Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chicago Trip

The week before my birthday I spent a few days in Chicago for work.  I actually really enjoyed the conference and small world, met a woman who works with my first employer in benefits in San Diego.  I started in the industry in 2001 making packets for a VERY small employee benefits brokerage.  The owner of the brokerage sold it to another company a few years back, and now is a principle there.  She works for him... small world!

Back to Chicago.  I was lucky to be able to attend a couple of nice diners, one at Gibson's Steakhouse which was really very good.  My steak was perfect and the split pea soup was almost as good as mine ;-) .  My second dinner was The Chicago Firehouse.  The atmosphere was much better than the food, but I still had a great time.

After the conference I stayed an extra day and explored Chicago.  I got to catch a Cubs vs. Giants game.  Unfortunately the Giants lost, but it was a great game.  And I just loved Wrigley Field, what an amazing ball park!


I also did a Riverboat Architecture tour which was a great way to spend 90 minutes.  We cruised up and down the river while a docent talked about all the different buildings.  Before we took off, I made sure to grab a beer for the trip.  My hair doesn't like the humidity to much... 

After the tour, I made my way to Navy Pier... which was pretty much a tourist trap a la Pier 39, but it was nice to walk that far out on the pier towards the lake.

I had taken a break and picked up an iced tea at a tea shop.  While there I was reading a magazine and there was an article about local restaurants and one of them referred to XOCO Restaurant, which is one of Rick Bayless' restaurants.  I love watching him on PBS and The Food Network.  He cooks amazing, authentic Mexican food.  -- not the, bland,  covered in gobs of Monterrey jack cheese, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes, food we are used to, but real Mexican food. XOCO is Mexican soup, salad, sandwich kinda place.  It was soooo good!

The final night of my trip, I was witness to quite the lightening storm!  From my hotel window I could see the Sears Tower, as I was watching the storm, I saw lightening hit it three times.  Truly amazing. I was unable to get a picture but this is pretty similar to what I saw: