Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Temporary Tourists

This past weekend was my second to last, Friday-off/3-day weekend (where has the summer gone?!)
At the end of July my mom had asked if she could come up to visit one of the Friday afternoons in August that I had off.  She’s been doing some professional training in the suburbs and wanted to schedule her August training and my visit for the same day.
Friday morning I completed my 12 miles run, despite rain the first mile and a throbbing blister the size of a quarter on my left foot arch.  Now I’ve got the base distance in that I’ll need for a half marathon but really need to work on my speed these next couple weeks if I want to try to break two hours.  At this point, it’s kind of iffy.
It ended up that my dad wanted to come see his favorite daughter (ha!) too and they decided to stay the night on Friday.  My parents arrived around lunch time and we headed downtown to meet Ben for lunch.  We had originally planned on Rock Bottom’s rooftop or Citizen Bar, but due to the rain earlier in the day, neither rooftop was open.  We ended up going to Plymouth; which has a restaurant portion but also a roof-top bar.  You can see if from the train stop at Harold Washington Library. 

Harold Washington Library

I’ve always thought it looked cool.  I can’t say it was as nice as I’d anticipated; but the food (my mom and I split a greek salad and Mediterranean wrap) was pretty good! Plus, the fact that I had a $25 Restaurant.com gift card was nice too.
From there we played tourists.  We decided on the Combined Lake and River Boat Tour ran by Wendella.  Since we had a bit of time to kill, we meandered through Millennium Park until it was time to walk over to the tour. 

Chicago Theater
The Bean
Classic "tourist" bean shot

Note: Ketchup is frowned up on 'dogs
There are TONS of boat tours in Chicago.  Since Ben and I have done the Architectural tour several times, we were happy to give the 90-minute Lake and River tour a chance.  This Wendella tour launches from Michigan Avenue, on the northwest side of the bridge passing over the river; right at the Wrigley Building.  You can save money by purchasing your tickets online.
Honeycomb towers

Opera Building
Chicago's gorgeous skyline
Tour guide
Windy city!

Later for dinner, after much debate as it usually goes with our family, we decided on Mexican so we walked to El Tapatio CafĂ©.  Just as last time, the food, drinks and company were delicious!

Delicious steak tacos

Saturday morning we surprisingly were all awake by 8am (it must have been the fact that we were all exhausted on Friday night and sleeping by 11pm).  We decided to take advantage of the early rise and walked over to Bakin and Eggs for breakfast.  This place is usually hopping by 10am, but being a part of the early crowd (they open at 8am on Saturdays), we were seated right away. 

Mmmm, so good!

My mom’s spice latte came out with a beautiful “latte art” foam design.

I then mentioned that although we got an espresso and coffee combo machine for a wedding gift TWO years ago, we’d yet to actually learn how to operate the espresso portion of the machine.  Thus, after breakfast it was my parents number one priority before they left to show us to it works.

Isn’t it great when you have your dad around to help?!  Now I’m looking forward to perfecting a homemade Chai tea latte this fall!

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