Day One #Chitown
The Chicago trip was a secret we kept from the old man for months. We had Chicago planned out at the start of the year and for the old mans birthday in May we simply said in a card ‘we have your present for you in the U.S’.
I was excited to hit up Chicago for numerous reason.
- See my first Mariners game as they were versing the Cubbies.
- Watch the Cubbies play.
- Visit Wrigley Field were the great Roengardner once graced the field.
- See Chicago, a city that everyone who visits say it’s amazing.
We flew out at approximately 1030am placing us in Chicago for just after 1230 landing. The plan A being that we quickly get out of the airport, grab a cab to the hotel, checkin, dump our bags and then head out to Wrigley for a 140pm kick off.
Turns out that plan wasn’t to be. The flight was fully booked and by the time I was able to board there was no more room for carry-on luggage so my bag had to be checked. When we landed in Chicago we had to then walk for what seemed like kms to get to baggage claim are, where it took about 30mins for my bag to finally show, putting us behind schedule.
Getting a cab was nice and easy, however the traffic on the main freeway was not. The taxi driver went down the express lane but even that was banked back resulting in kms of stop start, stop start…. and more stop start. By the time we had arrived at the hotel and checked in the first inning of the game was already over.View of Chicago from our hotel
Let’s Go Cubbies/Mariners: Mariners v Cubs
The cab ride to the game got us to the game after the 2nd inning and at that stage the Mariners were already done and dusted down by 3 against Lester. Walking into Wrigley, Scott and I were reciting Rookie of the Year quotes nonstop.
I couldn’t help but feel excited once we entered the park. There were people everywhere (some 40,000+) and there was definitely more of a buzz with the crowd than at Camden Yards for the Orioles. We were sitting on the 2nd tier, first base side, which had a great view of the field and was protected by the weather as there was plenty of rain forecasted for the day.Battle of the Lefties: Lester v Cano
Once we took our seats it was just unbelievable taking it all in. The crowd was pumped, the stadium was everything you thought it be, the amazing green grass, ivory outfield wall and just the classic feel of the stadium.
Despite the fact the Mariners were taken out for a nice seafood dinner it was great to watch my boys play on a field in front of me instead of every Saturday/Sunday morning on my couch.
Highlights from the game, my boy Bryant dominating with the bat (he’s in my fantasy team), dingers from Heywood and old man Ross of all people. Sardinas who’s the M’s infield utility threw a scoreless inning in relief and the 3 hotdogs Scott and I ate.
But one of the most memorable moments from the game was singing take me out to the ball game during the 7-inning stretch. No other stadium does this better than the Cubbies!
Despite a 45min rain delay and a 11-0 score we hung around while others chose to leave as soon as the covers came out. The rain delay allowed us to take some more photos and video around the stadium as well as hit up the Cub stores for some merch. I grabbed a Cubbies hat which I then put on and placed my Mariners cap on the bag, plus because it was cold and wet I grabbed a Cubbies hoodie aswell, which will work well for the few weeks of winter we will have left once I am back home.
After Game Activities
After the game we grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel – from there Scott and I decided to hit the streets to explore Chicago, hit up a bit of shopping and most importantly grab a deep-dish Chicago pie. Now we have deep-pan Pizza in Perth, but Chicago’s is on another level – the pie is about 2-3 inches thick.
We grabbed two pies a Hawaiian and a Meatlovers, but it is fair to say that Chicago deep-dish pizza doesn’t stack up to New York thin base pizza in my opinion. It was good but not great. After a few slices of pie we put on A League of Their Own and then crashed out for the night.
Day Two #Chitown
When heading to Chicago we could see that the weather wasn’t going to be the best, with high chance of clouds and rain for the 2 days we were there. The morning of our second day was no exception, we had very limited time however we had hoped to go up to the 360 Chicago Tower.
Looking out our window in the morning to see grey skies and low cloud coverage and that option was off the table.
Wrigley Field Tour
It seemed weird that we were back at Wrigley for the tour given we had already been to a game at Wrigley the day before. I was still excited for the tour so that we could walk around the stadium without 40,000 other people and learn more about the Cubbies history.
The tour starts off with the group heading on to the field right behind home plate. At the Yankees tour you aren’t allowed on the field so this was awesome. They then take you throughout the stadium and up to the left field bleachers where the guide talks about the Cubbies history. An interesting fun fact – the Cubbies could have been called the Chickens… yes they could have been called the Chicago Chickens had it not been for a smart person in the front office to veto that name!
While out in the left field bleachers we were able to see the pre-game rehearsal for the upcoming game’s national anthem celebration. There were hundreds of Cubbies fans on the field and when a specific part of the anthem played they all rolled out the giant US flag – America!
The other great part of the tour was to be able to visit different parts of the stands giving you great photo opportunities from around the stadium.
Cloud Gate ‘The Bean’Cloud Gate: instagram.com/jayfeud
After the tour we headed off to the worlds most famous bean… also known by it’s actual name cloud gate. There was a music festival not far from the bean so the place was crowded and it was hard to get some really great photo opportunities with 1000’s of people all trying to do the exact same things.
It is quite an impressive art work reflecting Chicago’s amazing city skyline and sky/clouds from all different perspectives.
If I had more time in Chicago it would be great to visit the bean at 600am in the morning when there will be less people around and also late at night to see how it looks at night. More photos of my bean experience in the gallery at the bottom of the page.
The way that Chicago is laid out gives you a sense of Melbourne, especially with the river running through the middle of the city. This allows for amazing photos/video opportunities and if we had more time it would have been great to do a tour down the river aswell. The main streets are connected to the river so it is an easy city to walk around to check out all the pubs/restaurants and shops.
Our stay in Chicago had come to an end as we relaxed at our hotel bar catching the end of the Mariners v Cubs game… which the Mariners ended up winning by getting some clutch hits off perhaps the best closer in the game, Chapman. After the game had finished it was time to head back to New York.
Knowing what I know now, it definitely would have been great to spend longer in Chicago. We only got a taste of this great city and I would like to come back soon and spend about a week here atleast.