the top just in time to be blanketed in darkness. It was still pretty cool walking out onto the ledge (although The Missus would have none of that madness) and feeling like I was floating above the city. It was kind of like when Wile E. Coyote runs off a cliff and just hangs out there for a while before looking down and realizing he's screwed. Luckily, in this case, looking down had no serious repercussions.
|That's Chicago beneath my feet, but you can't see it.||Chicago from inside the Sears Tower. Not a great pic, but I kind of love the creepy shadow people on the glass.|
Probably the most exciting (to no one but me) part about visiting the Sears Tower was getting to see the little courtyard area across the street where Michael (as in John Travolta, the archangel) got to view the tallest building in the U.S....right before he shuffled off his mortal coil and returned to the heavens. *single tear*
Afterward, we had a late dinner at an awesome restaurant called The Piggery. As you can imagine, we pigged out on plenty of pork-related products. I had the ribs because, when you're on vacation, you have to have ribs. Isn't that a rule? Anyway, they were delicious. As were the pork nachos. If you're in the area, I highly recommend it. And I highly recommend going to Pork-a-Palooza next Sunday, which I was very sad to learn I'd be missing. Admittedly, I only wanted to go because there was a picture of a cute pig playing guitar on the flyer. Yes, I'm a marketer's wet dream. So what.
In the next installment...my last day in Chicago before getting back on the road.