I’m exhausted. My weekend trip to visit Amanda in Chicago turned into a tour of some of the local drinking establishments… with a little sightseeing thrown in on the side. I also left my mobile phone in a shuttle, so am phoneless.

I arrived slightly later than planned on Friday. My flight out of Boston was delayed by some gum on a seatbelt, and I consequently missed my connecting flight by a few minutes (despite running and skipping the security queue). I was put on the next flight about ten minutes later thankfully. I caught the Omega shuttle down to the University of Chicago’s area of Hyde Park. Being on the south side, Hyde Park is something of an oasis of middle class surrounded by poor/rough neigbourhoods. There are certain streets one just doesn’t go past…

We started the late afternoon with free post-doc beers (one), and a few greasy fries. The evening saw us off toward Wicker Park, a popular eating and drinking area. We first sat outside at a bar for a pre-dinner drink (two), and then had some pizza and beer around the corner (three). We only got the medium size pizza, since the large ones were about the size of a table. Following dinner we met up with some others at a generic loud bar with lots of televisions (four), before moving on to a German place (five). This was one of those places that serves 1 liter steins. More curiously it had aussie rules footy on one of the tv’s.

this tee shirt is popular everywhere!

We were eventually kicked out (at closing), but since we weren’t done we went on to a blues bar (six) until they finished up too. Don’t ask how we got home, well to where we stayed anyway since we didn’t make it home…

We headed back to Hyde Park via town, using the “L” for a tour around the town loop. Being a few floors off the street, the train is a great way to see some of the buildings in the middle of the city. The Chicago River runs through the middle of town, and looks very cool with skyscrapers rising from right next to it, and being crossed regularly with old iron bridges.

The next evening started quietly, with good food and a beer at a restaurant (seven). We then started our tour of some more local bars, hosted by local Ken. He first took us to what looked to me like the American “idea” bar (eight), where we started on some of the incredibly cheaply priced midwestern beer. Next was a very local feeling place (nine), where we sat outside on plastic chairs at plastic tables and drank margaritas from plastic cups. After that was a place with lots of Elvis stuff on the walls (ten), but also other junk. Apparently there was another New Zealander, but my Flight of the Conchords tee didn’t draw them out… The last bar of the evening (eleven) had $3.25 gin and tonic. We made it home after giving a taxi driver blow-by-blow directions, which is a little odd in a city set out like a grid with numbered streets.

Sunday started slowly, but we eventually made it toward town, and walked up to some beaches. Hunger drove us to a bar (twelve!) for some meat and a beer. We went to another local person’s house for a bit of a wine tasting party after that, before heading home much in the same manner as Saturday night (i.e. giving directions to a Taxi driver).

some tall buildings

Thanks Amanda for an awesome weekend!

A few more photos are here. There are also some from drinking wine on Sunday night here.

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