Top Five Destinations of Chicago
One of the stories my friends like to tell about our shared past is my reaction to a friend’s description of his travels abroad. He started in Stockholm, Sweden, made his way across the continent visiting places like Copenhagen and Amsterdam as he made his way to Paris for a few days. Then, he boarded a plane and flew back to the states and landed in Chicago for a layover. This is where I enter the story with the exclamation, “You were in Chicago?!?!”
Needless to say, every eye turned to me that moment, eyes and mouths opened wide and laughter hung in the air. I tried to explain that I thought it was an added bonus, a cherry on the traveling sundae, but the laughs drowned my explanations.
However, I don’t mind. At the time I hadn’t been to Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm or Chicago. Now, I have. I would happily go back and visit all of them, but with good friends in Chicago, I hear it calling my name much more than the others. Here are a few things that I look forward to doing on my trips there.
Wrigley Field is not nearly as cool as Fenway Park since it has not gone through a serious remodeling, but that will come and hopefully when it’s done, you won’t have to pee in a trough. However, as old and crowded as it is there, it oozes baseball history and is a great way to spend an afternoon in the city. It pains me a little to say it as a Cardinals fan, but the one thing the Cubs have is a kick-ass stadium. A few years with Theo Epstein at the helm and they may have a team to match Wrigley.
I remember watching a Second City anniversary special on HBO when I was younger with guests like Alan Arkin, George Wendt and Harold Ramis. (Yes, I’m a big fan of “Cheers” and “Stripes.”) Quite a few years later, I got to visit a pal and we went to see a show at The Second City theater. I remember laughing my ass off, and though I don’t remember the performers, I’m sure I saw a few of them again.
As a big fan of cheese, and a big fan of pizza, there isn’t much better than a thick slice of Lou Malnati’s pizza. Add a bit of sausage to it and it becomes an almost perfect food.
There are museums that are all about the little kid inside you and The Field Museum is the favorite of 8-year-old me. T-Rex fossils, mummies and shiny rocks make that kid jump up and down, run around and have another Mountain Dew. Then once I settle that kid down for a nap, the older me can learn about Genghis Khan.
I love fly-fishing. I love walking up and down streams and working hard to figure out the perfect fly and presentation to catch a single fish. However, sometimes it’s better to have someone do the work for you. Then you can gather a bunch of friends, hit the waters of Lake Michigan and drink some beers while a guide tells you where to catch fish. Makes fishing much more relaxing and a lot more intoxicating. Some would say that’s the whole point of fishing.
Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.
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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."