We booked a pretty decent deal with Expedia.ca that included flight and accommodation for $555CAD/person. I travelled with my friends Klarice & Crystle during March break for a 4 day, 3 night short trip to Chicago. Main goals of this trip: eat and shop.
We flew with Air Canada – Rouge Express and got there in about an hour and half. Chicago is an hour behind of Toronto but seeing as the Sunday prior was the start of daylight savings; it didn’t feel any different.
Once we got through the airport, we went straight for the CTA train terminal and purchased the Ventra Card ($5USD) and loaded up a 3 day CTA day pass ($20USD). Be warned that the machines don’t give you any change! So bring exact change. You need to purchase the Ventra Card if you want to purchase anything more than a 1 Day CTA pass.
We hopped on the Blue line to Washington and then got off and walked through a mall and hopped onto the red line to Chicago / Grand. We stayed at the Godfrey Hotel (127 W Huron St, Chicago). The hotel is in the heart of North River and features its own restaurant Dolce and a lounge with a balcony on the 5th floor. We made ample use of the fitness centre although it is very limited with its equipment. The main lobby is beautifully decorated and smells like cinnamon. The staff were all very helpful and friendly. We got a double bed room and it was very spacious and clean including 2 sinks in the washroom and 1 at the “mini bar” area.
Once we checked in and dropped off our things, we walked around to find some food. We had an early dinner at Pizzeria Due (619 N Wabash Ave). Our waitress Janae was very delightful and attentive. You can’t come to Chicago and not have deep dish pizza. We of course ordered ourselves the Numero Uno – cheese, fresh sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and green peppers. Between 2 people, a small is more than enough! (small – $18.49USD) and a individual Spinach ($8.49USD) and washed it down with a bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel ($17.97USD) with a shrimp and crab dip to start ($11.99USD). Be warned that the deep dish pizzas take about 45 minutes to cook! The crust is nice and crispy whereas the interior is the perfect consistency and delicious.
After dinner, we walked across the street to Trader Joes – where I purchased my go-to item: Unsulfurated & Unsweetened dried mangoes; to my disappointment there were no dark chocolate edamame beans. The night was still young and we had enough time to walk the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Ave to find ourselves at Uniqlo. It is open until 9PM and we sure made sure to use up our time there. Needless to say, Uniqlo is one of my main stores that I shop at especially since it is not available in Canada yet. I ended up purchasing 8 items but all items that will be used beyond the price I purchased them at. The Easy Pants will change your life if you haven’t tried yet ladies!
We returned back to the Godfrey Hotel to rest momentarily before heading out to Beercade HQ North River (213 W Institute Pl,) to end our night. All the games (minus 3) are free play as long as you purchase a minimum of 1 drink. We ordered the fries as well as a mango beer, Steigl Radler and Delirium. They have classic arcade games including Ms Pac-Man, 2 rows of pinball machines, NBA Jam, Time Crisis, Frogger, Tron, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter just to name a few. If that doesn’t bring back nostaligia for you (80’s and older) they also play older movies such as Ferris Bueller, Karate Kid, & Back to the Future on the TV screens there as a DJ spins live.
What was strange about our first day was that as the day went on, it was actually warmer at night than it was during the day.