Day 58: Back to Chicago for a play date.
Our day in Chicago yesterday was a long one but we decided to head back into the city again today. We have some friends who live near Wrigley field and we decided to visit them so our kids can meet for a little playdate.
The South Shore Line has a slightly different schedule on the weekends so we got to sleep in an extra hour as opposed to yesterday. That got us into Chicago just past 11AM. After walking a couple of blocks west we arrived at the Lake station of L train. We needed to take the red line to Wrigley field.
Mila was last on a subway train during our trip to Paris last year. During that trip, we also stayed in the country-side and took a commuter train into Paris and hopped on the subway to do some of our exploring. Just like last time, she was not very pleased with how loud the trains are as they pulled into the station.
The train dropped us off just outside of Wrigley Field. Our buddy Jonathon who lives here with his wife and two boys is a major Cubs fan. Across the street from the stadium, all of the buildings have erected stadium seats on their roofs and sell tickets for them during home games. It started years ago when people who live in these buildings would just gather on the rooftop and watch the game. Now all of the seats are managed by a company who owns most of the buildings. Tickets are between $150 and $200 but it includes food and drinks. It is actually a pretty good deal considering you won’t have to deal with the inflated prices of the stadium grub. The Cubs actually get 17% of all of the sales as a licensing fee since they ‘own’ the entertainment rights. If the building owners decided to not pay that ‘licensing’ fee, walls were threatened to be erected to block views into the stadium.
You’d think with all of these visits to football and baseball stadiums we are fans of these sports. Actually we don’t hardly watch any football or baseball games these days. We haven’t had cable or satellite for years and since we started traveling, we don’t really get to catch any games from the road.
We met up with Jonathon and Angie with their boys Bennett and Davis. Bennett is 4 years old and Davis is just a few months older than Luka. They use to live in California but are both native mid-westerners. They moved back a few years ago and decided to make Chicago their new home.
They live in a really cool neighborhood called Wrigleyville. I think the origin of the name needs no explanation.
Just a cross the street from their house is a dive of a hot dog and burger joint called Byron’s. Byron and his staff was recently flown to Washington DC to cater a cookout at the White House. Even though Obama was known as a south Chicagoan during his time here, he was a fan of Byron’s. Just look at the grease-soaked paper bags. That alone is a good reason to eat there.
The burgers were inexpensive and delicious. It took some real will power to take this picture of it without first taking a bite.
We headed out to a neighborhood park for the kids to play after lunch. Even though it is a busy part of town next to the baseball stadium, it is actually very quiet when you are just a couple of blocks into the residential area.
Jonathon pretended to be an alligator as Ava did her best Indiana Jones impression.
The kids had a great time playing but our visit was short. We wanted to get back before it got dark so we headed out after just a couple of hours into our visit.
We have probably a 2 1/2 hour commute on 2 trains ahead of us so we said good bye to our friends. The girls and Bennett had never met until today but they really enjoyed their time together.
This will be our last visit to Chicago and probably the state of Illinois for awhile as we headed back on the train towards Indiana. We will need to decide where we want to go next from our campground at Indiana Dunes but it will be nice to take things slower for awhile.
over and out,
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