Thanksgiving 2014 – Chicago, IL

As mom is getting older and he health is not what it once was, standing in a kitchen all week isn’t as fun as it used to be, so we are finding creative ways to celebrate the holiday.  This year, the whole family (mom, dad, sis, bro-in-law, nieces) spend Thanksgiving in Chicago.  Last year, we all went to Churchill Downs for the races.  Chicago was more fun.

We took off Thanksgiving day at 11:30 am and landed in Midway at 11:45 am.  After checking into the hotel (on Michigan Ave) we got some lunch and then mom went back to rest at the hotel while dad and I went on walk about up and down Michigan.  We hit a couple places for drinks, including the Ritz-Carlton and Trump Tower, then ended up in a small Irish pub (near to nothing was open for food) for dinner.  Dad went back to the hotel around 8pm and I stayed at the pub until near midnight.

Friday was a bit more busy.  Dad and I went to Uno’s for some original Chicago deep dish pizza.  Mom stayed at the hotel and we brought back something lighter for her.  From there, while I wanted to hit a couple breweries, none were open for tours on Friday.  We went to Willis Tower (formerly, Sears Tower.)  We stood in line to get up to the 103rd floor for nearly 3 hours.  It was worth the wait.  I got to stand in the clouds on the observation deck that slides out from the building.  Looked down to the street with nothing but a bit of glass to hold me up.  Dad would not go on the platforms, but did get a good look and photo at one of the windows.

On the way from Uno’s to Willis Tower, we had to stop for dad to buy some new gloves – he left his in the cab the night before.  I ended up splurging on a scarf (it was damn cold) that is 100% silk.  My sister and her family came in late afternoon, and after they checked in to the hotel, we all went for a very nice dinner at a restaurant called Catch 35.  It is a seafood and steak house that was 2 blocks away from the hotel.  It was a great meal and is definitely worth trying if ever in Chicago.  After that, I went to find a local jazz club (Andy’s Chicago Jazz).  Everyone else was tired and went back to the hotel.  The jazz club was excellent with a local group on stage jamming away with their own music, and one or two throwbacks to other artists.  I ended up back at the hotel around 2 or so.

Saturday started very early, and after a short cab ride, we all ended up at Macy’s for brunch in the Walnut Room.  That store was packed shoulder to shoulder.  At 2, we crossed the street to the Chicago Theater to see “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” (musical).  It was fun, and suited the season.  The nieces loved it.  Dad dozed.  We went from there and split again.  I walked a few blocks up and got a couple glasses of wine at a wine bar, Eno.  It is the same one as the one I went to last year in San Francisco.

After that, everyone met at Eddie V’s for dinner.  I walked over a block or so, everyone else cabbed it.  This place had to be one of my top 5 meals ever.  It was phenomenal, real 5-star cooking.  I had lobster tacos and Filet Mignon topped with scampied lobster.  Everything melted in my mouth and the flavors…  After that, my sister and brother-in-law and I went to Andy’s and had some drinks and listened to some jazz.  They went back a couple hours later, I stayed until well after 1am.

Sunday came very early.  We were up and out by 10 am.  Mom, unfortunately, didnt feel well, so she stayed at the hotel and guarded the bags while the rest of us went to Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.  Well, dad and I went to Field, the rest went to Shedd.  That place is huge.  It could take a week to really see what is there.  We sped through, saw maybe a third, read even less, and left out at 2pm.  By 3:30 we were on the way to Midway for the flight at 5:30.  We landed at 7:45 and after fighting with the baggage, I ended up home by 9pm or so.  Tired.

Overall it was a great trip.  I wish mom would have felt better in order to enjoy more of the trip than the hotel, but there will be other chances.  Everyone had fun and we all came back full and tired.  It was a good Thanksgiving.

For those wondering, I do have photos, I just have not had a chance to get them uploaded here.  I hope to soon, however.

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