My mission for Friday night was to eat Ethiopian food. I'd eaten Ethiopian food with college friends many times, and I was hungry for it! If you've never eaten Ethiopian food, I highly recommend it. It combines Middle Eastern/Indian flavors with the fantastic experience of injera, a bread that is also your silverware! I'd researched a place called Ras Dashen, and it totally delivered. DELICIOUS!
The next morning, Andrew and I set off for Michigan Ave. We hoped to find a sports bar along the way where we could catch the Hawkeye game vs. Indiana. We were decked out in our Hawkeye finery, of course. A guy walking his dog called to us from across the street, "Hey! Where are you going to watch the game?" We struck up a conversation, and it turns out he was an Iowa grad in sports medicine. He told us about a place across from Second City where we could watch the game. That's how we found Wells on Wells... a Hawkeye bar in the heart of Chicago!
Andrew outside Wells on Wells
me inside Wells on Wells
Our dear Hawkeyes almost gave me a heart attack (if the Hawkeyes didn't give me a heart attack, my Grilled Cheese from Hell might have... 3 kinds of cheese and actual mozzerella sticks in the sandwich!), and I was going to be pretty ticked if they didn't pull off a win after I'd spent over 3 hours of my getaway weekend sitting on a hard stool in a pub watching them. Luckily, and by the seats of their pants, they came through. We were more relieved than anything, and we went to sightsee on Michigan Ave.
We caught a quick bite at the Original Pancake House, where I finally got to try the Dutch Baby that I'd seen on Food Network. Andrew wasn't impressed. I liked it!!!
Then, for the highlight of the weekend. We drove to the Steppenwolf Theatre to see our friend Claire Wellin play Mayella Ewell in their production of To Kill a Mockingbird. This is my favorite book of all time, if you didn't know that. I also read it out loud to my 8th grade GOAL classes every year (we're on Chapter 3 right now). The whole production, from the set to the actors to the adaptation, was stellar. Andrew & I were so proud to know Claire. We've seen her on stage in Fairfield with Way Off Broadway many times, and it was so cool to see her making it big in Chicago. She was sensational... such emotional range! We were also super lucky to meet up with her in the elevator before the show, so we got hugs too. Bonus!
We took our time getting out of Chicago on Sunday, having a leisurely breakfast in the Pump Room. Before leaving the city, I wanted to see the Bean in Millenium Park. If you have never stopped at this sculpture (it's official name is Cloud Gate), you NEED TO! It's fascinating, amazing, incredible, mind-boggling, beautiful... how many more adjectives do you want? I could probably come up with a thousand! I had seen it on TV and in friends' pictures. I'm so glad I've seen it in person now. It's wonderful. It was fun seeing it and also watching other people experience it... I could have done that all day! The day was so beautiful, it was hard to believe we were in November. If you ever have some time to kill in Chicago... head to the Bean.
Cloud Gate, aka: the Bean
Trying to take our picture in the Bean's reflection... not as easy as it sounds...
Finally, someone took pity on us and took our picture!
Reflecting on our trip... literally!
It was a quick weekend, but it was totally worth it. I feel recharged for the week and for the month of November. The holidays will be here before we know it... crazy thought!