St Paddy's in the Windy City
I can't say that I've 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 hosts a wealth of delicious food and captivating sights to go along with the company of a few of Taylor and I's good-timing friends.
We arrived at the same time as a light snow that, against the quiet and 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 streets tucked into a blanket of fog that hid the tops of city towers. I marveled at the disappearing steel monuments as we made our way to Millennium Park in the New East Side of Chicago to see The Bean. The Bean was much larger than I imagined and was a fun mirror for silly faces and warped pictures.
Our day continued on public transit as we made our way north to Ranch Triangle to meet our friends for breakfast at the Armitage location of 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 were soon on the L train headed to the The Bottled Blonde in the River North district. 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 some nearby grub. We found a local, late-night burrito eatery called El Burrito Mexicano conveniently located on West Addison Street between the Sluggers and our friend's house. The large, authentic burritos were the perfect way to end the night out.
The next day Taylor 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 came upon groups of people waiting outside of the door. We were in no hurry, so we found a place to lounge and watch the monstrous, deep dish pizzas being prepared in the kitchen. One tall, cold beverage later, we were seated and ordering what would be one of the best pizzas I've had. The enormous pizza pies stopped all conversation when they landed on our table approximately two hours after our arrival. They were worth every second of the wait.
Full from the delightful pizza, we took to the streets again to meet our party from the night before. We found them at The Boss Bar on West Hubbard Street, where we recapped the night before and fell right back into our typically absurd conversations. Lou Malanati’s on North Wells Street would be the next establishment graced with our rambunctious presence.
More laughter was shared here than at any other place during our time in Chicago. We celebrated one another’s company as if we had been forcefully separated for decades. Delicious wines flowed as appetizers then entrees were devoured by all. It was a picture perfect ending to the joyful weekend reunion.
The morning of our departure found Taylor and I with adequate time to explore more of the city. We hadn’t been to the Navy Pier, and Taylor insisted that we must go. I couldn't be more glad that she did. The view of the city from the pier was stunning, even though the pier’s Ferris Wheel was closed.
Luckily, we didn’t have to top the Ferris wheel to see our choice for breakfast. The Kanela Breakfast Club provided a hearty breakfast that would stick with us nearly through Kentucky.
Chicago is a marvelous city, and we know that we've only scratched the surface. Rave-worthy restaurants, endless points of interest, and welcoming pubs dot the city. Lake Michigan may blow punishingly cold winds between the Illinois skyscrapers, but St. Patty's Day in The Windy City left Taylor and I feeling warm and welcome.
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Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read.