Chicago is such a big and beautiful city, and although we’ve been many times on tour, we’ve barely scraped the surface of all the city has to offer. In Madison we really flew by the seat of our pants and discovered some really neat things that way, but I was a little more intentional in Chicago and made a small list of a few things I wanted to check out, but leaving room for spur of the moment adventures, of course!
Our few days in Chicago were filled with seeing friends that we hadn’t seen in a long time, eating lots of pizza, and enjoying a much needed time of fun with each other. The night we arrived we met up with Khosro and Brenda. Khosro runs Cafe Ballou, which was the very first venue we ever played in America back in 2010. It was so nice to catch up with them over pizza at Lou Malnati’s (one of the three big deep dish spots). After dinner we walked to Margie’s Candies and waited in line for a very long time but were rewarded with the biggest servings of ice cream ever. Zoltan ordered one scoop, but it looked like there was an entire pint piled on his cone! Definitely the place to go if you want good value for your money!
The next day was forecast to rain, so we planned ahead of time to find a museum to go to. I wanted to check out the Art Institute, but after looking up some pictures and reviews of the Museum of Science and Industry, we decided on that. We’ll keep the Art Institute for next time. MSI was amazing. They had really great exhibits and lots of interactive areas. Apparently it takes three full days to see all that they have to offer, but we took in as much as we could in about four hours. We were also able to find some free street parking just a short walk away, which was a bonus, and we skipped the rain!
That night we met up with friends and fans at Giordano’s, our most frequented deep dish restaurant, for a little pizza party. We figured that even though we weren’t playing any shows, we should still hang out with anyone who would want to! Our friends Kate and Arturo, and their extended family from Austria were there, along with our friends Scott and Jeff. It was so fun sharing the most Chicagoan pizza experience with such great people! We might have to make pizza parties or food gatherings of other sorts a regular thing when we tour again!
Our last full day in Chicago was a bit of an exploration and shopping day. We headed to the hip neighbourhood of Wicker Park and spent much of the afternoon browsing all the vintage shops. There were some amazing places, and I tried on lots of cool pieces, but it wasn’t until the last stop, Una Mae’s, where I found three beautiful vintage dresses that I took home with me. Other stores that were fun to browse in were Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co. For dinner that night we went to Headquarters Beercade, which is the ultimate man cave with pretty much every vintage arcade game and pinball machine you can imagine! We ate a delicious dinner and played a bunch of games. We didn’t get to stay as long as we would have liked because we were meeting up with Kate and Arturo and their family for a Cubs game! We got cheap tickets, which were super far away, but it was super fun getting to watch a baseball game even though they lost to Washington. There’s just something about hot dogs and peanuts and the 7th inning stretch that just feels so nostalgic.
Since we’ve been living in Calgary and not touring this year, I’ve really missed travelling and exploring new cities, so this little trip to Chicago was just what I needed. We got to experience the best cross-section of what Chicago has to offer, and spend some time with good friends.
Do you have any travel plans for the summer? Or favourite destinations? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your stories!
Until next time,