Chicago Day 3 – a day of art, education, and stars

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for ignoring my blog for awhile. The past weeks have been crazy working on some big projects at work. Before I know it 2 weeks gone by and I still have my day 3 Chicago adventure to share! Oops, when it is over a month ago :O I suppose today is a good day to wrap up my Chi trip because I am going to D.C. (for the first time!!!) for July 4th 🙂

(Back to Chi-mood)

After 2 days of more outdoorsy walk around and tours, the last day Captain and I decided we’ll hit the museums. Originally we had totally different lists of museums in mind to go to (based on the available ones to choose from using Explorer’s Pass), but we ended up going to different ones that I think work out quite well 😉

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1. Art Institute of Chicago
I feel like if you only want to do 1 museum while you are in Chicago, this is the one. Although it’s been over a month, when I think of today I still cannot help laugh about our reaction when we found out how big the Art Institute is. There are SO many things to see. I could see myself spend an entire day here (and trust me, you will not regret!).
Based on the entrance of the building, Captain and I thought we could finish it within maybe an hour (clearly did not do our homework lol), but little did we know until we spoke to a really nice staff that it’s a humungous place with thousands of rare collections to see. From the East to the West, statues to carpets to minature museums and paintings… There is definitely something for everyone. Below are some of the displays I really enjoyed during my short (maybe 1.5 hour) trip rushing through some famous art and exhibitions at the Art Institute. Noted… I have never seen this many Monet in my life 🙂
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2. Lunch @ Shake Shack
https://flic.kr/p/VEynSG
Have you heard of Shake Shack? The first time I heard of this burger chain was before going to Dubai in May 2015. I’ve heard a ton of people raved about how good their burgers are and that there is actually a store inside Dubai airport. It took me awhile trying to find it (mission incomplete) only to find out recently it was not located at the international terminal (boo).
I am usually not a big burger person. I crave for bacon cheese burger from time to time (rarely) and used to dislike In-n-out (ashamed of myself right now)… so when I say this place is GOOD stuff  you better believe it 😉
I was able to catch the green Shake Shack sign on Michigan Ave. the first day we arrived. Beyond excitement, I declared we must try it when we are in Chicago since it’s been so long since I want to try this burger place that does not exist on the west coast. Although there was a line when we went after the Art Institute (starving), it moved fairly fast and before we know it we were pretty good at finding a small spot to enjoy the burgers, the fries, and the shake!
Some might think Shake Shack are greasy, but gosh, I am still craving for the burger I had with the fried mushroom. It was so delicious! Captain and I enjoyed the meal 100%. Not to mention, it poured when we were eating and completely went sunny again after the meal. It was meant to me 😉
I was very excited to find out they are actually opening a location here in QC this summer. I just hope I’ll get a chance to try it again before I leave.

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3. Field Museum
https://flic.kr/p/V2eQDF

Can I just say how far it was to walk all the way from Art Institute area to Field Museum? I know my fitbit thanks me a ton for getting a ton of steps in, but wow, that was quite a walk! (lesson learned, to save yourself some trouble, please just use uber or bus… or even public bike).
The view looking afar from Field Museum was excellent on a sunny day after the rain to see the skyline and the beautiful architectures of the windy city. I’ve missed the feel living in a big city and the trip to Chicago sure made me remember why I am a city person (except I do not like their high tax!)
Captain and I were surprised to find out our Explorer’s Pass could not get us to express line to get in… that said, you can probably imagine we spent a good an hour or so just waiting in line before we were able to get into the museum. It was dreadful, considering we just walked all the way to the museum, and then still had to stand in line. Field could’ve done a better job – we paid in advance, we should not have to wait in the same line as the people waiting to buy tickets! (boo!)
I thought it was very cool to see the t-rex, the elephants, and all the animals on display at the museum, especially the man-eater tigers.
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Captain came here before as a kid, even so, both of us agreed although it was a fun museum, we didn’t feel it was worth it to wait in line for such a long time. Educational values for sure, but we both prefer the Art Institute more. I personally thought because I have never been so it was fun, but it didn’t really stand out as much to me.
Other than the impressive collection of animals, we also got to visit the Chinese corner that they did a really good job of, as well as the fancy gem gallery… diamonds! Rubies! Everything shinning and sparkling 😉
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4. Three Dots and a Dash
https://flic.kr/p/WfH4Kc
It was quite hot after we got kicked out of Fields Museum (they close at 4pm), the Captain and I uber to one of the highest rank tiki bar in Chi – 3 dots and a dash to see what it was about. The bar is super dark at a basement, a ton of people there getting drinks…. After all it is 5 o’clock somewhere right? ;P The drinks were pretty pricey so luckily Captain was okay to share one with me. I cannot exactly remember the order we got, but the bartender did an excellent job mixing the drinks like there’s some sort of secret formula 🙂 It was fun to see how careful they mix everything to make sure they are perfect for the customers. I thought this is a fun place to check if you are in Chicago. It is a bit pricey, so if you are not big into alcohol like me, you can opt to share one with your friend for the experience, if you love tiki bar or just fruity drinks in general, get one for yourself. They are very unique and all come in different arrangements and cups!

