Chicago–It’s a Helluva Town!
I have been looking so forward to getting to Chicago. Good food, great city, cool sights…three days off (two of which are in a row and start immediately). Food, despite my great need to watch what I eat because of the “lb”s I’ve been piling on during this little road trip of ours, may be what I’m most excited about. Of course I want some deep dish pizza, and I would never forget about the hot dogs. But what I’m truly interested in trying is a little molecular gastronomy. I’ve been watching PBS shows about it for years now, and Chicago is where it all started. I’m no foodie, but I do like to eat good food. And, I have no problem dropping some coin on a worthy meal. That’s why the venue of our first dinner in Chicago was so surprising. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would eat at an Olive Garden when there are so many other options. That said, there weren’t that many other options, and we were hungry and tired. See, we drove all afternoon from Bloomington. We did have a lunch stop in Chenoa, a small town on old Route 66, and it was better than expected. Looking at the menu I was a little amused. See below for a photo of the “Lite Bites” menu.
Had I known that a half pound hamburger was lo-cal, then I would have ditched the rabbit food a long time ago. I also like the California Fruit Plate, complete with Jell-O. I’m a big Jell-O fan. The Kilt thinks it it’s gross. I suspect that he has something in common with my all-time favorite traveling companion who will always be referred to as Diane. They both have texture issues, and that can be oddly limiting at times. I suppose we all have our cross to bear.
Back to the trip, we had our club sandwiches (made with carved turkey, thus making them the GREATEST club sandwiches ever), and then we headed back onto the road…in the rain. Yes, we have enjoyed the most beautiful cloudless skies for the past month, and today when we drive to Chicago, anticipating our two glorious days off (in a row), we run into nasty old rain showers. It’s not that I’m anti-rain. I lived in the Pacific Northwest for years. I just don’t want rain on the day I walk around a city. We arrived at our client’s offices late in the afternoon and put on a couple of presentations. When we finished, it was after eight o’clock, and we were starving. Our close-by options were Chili’s and Olive Garden. If anyone knows my feelings on Chili’s (which are admittedly mixed since it is my go-to restaurant at airports), then you know I had to go for the Olive Garden. While it wasn’t like eating with family, it was like transporting myself back to high school when I thought it was a four star restaurant and the ONLY place to go on a group date.
Overfed and barely watered, we headed to our hotel where we will be staying for seven glorious nights! I booked this puppy in advance because I wanted to stay at a nicer hotel with a full kitchen, and that’s what I got. We are living in our very own one bedroom apartment this week. I’m loving it so far. The Kilt can watch his programs in one room, and I can hang out in the other. We can cook. Correction, The Kilt can cook. It’s going to be fantastic!
Tonight I’ll be dreaming of the Bean, and tomorrow I’ll get to see it. Maybe I’ll even see Sue*.
*For those that don’t know, Sue is the largest fully intact T-Rex ever found. She was in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Also, for those that don’t know, I love Dinosaurs…and I love goldfish crackers. I’m basically a five-year-old when it comes to my passions in life.