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June 3 - 5, 2021

Written By: Kayla

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I have been to Chicago many times to visit family when I was younger, but not as an adult. So, in June of 2021, on Colin’s birthday weekend, we went on an adventure to the Windy City with Colin’s Dad to do some exploring. Chicago has always been a favorite city of Steve’s, so we were excited to dive in and see why he had always been so attracted to the city across from Lake Michigan.


Welcome to Chicago!

We took the train from Flint to Union Station - Chicago. Also a favorite of Steve's, it was our first time on Amtrak. This was such a fun way to get to the city and allowed us a few hours to catch up on work before taking a day off on Friday. When we arrived in Chicago, we met Steve at Union station and walked to the hotel to drop off our luggage. We stayed at the Hotel Saint Clair, which was a quaint hotel in a great location. We were able to walk to so many places and get a lot of steps in.


First time on Amtrak!

For our first day in Chicago, we walked 6 miles and had over 15,000 steps (we also had to Uber on this day). On both our second and third day, we walked over 10 miles and had over 22,000 steps! Chi-Town is certainly a walkable city.


Chicago streets!

After dropping our luggage, it was beyond time for lunch! We decided to check out Labriola - a pizza joint. We each got a beer and shared the garlic knots and pie. It was delicious and just the boost we needed to start exploring. The big plan for the day was catching a game at Guaranteed Rate Field to watch the Tigers take on the White Sox. Before heading to the ballgame, we stopped at Marz Brewing for some great craft beer and even got free Fireball shots at Maria’s, down the road! We had so much fun at the game celebrating Colin’s birthday and enjoying ballpark snacks! We also had fun watching the section below us stack cup after cup through the seats. It was such a fun way to spend our first day in Chicago, even with the Tigers taking the L. The views from the top of the stadium were beautiful!




Take me out to the ballgame


Beautiful city views from the ballpark!

Friday, June 4th was a beautiful day in Chicago! We decided to walk to the “Bean” located in Millennium Park. Cloud Gate, aka "The Bean", is a stainless steel work-of-art. It’s a major photo-op attraction in the area. When we were visiting, the city had mandates in place to avoid Covid-19 risks, therefore, you could not get close to the sculpture, and we had to take photos from behind a fence. This turned out to be a positive, by being able to capture the work without all the people in the way.


Happy Birthday, Colin!


Downtown Chi-town


Cloud Gate aka "The Bean"

While in Millennium Park, we walked around, looking at the fountains, artwork, and explored Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The whole area is beautiful and there is so much to see and do in the park!


Millennium Park, Chicago

From here, we walked to my favorite part of the trip, Navy Pier! It had been many years since I was able to visit this fun area of Chicago. We explored the boardwalk, took in the amazing views, grabbed our flag photo, and enjoyed food and drinks along the way. We loved getting to explore the stores and were so excited to ride the Centennial Wheel. From the top of the wheel, we were able to grab amazing views of Downtown Chicago - so much fun! We loved our lunch spot, Billy Goat Tavern! So much so, that we went back for drinks after our ferris wheel adventure. We had an amazing day in the sun, full of laughs and great memories.


Navy Pier!


Beautiful June weather


View from the top of the Centennial Wheel


The Centennial Wheel is an awesome experience!

A must-do for Colin included grabbing beer, shocking I know, at a brewery called Crushed by Giants. We stopped here for a flight, then continued walking along the Magnificent Mile. We window shopped all the fun stores along the way and ended up at a great place for dinner, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub. We enjoyed a nice big meal and good vibes! This place doesn’t seem like much from the outside, but if you make the trek in, down the stairs, it is more than worth it! This was a great end to our day, and essentially, our trip. One of which was full of walking from place to place, so make sure you bring your walking shoes if you plan to visit Chicago and don’t want to Uber everywhere.


Billy Goat Tavern!


Crushed By Giants


The Magnificent Mile!


O'Tooles was a gem!

Sadly, the end of our trip came and the three of us took off from The Union Station in Chicago. We had our last meal and beers at The Junction Chicago, a fun way to end our trip before having to hop on the train back home. Chicago was full of so many wonderful experiences, packed into a short weekend. We hope to go back one day and explore even more! I know there is a list of breweries Colin will want to explore at some point, and I wouldn’t mind some shopping!


Cheers to a great trip!


Headed back to The Mitten!


Fire Up Chips!

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