Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend in Chi town

This weekend, Danny and I visited Chicago.  A few months ago, Danny surprised me with Packers vs. Bears tickets that he received through his dad's coworker who lives in Chicago.  He is a season ticket holder, so we were able to buy the tickets off of him at face value.  What was even better about the game was, if the Packers won, they would clinch the division and go to the playoffs, so of course there was a lot riding on this game.  Danny and I also have a few friends in Chicago that we were able to visit while we were there.

We ended up driving to Chicago Saturday morning, so we woke up super early (at least for a Saturday) and departed from Cleveland.  The drive went by very fast except for the hour it took us to go 5 miles in downtown Chicago, it was rough!

We checked into the hotel and met our friends, Chhavi and Pritesh for a late lunch and some drinks.  Chhavi and I met back in 2009 when we interned the same summer.  Since we were the only female IT interns that year, we were roommates.  Chhavi and I have kept in contact since that summer and still see each other about twice a year which is good for our busy schedules! I met Pritesh through Chhavi, he was one of her good friends attending the University of Illinois.  We met briefly on one visit of the U of I campus, but when I found out he was moving to Cleveland for his job rotation, I was ecstatic and we became good friends from then on.  Since Danny moved to a city that was completely new to him, he and Pritesh became instant friends seeing as they have so much in common, especially sports. Thus, began their friendship and my role as the third wheel whenever we go out.  All joking aside, I love how good of friends they've become this past year.
Our friends, Pritesh and Chhavi
We met Chhavi and Pritesh at a bar by our hotel to watch the Indiana vs. Butler game.  It was called Timothy O'Toole's and they had great food and a fun atmosphere.  They have a flat screen TV above every booth in their restaurant. This made it easy for Danny to find a spot to watch the game.

Timothy O'Toole's

After our late lunch, Chhavi had to take off, but Danny, Pritesh, and I hung out and decided to explore downtown Chicago with a mini pub crawl.  Next, we went to Mo's Cantina.  This was an upscale Mexican restaurant with different mixed cocktails.  The restaurant was beautiful and was decked for the holidays.
Moe's Cantina

Next, we decided to try Redhead Piano Bar.  We saw it on the streets and we love piano bars, so we decided to try it.  It was not worth the five minutes that we were in there.  They didn't even play piano and the drinks were incredibly expensive even for Chicago.  The atmosphere itself, made me want to leave, but they did have good beer nuts.  Other than that, there was nothing that interested me.
Redhead Piano Bar
Next, we went to the Kerryman.  Once I walked in, I had realized I had already been there once before when visiting Chhavi.  It was a great place and we got a table on the top floor.  We decided to order appetizers to have a quick dinner so we weren't starving at 10 pm.  Pritesh and I ordered a spinach and artichoke dip and a smoked Gouda mac and cheese which was amazing.  Danny (the carnivore) went for the crab cakes and he said they were delicious as well.  After a few drinks including a $5 Bloody Mary that was on special, we decided to head to another place.

Pritesh decided to take us to a place to get us a "cake shake" for dessert.  This was an amazing place that made me feel like I was at a carnival.  The cake shake was delicious and was well worth the stop.
Portillo's Hot Dogs

The next place we stopped was called, The English.  It was a neat looking bar that had empty seats at the top level bar, so we settled in.  At this point, we were communicating with Chhavi to decide when to meet her.  A half an hour later, we decided to meet up with Chhavi and her boyfriend, Alex at Barleycorn for their friend's birthday.  We stayed for a short while and then left to get an early start for the next day's exciting festivities.
The English and Barleycorn
The next day, we were supposed to be out of the door at 8:00 am however, we rolled out of bed at 10:00 am.  We headed down to the tailgating lot to meet up with Danny's dad's coworker, Steve.  Him and his family and friends had a large tent set up with a deep fried turkey and various other game day foods.  After spending time tailgating, it was time to head to the game.  They actually had buses set up for taking people from the tailgating lot to Soldier field.  The line for the buses was really long and it started getting really cold since the wind was picking up.  There was a man outside of the line selling Green Bay Packers hats.  Since we didn't have hats and Danny said his ears were cold, I decided to buy two.  I was so excited to not have to buy a Bears hat since Danny had threatened to wear a Bears hat since he was that cold.

The game was amazing and not just because the Packers won and clinched a spot in the playoffs.  I had so much fun with Steve and his friends.  They all gave me a hard time for being a Packers fan, but were good sports when it came to the game.  The weekend was a wonderful success.

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