5. More walking + dinner
https://flic.kr/p/V2eSar
Uber gets expensive from time to time especially when it’s on demand. After trying the refreshing drink at 3 dots and a dash, we continued to walk around Chicago and stopped by the very first Marshall Field store that is actually a Macy’s now. The building is huge and clearly shows you the history behind it… I do wonder how it was like to go into this department store to shop. Must be quite an experience! Too bad I kind of peek into the Macy store and there’s nothing fancy or interesting about it. Most of the stores were closed around 6pm so we didn’t really shop or anything – although I did catch a Magnolia Bakery in Chicago! Chicago really is a city of not just architectures but also food to me. So many good things to try, not enough tummy… hahaha

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Captain really wanted a good Italian meal when we are in Chicago. We were very lucky to get a last minute balcony seat here at Ristorante Volare. I thought the balcony seat was perfect – there was a heater right on top of me, it was nice and quiet (inside was very rowdy), and we got to people watch and still gaze at the city while eating dinner.
I tried the small portion of seafood pasta with pink sauce (because I was really craving and hoping to get some more of the Naf Naf Grill hehe). It was pretty good and the portion was exactly what I was hoping for. I got to try a little bit of Captain’s chicken too and that was quite delicious. It was a nice restaurant and lots of great stuff to try. Although I still am missing my Naf Naf Grill and Shake Shack as I am typing this right now, it was a great way to sort of wrap up the Great Chi Trip at this quaint restaurant.

6. Sears Tower… SkyDeck!
https://flic.kr/p/WfH6K4
So, as many of you are aware we weren’t able to go to SkyDeck the second day in Chi because the line was crazy long. This time, we thought since we’ve seen the Chicago360 in the day, we might as well try SkyDeck in the evening 🙂 I’ve been so excited to visit the SkyDeck after seeing all the instagram photos about the glass boxes. Somehow I was not afraid to try the glass box at all while I was pretty paranoid about Chicago 360 tilt lol That was really an experience to say you’ve done it 😛
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FYI, there was still a line to get to the top, but luckily, it was not as crazy as the day before. Also, there was long lines to take photos at the glass boxes :O We arrived at the perfect time to see the sunset and the city turned into city of lights. Very romantic!
Captain was smart enough to walk around to scout the lines when I was waiting in one of the lines that seemed like it did not move at all. We eventually waited at the last line where there’s staff to help take photos so it moved quicker than the rest. It was honestly 1 minute of fame 😛 We quickly smiled, took photos, and called it an evening.

I loved everything I was able to see and do in Chicago. It was truly an unforgettable trip and safe to say I went at an excellent time – perfect weather, perfect travel buddy, perfect everything x

It’s hard to know when would be the next time I’ll get to visit Chicago, but I will be thinking about this trip for a very long time – perhaps because I haven’t been able to go anywhere since January, or the fact that it turned out to be everything more I was hoping for.
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