Chi Ca Go Chi Ca Go Chi Ca Go

We just got back from one of the greatest cities in the world.  Chicago.  Although, I’ve not been around the complete planet, I’ve seen enough to know a good city when I see one.  It helps to have someone who grew up there show you around.  You will bypass all the ugly parts of a town.

I’ll never forget the time I took my son to New York for his first time.  He was scared to death.  To tell you the truth, so was I.   My aunt made reservations for us at a hotel  she had vacationed at a zillion years ago.  You might say this part of town became a little forlorn.  Some of the mugs that met us on the street seemed very threatening.   We weren’t used to protective city glances coming from pristine Orange County, California.   This trip was around 1988, before Governor Rudy Giuliani took over and cleaned up the mess.  Before that, it smelled on every corner and I don’t mean sweet!  This trip was a graduation present to my son.  I wanted to take him to see live theater and get some quality “Mom and Son” time before he left the nest.   We stuck pretty close together until we left NYC to visit relatives in Syracuse where we could relax and be ourselves again.

photo by shutter runner

Chicago is the clean “Windy City” due to the beautiful Lake Michigan.  The endless horizon line is filled with crystal turquoise water.  The atmosphere of the lake and Lincoln Park made the perfect setting for the tremendous array of Chicago Museums, and the amazing historical architecture.

If you want to gain five pounds fast, let me introduce you to a few spots.  Our first stop to celebrate our mini vacation was at Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse.  I think the martini was the best I’ve ever tasted. The second night at Maggiano’s.  I was bummed that I forgot my doggie bag of flatbread.  After dinner, we joined my brother-in-law, Bob Solone at the piano bar.  If you’ve not heard Bobby, may I suggest you make it an evening.    For crowd-pleasing, he will put on his Elton John rims,  or surprise you with Willie Nelson. His classical side is where you’ll see his true talent.  Here’s what Curt Davis of New York Post said about him, “Bob Solone has a nice classical feel that becomes a flourish in contemporary material.”

Ok, now the third night, I’m starting to get fat!  You cannot leave town until you’ve tried Pizanno’s on State Street.  It’s a must and breakfast for the next morning.  It’s also a good thing that there is a pool in our complex so I could work off some of the poundage.  The next day, for lunch we went to a family picnic celebration.  I’m eating, I’m drinking, I’m gaining some more.  Oh well, that’s what R&R are all about, right?

Chicago is my suggestion for the next big city to put on your vacation list.  What is your suggestion?


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