Chicago 2013


I write this article to you from the warmth and comfort of my own home, which is a stark contrast to the cold and inevitable wind experienced while tramping my way around Chicago this past weekend. Michaela and I ventured up there to visit some very good friends of ours, who were excellent hosts (thanks Bethany and Joe!) and showed us our way around the city.


Our first day we arrived late in the afternoon, checking into our hotel  and eventually meeting up with Bethany and Joe. After a brief walk around the Hyde Park area, and a stop at a small diner-ish restaurant  to indulge myself in chocolate chip pancakes, we retired to our friend’s apartment to plan the next day’s adventures. (And eat a ridiculously oversized Chicago style deep dish pizza!)

Hope you're hungry
Hope you’re hungry!

Eventually we snaked our way back to our hotel, only to wake up a few hours later to the sound of some jackass using a jackhammer on the street below our window. I suppose in Chicago, 5AM is the proper time to continue construction work. I guess I didn’t need to sleep anyways!

The next day we headed off to the famed Chicago Navy Pier. Now, even though it was October, the cool air and wind out on the lake made for only a slightly uncomfortable day. However, if it had been February, you can imagine that it would be damn near impossible!

The Gates to Windy Hell
The Gates to Windy Hell.

First order of business was to ride that damned freezing Ferris Wheel, even if it was a bit windy. The ride was well worth it though, as I was able to get some really nice shots and footage using my new Canon G15 camera.
(I’ll post the video of our trip to Chicago on this site at a later date, so keep and eye out for that.)
After the ride, we ventured inside to eventually find ourselves in line for one of Chicago’s most beloved food vendors: City Dogs. The appeal of this establishment is to serve various variations of the Hot Dog from around the country in the same place. Each dog is named after the city it was created in. I went with the Dallas Dog, which is a distant cousin to something you’d find in Cincinnati. Bun, hotdog, chili, onions and cheese round out this tasty delight. My cohorts decided to stick with the current situation and get the Chicago Dog, which has lord-knows-what on it. We all were pretty amused at the company’s menus and signs, which wreaked to high heaven of dry humor!

Do as you're told!
Do as you’re told!

As we were leaving the pier, I remembered a picture that I had been in from 2003 when I very first visited Chicago. It was a picture of me jumping over a set of statues that looked like they were rehearsing fighting moves to be in the next version of The Matrix. Remembering how much of a physical freak I was back then, I wanted to see if I still had it in me to jump over the statues with my current physical condition.

Sad to say, it did not happen.

Move along, fatty.
Move along, fatty.

We eventually made our way back to our host’s apartment for a nicely cooked dinner and a short marathon of movies, before heading back to the hotel for a decent nights rest.

Our final day in the windy city brought near freezing temperatures, rain, and a huge appetite for Thai food to the mix. We ventured around the University of Chicago campus for a bit, stumbling upon a gorgeous gothic styled church that was just begging me to film and photograph it. I agreed, and we went inside to warm up and scope the place out.

After filming and photographing for a solid 20 minutes, I decided to make a somewhat questionable maneuver and take a break, sitting down in the seat that’s reserved for the priest. It was a gorgeous view of the place, and the seat itself was actually quite comfy!

Lord Phantom
Lord Phantom

After finishing up our impromptu shoot, we headed off to a very nice Thai restaurant called The Snail. I ordered a huge plate of Thai Chicken Fried Rice, and had some egg rolls on the side. If you’re in the Southside/Hyde Park area anytime soon (and like Thai food) then don’t pass up the opp to scope this place out. Well worth it! After that, we packed our bags and hit the road.

Anywho, that’s all I got for this one. This will be the last post I make from the comfort of my own home. Next week, I finally depart for my long awaited working holiday to New Zealand. Keep an eye out here for all the latest intel on how to talk Elvish, eat plants, and steal penguins. It’s gonna be a hell of a ride!

Mr. Fancy Pants.
Mr. Fancy Pants.

Be sure to eat lots of candy this Halloween, and as always, stay frosty.
– Phantom Out.

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