Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chi-ca-go! :)

Last week I went on a 2.5 day trip to Chicago for a school retreat for a group I'm part of. I went on this same trip last year (different activities) and it was pretty much equivalently TONS of fun. Chicago is a very multi-dimensional (literally and philosophically) city with lots and lots of things to do. Some of the super cool things we did:

1) Lunch at Gino's East
fun picture i took while waiting

This was a relatively quick stop to eat famous Chicago deep dish pizza. The pizza was pretty good (and VERY different from 'normal' pizza) but what made this place interesting was the decoration. Gino's walls are covered in writing, giving it a very....unique (nicest way I can put it, haha) feel. One of our teacher sponsors was trying to get me to learn something from everything we did (it wasn't supposed to be an educational trip at all, but his point was that we should try to learn from everything we do). So when he asked me after this what I learned from lunch, after some thought I decided it was, "unusual things can be beautiful". The graffiti type look normally emanates more of a dirty-ish feel, but this look gave a very cool feel and looked beautiful in a sense.
One of the wall decors surrounded and covered in the writing 

2) John Hancock Observatory 
Currently my phone's home screen background!
While most people know about the Sears (aka Willis) Tower, this is the not so famous and not so tall counterpart also located in Chicago that is known for its amazing views. I've been to the Sears/Willis tower twice and while the skydeck is quite entertaining, the close to the shoreline view provided by this tower is worthwhile to see! I also got two flattened coins from this place for $0.51 each! The only use of pennies now :p

3) Chicago Food Planet Tour
This is probably my FAVORITE thing that we did and I am probably going to suggest everyone I know to do this when they visit Chicago. Basically, this was a 3-ish hour food tour in two neighborhoods of Chicago that covered 6 different restaurants with delicious food and a mini walking tour of the neighborhood and its beautiful architecture. I'm not a person who thinks FOOD all the time, but I really really enjoyed this. We did the Wickerpark/Bucktown tour, which included a hot dog from George's Hot Dog (I ate a pretty good salad instead :), amazing chocolate drink from Hot Chocolate,  an organic salad from Goddess and Grocer, thin crust pizza slice from Piece, a falafal sandwich from Sultan's Market, and freshly made ice cream iCream. Everything was really delicious! I think what made this even more fun is for someone who has lived near Chicago for a long time and has seen the main city plenty of times, this allowed me to explore a different part of Chicago in a super fun way. I tried making a slideshow of all these pictures but that kindda failed...sorry for all the scrolling!
Ice Cream from iCream-- it's blending right in front of you with liquid nitrogren!

Really pretty decoration at Sultan's Market!

One of the houses along the way had this in their front yard...memorable historical piece in  a quiet area :)

Cuckoo Clock like house that was really pretty! Along the walk

the cold chocolate drink from Hot Chocolate!  

4) Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
This is the type of thing that I would probably never really think about going to unless it was this type of group trip. And it's also something I probably wouldn't enjoy as much if it wasn't the group I went with. This is dinner that takes place surrounding a humongous arena, where the main attraction is knights battling (on and off horses), with each group of seating representing a color and thus a knight. We were team YELLOW (yay, my favorite color! :D) and it ended up being so so So much fun. With the group of 22some students and 8 teachers, we did high school cheers for our knight, got crazy whenever it was time to root him on, and overall were extremely hyped about the whole thing. Our knight was literally smiling the whole time probably because we were SO loud for him....haha.

Not my picture, but super pretty!

So that's a really small portion of all that we did in the two and half days; overall it was a really good trip with lots of bonding and fun! :) Some more random tidbits before I end off this post:

(self playing piano at the hotel....I was amused)

Aztec...something, but not a calendar, at the Field Museum! :) kindda cool
Last year my roommate who was one grade higher (now graduated) had written a note for our room  cleaning person, and I thought it would be a good things to do again, so I wrote this quick note! :) Not sure if they really care, but my roommates this year found the "Lord/Lady" part humourous :) classic teen touch into this rather info-based post :p

She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time." — Mark Twain


  1. This is such a fun post to read! Your pictures are beautiful and well-captured, and your narration shows how much you've enjoyed the trip :)

    Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is something I would definitely want to try out whenever I get the chance to visit Chicago!

    1. Thank you so so much! :) I really did enjoy the trip!

      The little hat we got at Medieval Times says they are located in Orlando Florida, Buena Park California, Lyndhurst New Jersey, Dallas Texas, Toronto Canada, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Baltimore/DC, Atlanta Georgia, AND Chicago, Illinois. So if you visit any major city in USA you can probably experience this! :)

  2. Cool stuff! I loved Chicago. John Hancock Tower moved to a new site though. Could you adjust the links?

    1. Updated! Thanks for reading and letting me know :)