Reviews Travel

3 Things to do in Chicago, IL

August 16, 2015

Chicago, IL

Skyline View of Chicago, IL

View from the top of the Willis Tower in downtown Chicago, IL.

While Lacey was busy in Wisconsin performing matron-of-honor- duties last week, I decided to check out Chicago, IL for a day.  Being that I only had 1 day to burn, I needed to come up with a plan to make sure I experienced as much as I could.  If Chicago were water, I was going to drink it through a fire hose.  If Chicago were a beer, I was about to shotgun it.

Step 1: See the entire city

I only had an hour or 2 to complete this step, so I went to the tallest building in the city for help. The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).

view from the Skydeck Ledge in the Willis Tower, Chicago.

The Skydeck “Ledge” was an experience I’ll never forget. 103 stories down.


Step 2: Eat Chicago Style Pizza – Gino’s East

Being from Idaho, I’ve only had rip-off versions of Chicago Style pizza.  It was time to experience the real thing.  I left the Willis Tower and hopped a bus to the legendary Gino’s East pizza joint.  Not only was it the best pizza I’ve had in my life, it was one of the cooler restaurant atmospheres I’ve ever seen.  You didn’t need to hear any of the stories to know that there was a ton of history behind this place.  My only regret is that I didn’t take a white-out pen to write my name on the wall.  …you’ll see what I mean in the images below.  Side note, did anyone else know Chicago Style pizza puts the sauce on top of the cheese? How’s your mind? Blown? Mine too.

Men husk: Ansvaret for dit helbred ligger hos klik dig og din læge. Vi skriver ikke recepter, vi kommer med anbefalinger. Stol på vores mening eller ej – det er op til dig.

Gino's East, Chicago

Line outside of Gino’s East in Chicago.

Gino's East deep dish pizza

I would have written “Mat 8-7-15, Lacey M.I.A.”

Gino's East Chicago Style Pizza

I can usually finish half a pizza by myself. At Gino’s East, I was done after 2 slices.

Gino's East Celebrity Wall

Row of celebrity pictures/autographs upstairs near the bathrooms.


Step 3: Experience Wrigley Field

Even if you’re not a baseball fan, go see the Cubs play at Wrigley Field.  This is one of the most beautiful and historic parks left standing.  Take someone you care about, because you’re going to want to reminisce about this day with them down the road.  Eat a hot dog, grab a beer, interact with some inspired locals.  Once you see the Cubs play (and hopefully win) at Wrigley Field, you can head home from your vacation with a strong understanding of what this city and its people are all about.  The 7th inning stretch “take me out to the ballgame” performance from the 35k+ fans on hand was one of the coolest things I think I’ll ever witness.

Wrigley Field, Chicago

I felt proud of my ex-teammate Jon Lester as I saw his image covering the stadium

Wrigley Field Scoreboard

6 rows behind the Cubs dugout.

Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson

Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson shagging batting practice.

Wrigley Field Night Game

A guy in front of me got DRILLED by a foul ball.



Chicago is a beautiful city.  Public transportation is easy to use (even for me).  The next time I go, I want to hit up the Field Museum to see the T-Rex fossil.  I also hear there is a world famous cup-cake joint somewhere in the city.  The only thing I wish were different about the above mentioned trip was that I didn’t have my partner in crime with me.  Lacey would love this city.

L Train in Chicago

One of my final views of the city as I waited for my train to Milwaukee.


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  • Top 15 from 2015 | Ditching Normal | Lifestyle, Travel, Reviews December 30, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    […] Chicago quickly became a favorite city of Mat’s following his visit this summer.  While Gino’s East had delicious pizza and the baseball game at Wrigley Field was amazing…nothing will top the experience from the top of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).  Standing in the glass box looking down 100+ stories will make for a life long memory.  The full details of this trip can be found in a previous post here. […]