We live 50 miles NW of Chicago.  One of the greatest cities in the world is in our backyard and we don’t take advantage of it as much as we should.  Um, turns out Tony as big a fan of the city as me, so whenever I can get a chance to go to Chicago with my Mom, sister or daughter, I jump at the chance.

As luck would have it, Hannah and her boyfriend both had the day off so we met downtown at the train station.  Our train station window is only open during rush hour in the morning, so I had cash to buy my ticket on the train.  I got a paper, got my seat on the top level of the train, and when the conductor walked by asking for tickets, I heard a clicking of a ticket being punched, and then he moved on.

I looked down and there was a 10-ride ticket right in front of where I was sitting.  When we got to Chicago, no one claimed it around me, so I picked it up and as luck would have it, it had one punch left for my trip home.  Someone must have left it by accident!  It would have cost me $13.50 round trip for my ticket!

The restaurant we were eating at was right by Hannah’s work.  She hooked me up with a lot of bread!  Hannah said that anything already made or sliced can’t go to a food coop, so she brought me three cheese miche bread, sundried tomato and sourdough bread.  I think I love bread just as much as I love cheese!

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We stopped by Hannah’s school to return some books she rented now that her semester is over.  That went by really fast!

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Tamarind was a multi-cultural restaurant.  I was tempted by a few Indian dishes, but in the end I decided to go with a beef pho.  It has shaved pieces of tender beef, beef meatballs and a side of fixings to add – you know I spiced mine up!

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My soup came in this gorgeous container – it had noodles on the bottom, but sadly I forgot to say no onions!  There were long strands of onions, luckily I was able to pick them out from the noodles, but it was kind of a pain in the ass.  Why do onions even need to exist?  Hannah insisted on buying lunch – thanks Hanners! 😀

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We then walked to Macy’s (Marshall Field’s back in my day) to see the Christmas windows.  I was a bit disappointed because back in the day, you started at one end and it told a story from window to window.  These windows were all individual and didn’t seem to have a theme going at all.

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We then went to Old Navy, H&M, and a few other stores on State Street before heading to Michigan Avenue.  If we had planned a little better, we would have gone ice skating at Millennium Park.  When Hannah was little we used to go ice skating every Friday night for open skate night – we had our own skates back then and it only cost us $1 each for 2 hours of skating.  Hannah would skate circles around me, I never got very good at it!

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We then headed over to the bean:

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The weather wasn’t bad at all – about 39 degrees, not a whole lot of wind.  We walked for miles and I loved it.  That’s one thing about living in the sticks, you never can walk to anywhere.  You could walk for 45 minutes and never actually get to anything!

I caught the express train home – my trip to the city took an hour and fifteen minutes.  My return was only 50 minutes. Open-mouthed smile   While I don’t miss the commute to Chicago, I do miss being able to go to different restaurants on my lunch break.   Frontera Grill and Heaven on Seven were two of my favorites.

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So we smiled, laughed, ate and enjoyed our day in Chicago!   Sure beats going to work if you ask me. Open-mouthed smile

Updated:  I forgot to add two pics from my Instagram!

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I ended up making smoked sausage and Zataran’s black beans and rice for dinner.  We both agreed that the red beans and rice tastes better, but it wasn’t bad.

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Now back to reality.  Off to get ready for work – looking forward to my lunch time workout today, and I am making chicken enchiladas for dinner.

Make it a great day!