I cannot say that I have explored many places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but it is difficult to imagine a better suited city than Chicago, Illinois. The Windy City provided a wealth of delicious food and captivating sights to go along with the company of a few of our good-timing friends.
We arrived in the great city with a light snow that, against the quiet early morning streets, commanded the attention of my delirious mind and left me with a mystical first impression. If it were not for the Hotel Tonight app, Taylor and I may have enjoyed the views of the city from the backseat of the car, but we were able to book a room just minutes before we arrived at 3 am.
The next morning revealed a labyrinth of cold city streets tucked into a blanket of fog that hid the tops of the concrete towers. I marveled at the disappearing steel monuments as we made our way to Millennium Park to see The Bean. The Bean was much larger than I imagined and provided a great surface to make silly faces into.
Our day continued on public transit as we made our way north to meet our friends for breakfast at the Chicago Bagel Authority. Once we had filled our bellies with monstrous green bagels, we retired to a friend's apartment in Wrigleyville to catch up and let our food settle.
We soon were on the L train again heading to The Bottled Blonde; it was a great place to start our evening of shenanigans, but green beers and great friends make it difficult to dislike any establishment. Several bars and stories of glory days later, we were on our way back to Wrigleyville to patronize the batting cages at Sluggers. Unfortunately, we had stayed out too late to be trusted with baseball bats, so we settled for a few games of air hockey before it was time to find a nearby grub offering. We found a local late-night burrito place called El Burrito Mexicano conveniently located between the bars and our friend's house.
The next day Taylor, our good friend Mitch, and I woke up to a fog-less view of the city in its entirety. It didn’t take us long to decide that Giordano's Pizzeria was the place that we needed to be for lunch. After a quick walk, we were greeted by groups of people waiting outside of the door. We were in no hurry, so we found a place to wait, lounge, and watch the monstrously deep dish pizzas being prepared in the kitchen. One tall, cold beverage later, we were seated and ordering what would be the best pizza that I’ve had to date. The two monstrous creations stopped all conversation when they landed on our table approximately two hours after our arrival. It was worth every second of the wait.
Full from a delightful pizza pie, we took to the streets again to meet our party from the night before. We found them at The Boss Bar, where we recapped the night before and fell right back into our typically absurd conversations and friendly banter with the wait staff. Lou Malanati’s would be the next establishment graced with our rambunctious presence. More laughter was shared here than at any other place during our visit. We celebrated one another’s company as if we had been forcefully separated for decades. Delicious wines flowed as the appetizers, then entrees, were devoured by all in attendance. It was a picture perfect ending to a joyful weekend reunion.
The morning of our departure found Taylor, Mitch, and I with adequate time to enjoy breakfast before our respective journeys home. We hadn’t been to the Navy Pier, and Taylor insisted that it was a must. Even though it was slow on a Sunday, she was correct. The view of the city from the pier was stunning, although we were unable to experience the view from atop the pier’s Ferris wheel. Luckily, we didn’t have to top the Ferris wheel to see our choice for breakfast. The Kanela Breakfast Club provided us a breakfast that would stick with us nearly through Kentucky on our drive home.