Surviving Chicago: Day Five

Hello, and welcome to the fifth entry of Surviving Chicago! This is Matthew, checking in from Chicago.

Well, we got up late again. It was by about 30 minutes — which seems to be the magic number of tardiness for this trip. If you’ve been following along with our previous entries, you’ll remember that this has happened before. It’s okay, though. because I have a very simple solution to propose to the great City of Chicago:
Slow things down in the mornings. I’m not asking for much — a mere 30 minutes will do. I understand that there would be some decent logistics involved, and it might inconvenience a few people (2.176 million residents), but it would make our week a little bit easier.
So, to whoever is in charge here: Thanks in advance for making that change. The Pearons appreciate it.

Being a few minutes late meant we were in a bit of a rush to hit our first event, a River Architecture Tour. We were lucky enough to have Claudia as our guide.

She talked us through the types of architecture we were seeing, where it came from historically, and told us why it was important — all with great stories and a bright smile.
This tour was a suggestion from Valeri’s cousin, Beth, and it was a great one. We highly recommend it to any of our fellow travelers. Even if architecture isn’t your thing, there are some awesome views and great stories.

I will mention that the fact that we were running behind did not prevent us from stopping for coffee … because no man dares to stand in the way of us and our morning coffee. We had to switch from Nilly’s Cafe to a certain massive corporate coffee chain. We generally try our hardest to avoid chains while on trips — particularly this one — but I can’t really complain too much. The coffee was decent and the food was quick, tasty and hit the hunger where it counts.

Next on the agenda was a Chicago staple: Chicago Dogs!
We headed to Kim and Carlo’s Hot Dog Cart, and enjoyed these delicacies while sitting in a nearby park, entertained by the antics of a father and his children at play.

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Due to the rain forecasted for tomorrow, we’ve ended up switching a couple of activities around. So, instead of heading to the Harold Washington Library like we had planned, we went to North Avenue Beach. It’s always fun to sink our toes into the sand, and the library visit can still happen on a rainy day.
While we wandered the surf, I instinctively began searching for sharks teeth (a habit born of family vacations from years past) … then remembering (after an embarrassingly long amount of time) that we were along the shores of a lake. If I had found shark’s teeth, there probably would have been different issues — none of which would have been mine, because we would have been off that beach pretty quickly.
Something we did find was a side-by-side bicycle, and we just couldn’t resist. For the next hour, we explored the shoreline on three wheels. I tried my hardest to make Valeri nervous by steering us directly toward the water’s edge a few times. It worked.

After about an hour at the beach, we headed back to the Airbnb to get cleaned up for the biggest event of this trip. I’ll get to that in a minute … but first, food.

We didn’t allot enough time for our meal, and that’s a real shame, because it was great … and absolutely massive.
We started with an order of Chicken Momos, which I was really looking forward to. I had them on a previous vacation, and have been in search of them ever since. Valeri ran across a Nepalese restaurant (aptly named Nepal House) during some research for the trip, and there was no question — it was going on the itinerary. It did not disappoint. The food was phenomenal and the portions were great — too much for either of us to finish, actually. What was really sad was that we had to abandon the leftovers, since we wouldn’t have a place to stow them at the next event, which was … (drum roll)

HAMILTON!

A while back, a colleague of mine had me listen to the original cast soundtrack on a work trip. I was hopelessly obsessed, and everyone knows Hamilton is contagious, so Valeri caught the bug soon after.
Hearing and seeing this live was absolutely phenomenal. The visal aspect helped me find connections I had previouslt failed to make, and the tiny differences the actors and actresses include in their performances are really fun to hear, after having being so used to the original. This receives top marks from the Pearons.

Hamilton kept us out a bit late, so I’m going to wrap up this blog entry, and put my weary body to rest for the night. Thank you for reading along with our adventures, and be sure to check in tomorrow for Day Six!

“I give you Chicago. It is not London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from snout to tail.”

– H. L. Mencken

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