The US Part 3: Chicago

Monday, 18 August 2014

We had 1.5 days in Chicago, and right on cue I got ill.

It started with a slight ear ache, and then on the flight from San Francisco it turned into an excruciating pain, and suddenly I felt very sick indeed. What we had previously planned to be an action packed 36 hours of non-stop sightseeing would have to be put on hold, because I was finding it difficult to leave our hotel room.

The whole morning of our first day was spent in a drop in clinic around the corner from our hotel, and luckily once they'd diagnosed an ear infection and dosed me up on antibiotics, I felt ready to muster enough strength to face the day.

Rich had been the most patient, brilliant nurse you could imagine, and if he was disappointed about the number of things we were missing out on, he didn't let on. Instead, he tried to buoy my spirits in every way he could think of.

Knowing that food is the best way to put a smile on my face, this started with brunch at Bub City.

The US does brunch like nowhere else I have been before. It's not like the UK, where 'brunch' really means breakfast because they don't offer much over and above an Eggs Benedict, a Full English or a croissant and rarely continue serving beyond midday. And it's not like Qatar, where 'brunch' is the nickname us greedy expats give to 'shovelling as many different food types down your throat as you can within the space of four hours while drinking until you see it all again'. 

Saturday brunch in the US is an institution - a social time with friends in an uber cool establishment accompanied an extensive menu that includes foreign items such as 'grits' (coarsely ground corn kernels boiled with water or milk)
and 'biscuits' (which are actually savoury scones), usually washed down
with an exotic sounding Bloody Mary variant.

From the pavement terrace where we were seated, we ordered all of the above, accompanied by a different form of egg and meat, and enjoyed people watching while we waited for it all to arrive.

And when it did, it was a delight.

Cheered by the hearty meal, we abandoned our rigid itinerary and decided that the best way to tackle the remainder of our day was to take a leisurely walk through the city to soak up some of the sights.

At Millenium Park, we admired some of the sculptures

Before rounding the corner to our first view of the most famous of them all, the shiny, beaming beauty of Cloud Gate (or 'The Bean' as it's more affectionately known).

We paused to watch a bride in a bright blue wedding dress pose for photos (only in America)

Before going to pose for some of our own in The Bean's reflective surface.

Selfie heaven.

Then it was, of course, very important to take a photo from every angle imaginable in order to ensure we captured the sculpture's full beauty.

When we had exhausted every option, on strict doctors orders, it was time to return to bed, with a Chicago Deep Dish pizza for company

And a beautiful view.

Chicago, we didn't see nearly enough of you

But I promise we'll be back one day.