Early Morning Flights are awesome!
As we walked to the light rail station, Noah and I discussed how long it had been since we had both been on the same commercial flight. We have shared a fair amount of travel over our marriage, but usually it has been limited to the range of our little bug or my little C-140. As we ticked back the trips we have taken we realized that the last time, we traveled together was three years ago.
We chose Chicago because it was a city that neither of us had ever visited and it was relatively close to our home.
So, we had an adventure with our accomodations. We decided to try out this website – airbnb.com. The premise of the website is that regular folk can rent a spare bedroom or their entire apartment to weary and, as you would suspect, wary travelers from around the world.
Accepting this accommodation was not something that I took lightly. Indeed, it seems like no small point of common sense to avoid staying in the homes of strange men you meet on the internet.
Fortunately, Airbnb has done a good job of helping you get past you initial trepidation of the unkown. By providing hosts with a forum to post pictures of their homes, themselves, and for guests to write reviews of their stay.
We chose a younger dude who rented his place for $50, had plenty of positive reviews, and hopefully no skeletons in the closet.
We were pleasantly surprised by the apartment. It was located in the lower west side neighborhood of Pilsen, which turns out to be a large Mexican neighborhood where we stumbled on the (according to yelp) best Mexican food in Chicago.
The apartment was beautiful and Aaron (our host) turned out to be an awesome guy.
Mythbusters and the Museum of Science and Industry
The next morning we kicked our tourist mode into high gear and hitched a ride with Aaron over to the Museum of Science and Industry.
The museum was an awesome stop with many hand’s on science exhibits and miles of things to see. All told we spent close to 6 hours hanging out in the museum.
But, the highlight was at the beginning of the day when we saw the Mythbusters open their new exhibit at the museum. Mythbusters being my favorite show, I was pretty starstruck as I to see and take picture of the entire case. (Carrie Bryant is just as beautiful in real life as on screen)
After hitting every exhibit in the building, we caught the train up to Downtown Chicago to visit the main park and its famous sculpture.
Loving the Bean
Well into our day of hitting the tourist traps, we decided to hit the Sears tower.
The first thing we learned is that it is no longer called the Sears tower. Since Sears is slowly bleeding itself out of business, the main occupant of the tower is now the willis insurance group. Of course, no one will ever call it the willis tower, but it is cute none-the-less.
In addition to the awesome views of the city, the tower includes the unique experience of standing 103 sorties above the ground on a thin sheet of glass.
Being a pilot, it didn’t really phase me to take that step out into the box, but it was a pretty cool sight and we got some sweet shots.
Equally entertaining was watching the people freak out about stepping out into space.
Pizza (My Favorite)
So, the day ended with us trucking down through town to the Lou Malnati’s Pizzaria to taste some of the famouse deep dish pizza.
I had never had authentic deep dish pizza, so, I was excited to see what was so good about it.
Needless to say that the pizza was really good, but incredibly filling. One slice is something like 450 calories. However after walking close to 20k steps, we were both ready to refill our tanks.
So, on day 2, I spent my day at the house working while Noah went off to visit with the local expeditor’s branch. This was cool because she got to see some of the on-the-ground operations, and I got to sleep in and watch march madness.
But, we did get back to that awesome Mexican Restaurant.
St. Patrick’s Day (Day 3)
Our last day, we spent the morning sleeping in and packing to head home.
Then we took the subway to see the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
I suspect it would be a more exciting event if we were drinkers, but it was still fun to see the parade. We even got a glimpse of the green river as we headed back out of town on the tram.