Monday, August 19, 2013

Days 3 & 4: Mining the Magnificent Mile

Last view of the Chicago River
I have that thing ... what is it called ... you visit a place and then you want to live there? There should be a name for it. Something German no less. I have that feeling about Chicago. I could live here I think. Parts of it has the energy and excitement of New York but the cleanliness of Toronto - a very appealing combination.

It's the last day with our friends as the boys have to work on Monday. We are a bit melancholy that they are leaving but we have a bang up meal at Meli Cafe & Juice Bar, 303 South Halsted Street. American portions (large) - all forms of  eggs, omelets, waffles, pancakes, crepes, breakfast sandwiches, scrambles, frittatas, french toast. The cafe was packed to the gills. Justifiably so ... excellent food and friendly service too.

What to do in the two hours before they leave? Down to the Magnificent Mile on N. Michigan for a last view of the river (seen above). This was taken across from the Wrigley Building (also shown below), the house that gum built.

Wrigley Building...
the house that gum built
Perhaps we are exhausted by our previous excursions because when our friends leave for the airport we crash for a few hours in the hotel room and try and sort out what to do for dinner and in the evening. 

We decide to go back to the LM Bistro for an excellent meal ... and then where? Shall we be low key and see a film? Yes, we settle on a film at the Loews AMC Theatre on N. Michigan.

The last day we find a new breakfast place within walking distance of the hotel - Yolk747 N Wells (here the husband's taste excels). Inexpensive, low key, very "unfancy", family-oriented. Again, large proportions which appears to be a very American thing. 

On the last day in Chicago we are determined to go to the John G. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, on the waterfront but, alas, when we arrive by cab, we are told that that there is a wait for at least one hour, exposed to the elements.  It's a hot and steamy day and we can't face it. The kid's dream of seeing the stingrays is foiled.

Across from the Wrigley Building
What about the Daniel Clowes exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art? Foiled again, as it is a Monday and the museum is closed. We poke around in the beautiful MCA store next to the museum.

We are compelled to shop again on the Magnificent Mile that is a short distance away from the MCA. R picks up a beautiful leather wallet at All Saints. J buys a great jacket at the Top Shop.

We have not forgotten the very famous popcorn from Garrett Popcorn Shops, 625 North Michigan Avenue, for two bags of their cheese/caramel mix that we are now addicted to. We were first introduced to it by R's cousin years ago.

Time to go home ... we are packed up and ready to leave for the airport at 2. Our cabby is a most unusual man - Estaifan Shilaita, a former Iraqi boxing champion who gave us an extensive lesson on the history of Iraq and his own personal history. Intriguing ... check out Mr. Shilaita's story here

A trouble free flight. Home by 7.30p Toronto time ... it's always great to return no matter how nice the trip.

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