Wednesday started the last full day of our adventures in Chicago. It was a different day because it was cloudy and up until then it had been sunny all week. Jeremy promised me that the forecast didn’t call for rain, so I left our hotel that morning wearing a light jacket that didn’t even have full sleeves. This was a bad decision… If I would have known the cold and wet I was going to experience that day, I would have bundled and put on my rain jacket. There is nothing worse then packing something for a trip and not having it when you need it. I’m guessing you’ve figured out – it rained!
We hit the L that morning and headed out toward the Lincoln Park area of town. Instead of stopping by a Starbucks near our hotel, we went to a HUGE, 24 hour Starbucks on our way to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It was the biggest Starbucks I’ve ever been in! Very cool! We continued to make our way toward the zoo. We stopped by the Green City Market which is a local farmer’s market that takes place in the park. Once we had wandered through the market, we kept trekking toward the Zoo.
Around the time that we reached the zoo it started to rain. Also the animals weren’t out for another hour even though the zoo gates were open. We decided to switch our plans up and head to the Lincoln Park Conservatory so we could stay dry and hopefully let the rain pass. The Conservatory is a beautiful structure and over 100 years old! The plants are lovely and well taken care of. One room we entered said that a small dinosaur would enjoy the plants and climate in that space. Someone must have a sense of humor, because small dinosaur toys were hidden throughout the room. We all had a really good laugh about that! I enjoyed taking pictures of the flowers and plants. I also really enjoyed not being rained on.
Once we were done with the conservatory, we headed back outside to find that it was still raining. Oh joy! So much for the weather passing! Our game plan for the zoo quickly become all about the indoor exhibits. We headed into see the wild cats. The tiger had just eaten and was passed out in his space. The lion was released into his home with a fresh piece of meet waiting for him. All the other cats looked very hungry because they had been watching the lion and tiger. At one point the tiger made a noise which caused the lion to respond and the whole exhibit was filled with loud cat noises. It was quite the sound! After the cats, we headed into the monkey house! They have great monkeys at the Lincoln Park Zoo. They were very active and expressive! Next stop was the small mammals and reptiles. Most of the exhibits after that were outdoors. We had a great lunch at the zoo – I had an awesome cheese quesadilla. We wander the zoo for a couple more hours after lunch. It became very apparent by the loss of feeling in my hands that we needed to move on from our outdoor activity. It rained even harder on our walk back to the L. We stopped by a pastry shop so some of our group could get a snack. Aside from that stop, we made a very quick wet walk back.
Getting back to the hotel felt amazing!!! We all were able to get warm and dry. The cool thing about our hotel was there is a washer and dryer in room. April and I were able to dry our jeans and it felt so good to put on warm jeans after being so cold. I know this is girly, but I had to redo my hair and fix all the water damage. Luckily, the weather dried off going into the evening.
We set out again after drying off and getting warm. We didn’t have any major plans and stayed around the area of our hotel doing souvenir shopping. We went over to Fannie May which I know sounds like a branch of government banking, but in Chicago they are a local chocolate company. We got some souvenir candy as a gifts and Jeremy and I each bought one of their specialty candies. Jeremy got a white chocolate covered pretzel and I got a coconut treat called a Pink Lady.
As usual we met up with Dad once his class was over. Tonight we were going to dinner with some of his accounting peeps from the northwest. They decided on Pizziaria Uno, which is a Chicago landmark for deep dish pizza. We ran into some trouble with finding enough seats for the group and the ordering process… it was quite the ordeal. By 7:30pm we were finally seated and ready for pizza. Just as before I was in love with the deep dish pizza. I’m positive that I will try to recreate it at home because it was amazing! After dinner we went to the Grand Lux Cafe for dessert. April and I had gotten dessert their before my dad when we had gone to Las Vegas. The portion sizes there are huge and it was sooo good! I had strawberry shortcake that looked almost too pretty to eat. I’m glad I did because it was worth every bit! Jeremy got a burnt cream duo – one vanilla and one chocolate.
We were all sad for the last day to be over. The trip was certainly packed full of good times and Thursday was another almost full day together, so we knew we had to make the most of each moment while it was there. Once we got back to the hotel, everyone started to work on their suitcases and packing so we could have the most free time possible on Thursday!