Going to Chicago at the end of the summer is a big difference than the beginning. I ventured up this weekend to see the last NIN show (for me) for awhile. I had been up there in May, which was nice sunny weather similar to what we are experiencing now. They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing. I was wearing long sleeves and a light jacket the entire time this time around.
Now, I know you have most likely read John’s views on our weekend, as we were all together for most of the time, but I’m just going to talk about some things he didn’t talk about and possibly recap on some eateries.
We booked everything on Expedia this time, with no problems and when I returned home, I found a nice email from them, giving me a $10 coupon off my next hotel purchase. In the fine print though, I only had about 18 hours left to redeem this coupon, so boo on them.
We flew out to Chicago on United and back on American Airlines. Both were on time, with no problems. I would say that the American Airlines has better seats, with comfy adjustable head rests.
We decided to stay in the Hyatt Regency O’hare. It’s a short drive from the airport and there were free shuttles as well. From the pictures online, I booked this place because it looked more modern. I’m a modern-minimalist kind of girl, and if I had known about John’s hotel (Aloft), I totally would’ve stayed there. Our hotel had many similarities though. We checked in at a kiosk station while others piled up waiting for a human to check them in. Grabbed our keys and headed up the elevator to the third floor. We weren’t sure what to expect with our room, but were pleasantly surprised when we opened the door to our room and realized that we had one of the rooms on the outside rounded area of the building. We basically had two corners in our room and a HUGE curved wall of windows. It was georgous. The bathroom was contemporary with a standing shower, free standing sink and huge mirror. There was a large flat screen tv on the dresser across from the bed and the temperature controls were mounted on the wall. I loved being able to say 70 degrees and it stayed that way. The bed was so plush and warm that I didn’t want to get out of it.
Being close to the airport, you have to worry about sound proof walls to block out planes. The exterior walls were pretty thick and I never heard a plane fly over, however, the interior walls were extremely thin. Our bed sat against a wall shared by another room, and we could hear a conversation between two or three people almost crystal clear when we were trying to fall asleep.
One other complaint about the room is the lack of ventilation in the bathroom. There was no air exhaust to help cool off the room after a shower. Overall, the room was very spacious and the hotel was great.
There was also a nice bar and a restaurant in the hotel that we only peeked into. We were only there overnight and didn’t get to spend much time there.
As for the places John mentioned eating at, I personally enjoyed The Weiner’s Circle hotdog a little more than Hot Doug’s. Wiener’s had this specialty “char dog” that had been grilled and deep fried for a minute to give it a crispy texture. To add to the gluttonous calories, I added cheddar cheese to mine with all of the toppings and it was GOOD. Chicago has opened my eyes to the possibilities of toppings for hot dogs, but they are never as good at home as what you pay for at these interesting stops.
We did eat at a restaurant after we dropped John off at the airport. We drove back into the city and walked around the shopping and restaurant blocks of downtown and found a nice British Pub called Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurant. I went for a traditional British Shepard’s Pie, which is seasoned ground beef and root vegetables topped with red skin garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, served with balsamic-tossed greens and some veggies. We sat outside on their patio area which was nice when the sun hit your back to warm you from the occasional cool breezes that came through. Unfortunately, they were located right under a busy passing El train. So, about every five or ten minutes, a train would come screeching overhead and you couldn’t hear yourself think, let alone what someone was saying to you.
The meal was fantastic, like a home cooked meal that Mom would have made. If only there hadn’t been a terrorist bee trying to snatch up my leftovers, the meal would have been perfect. (The bee is no longer with us).
I don’t know when I will get to see Chicago again, but when I do, I am going to make sure to go back to the pub crawl area that is Wrigleyville, as I had so much fun. I will definitely be back for a “Cheddar Char-Dog” as well at The Wiener’s Circle, not to mention the insane entertainment. “Milkshake!”
I give this weekend getaway a windy 5 milkshakes out of 5.
By Angela Davis