We did end up getting pizza that night, but not the pizza you are probably thinking of. I do love my deep dish Chicago style - especially since I have yet to discover anything even remotely close in my neck of the woods - however, it is the thin, crispy crust and sweet tomato sauce of Palermos that I have come to miss the most. So that is where we went and then headed back to my cousin's house to have a couple beers and play some pool. One thing about the sandy SW is the lack of basements; there is nothing like chilling in a basement to make you feel like you are back home.
I did a decent amount of writing Saturday morning and that was nice, because it snowed ALL DAY. So my view out the window made for nice scenery. I even took a quick break to eat White Castle - no, I am not proud of that fact, but truly you have to take advantage of these things while you can. You can definitely start to see the overall theme for coming back home - eating. In the afternoon I left for a birthday party for my cousin’s kid…more food was involved. Brown’s Chicken, yum and a crockpot of Italian beef.
Saturday night is when the nonsense began. I met a different cousin who lives in an area of Chicago called East Lakeview. He has a cute little Brownstone, with intricate and old woodwork throughout - definitely the type I imagine myself in if I were to live in the city. It was fun to play city life for the night. We went bar hopping got to see a cute college bar that was filled with old arcade games that you play for free (where was this when I was a kid?) and craft beer. That was fun, but I’m going to be honest when I say I felt old at a bar for the first time in my life. No need to talk about that. We utilized a ride sharing service, which is awesome and yes, I know I am late learning about this, but these things just do not exist where I live. After that we went to an Irish pub, then a dancing club and finally we capped our night in Boys Town at a club where I got to dance until I dropped. All in the name of research for my book!
The next day my cousin and I did the tourist thing after a delicious brunch at Two Sparrows, where I ate a homemade poptart! We walked around the city, and even though it was only like ten degrees, the sun was out so it made for some really great views. Unfortunately, I wanted to do the Sky Deck at the Sears Tower (I’ll never call it anything else). The views were truly amazing, the lake was frozen for as far as the eyes could see. However, the long lines, packed elevators, and swaying floors were not great for my pretty brutal hangover. Travel Tip: If ever you go to a club and they sell pitchers of something called “Blue Drink,” JUST SAY NO.
Sunday night I ordered ribs from the only place in the world I eat ribs, The Patio. Again, it’s more of a tradition than anything else, and after a day of riding trains and taking taxis my stomach was not as delighted as it used to be.
Overall, I had a fantastic time. I had a taste of the city life and a brutal reminder of the winters I don’t have to deal with. I love this city, but I am tired and ready to sleep in my bed. I'm ready to run in the sunny, sixty degree weather and not eat like it's my last meal for a while. Let’s hope this quick trip sates my Wanderlust…at least for a little bit.