Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wrigleyville, Wrigley Field, Grant Park, and Carson's

To follow along on our Chicago journey and see all the posts to-date I've done, click the picture below!
 photo Day2Chicago-June1536_zps7943754b.jpg
For our third day in Chicago, I had set up a Wrigley Field Tour for us - so we decided to spend the morning in Wrigleyville. They just celebrated their 100 year anniversary of the field, so it's definitely an important baseball landmark. It is the second oldest ballpark (Fenway Park is older by 2 years in 1912). In fact, it's so old, there are actual features in the park that are historical landmarks and therefore cannot be touched. The marquee, the grandstands and bleachers, the brick wall and ivy, and the center field scoreboard are all historical landmarks.
Funny story. Did you know if you put something into your Calendar in California and then travel to Illinois, your calendar will automatically change everything ahead two hours?!? Grr. We were therefore two hours late for our tour and subsequently had to go into my iPhone and change all my calendar appointments for our travels back two hours. Thankfully, they were completely fine with us hopping on the 2pm tour. Oops!

Because we thought our tour was at 2pm, we decided to get to Wrigleyville at about 11:00, that way we could spend time walking around town, have time to eat lunch, and still give us time to shop for souvenirs. 

Normally, because I'm a crazy person, I know where I'm going to eat before I travel. I don't have a rigid agenda (on Friday I'm going to eat at "this" particular restaurant), but more of a list of places that are good in the area. So when we went to Chicago, we got recommendations and had a list of about 7 places we wanted to go. That way, each day when we knew what we were going to do, we could see which places were near there and then decide accordingly. We usually planned out our meals in the morning before we left the hotel. It saves us a lot of "where do you want to eat?...I don't care...where do YOU want to eat?" conversations. That wasn't the case with Wrigleyville, though. We decided we'd just go and walk around and see what was around there. Our requirements for lunch were that we wanted American baseball-ish food (or pub food) and good beer. And so we came to Goose Island Wrigleyville. We had heard a lot about their beer and even had one of their beers, 312 Urban pale ale, at Giordano's the night before.

Instead of getting two beers for us, we decided to do a tasting - which was amazing! I would totally recommend it and if it hadn't been 11:30 in the morning, I'd probably suggest doing two of them so we could have tried eight beers!
We also got fried pickles. Oh holy moly. If I had had any idea they would have been like this, there is no way I would have gotten lunch. This was a meal all on its own. Mr. Howard had the Stilton Burger, which he really liked and I had a Caesar salad.
We only tried beers that were brewed at Goose Island, that we couldn't get anywhere else. We got the Wrigleyville White (which was my favorite), Hefeweizen, CoolShades, and Cubby Blue.
The restaurant was EMPTY, but we didn't care. We had a great time sampling beer and eating our pub food!
After lunch, we showed up for our tour!
Such fun
We were able to see the seating bowl, press box, bleachers, visitor's clubhouse, cubs' clubhouse, cubs' dugout, and field. Everything was amazing!
Hubby even got to sit in the visitor's clubhouse. It is VERY unimpressive physically, but when you think about all the AMAZING baseball players who sat and stood in this very room - it is chill-worthy - people like Babe Ruth (who pointed to the center field bleachers and then hit a home run in that exact direction in the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field), Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan...and so many greats.
Here's where the visiting team gets ready.

We were able to look inside the cubs' clubhouse (but not go in). It was pretty cool seeing their uniforms and everything all ready for their next game. 
I always think of the strangest questions, but this made me think, "do you think they wash their own uniforms?" Mr. Howard laughed at me. 
We got to go into the cubs' dugout (I'm taking the photo with my back to the stairs for the dugout) and the field. There were several people who were trying to pick up dirt from the field to take home.
It really was a cool experience! Even though we aren't cubs' fans, it was fun to see such a historical field.
After our tour, we decided to walk around Grant Park and ---.

I literally can't get over how pretty the Lake Michigan backdrop with the cityscape of Chicago. 
 In Grant Park, we went to Buckingham Fountain, which shoots water 150 feet into the air. It really is crazy.
 I didn't know at the time, but they do a light/music water show after dusk every day.
 These photos were taken near the Adler Planetarium:
After exploring that part of the city, we walked to Carson's Prime Steaks and Famous Barbecue for dinner. A friend said we had to have their ribs, so we shared some ribs, hubby had a crab cake, and I had a soup. Everything was delicious. I wasn't feeling that great (probably from the fried pickles earlier in the day! Yikes), so I only had a couple ribs - but hubby LOVED them.

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