Monday, July 14, 2008


C H I C A G O…… Chad & I headed off to Chicago for the ACT Enrollment Planner’s Conference last Tuesday. I, along with my boss Stephen Allen, were selected to present at the conference about my current position of Off-Site Admissions Counselor. Presentation went great – but more importantly – the sightseeing was ever better! We had a list of things we wanted to see and do and we crossed most off the list:

I SCORED by getting selected as one of 10 out of about 75 people who put their name in the ticket lottery. You go 2 hours before the show and put your name in the hat. If you get drawn out you can purchase up to 2 front row tickets for $25/each. After 3 trips down to the theatre – we finally got it! [I had actually won the same lottery in New York a few years ago – I must have the luck!] Lisa, Stephen’s wife, was selected that day too – so the 4 of us got to see the show. It was once again very ‘Popular’ with our crowd!

Millennium Park is beautiful! The first day we got to Chicago we walked around the park and saw ‘The Bean’ – quite cool. We also got to see the Grant Park Orchestra & Choir practice for a show later in the week. It was awesome to sit in the Pitzker Pavillion, relax and hear the beautiful music.

WRIGLEY FIELD & the CHICAGO CUBS Go Cubs! We scored tickets with a hook-up from an Insurance Broker Chad works with. Wrigley Field is an awesome stadium. The fans are crazy & it had to be the loudest baseball game I’ve ever been to. Cubs vs. Giants – Cubs win 3 -1. “Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!” We even got to ride the 'El' out to Wrigley – another item on the list!

Everyone told us we had to try authentic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, so we tried Giordano’s [2 out of 4 stars in our book]. We didn’t taste what all of the excitement was about. We continued our pursuit for Authentic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and grabbed a pie at Gino’s East. It was better [3 out of 4 stars], but not all we had hoped it would be.

We did leave our mark on the wall at Gino's East:
Hot Diggity Dog – great place for the classic Chicago Dog! I didn’t think I would dig it – but I did! [3.5 out of 4 stars].

This was one of our favorites. We went on a 90-minute boat tour of the Chicago River and learned all about the architecture of Chicago. It was stunning and very interesting. The Wrigley & Tribune Buildings were our favorite. Our hotel had an awesome historic tower where our room was located – Here’s our view:

We checked out Navy Pier on a rainy night. Our favorite part was watching the lighting storm at the end of the Pier.

We love the TV show ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’ on the Food Network. On one of the shows, Guy visited the White Palace 24-Hour Grill in Chicago. We looked it up and it didn’t seem TOO far from our hotel – so off we headed one night for a late dinner [It’s just our style too – instead of a fancy place on the river – a romantic chicken fried steak will do for us!]. We walked, and walked, and walked. We even started singing ‘Pioneer Children Sang as the Walked, and Walked, and Walked’ to make the time pass. 2.6 miles later – we made it. Funny enough – It wasn’t as exciting as we hoped. [2 out of 4 stars].

We had SUCH a great time. Here's a 'smattering' of some other pictures. We would rate our visit 4 out of 4 stars.


David & Erin said...

What the heck? Are you still here? I'm in Chicago for work too!

Emily said...

What a fun trip! We are jealous!!!

The Hughes' said...

Ahhhhh MAN! Looks like you guys really had a great trip. I'm so happy you ended up seeing Wicked and a Cubs game...did you get any work done while you were there? HAHA! You guys really experienced Chicago.

Happy Birthday! LOVES!

kevin and kalie chamberlain said...

Dana, your trip looks like a total blast. GREAT pictures! I've always wanted to visit Chicago, and apparently summertime is the best time to do it!

AshleyS said...

what a beautiful city. thanks for the restaurant reviews. you should totally have your own show on the food channel. next time, the 4 of us are going on a trip together and you can win front row tickets for us 2 and the boys can go eat sushi or go golfing or whatever they like to do when they are together...

The Funderburks said...

Thanks for the report!! I am so excited to go. As always, I love how the best vacations for you and I always revolve around food!

Natalie said...

I was SO going to go to Chicago with Ben this fall- Its one the only big cities I still really want to see....BUT I will be 8 mos preggo! My dr said if I could sneak onto the plane, she'd let me go, but I'm not sure if I'd be up for walking quite so much to see everything! Maybe next time huh?

Shakespear Family said...

Hey! I miss you! Sounds like a great trip. The Wicked winning is awesome. We hear you on the deep dish...when we were there we were not so impressed either. Looks like a great time with just a little work smashed in! We hope to see you soon! Love ya.

PS I loved the pancakes!

Hali said...

Um...Can you say JEALOUS!

I got to go to Phoenix for the job. Lame.

Glad you had a fun trip!

Jeanine said...

I am so jealous! My students got to go compete at Nationals in Chicago and I couldn't take them because I was 2 weeks from having Sadie. I was soo sad. They went to just about every place you have on your list. They would call me every couple of hours to give me a run down and make me feel like I was there. Chicago has a special place in my heart! They also did not like the deep dish. We researched and researched (also Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives-FAV for the best Hot Dog and pizza joints) on the pizza and thought we had a great one for them. They still rated it about a 2, like you guys. They really liked the arch tour too. I can't believe you won the tickets to Wicked! You are so lucky! They paid for theirs- but the kids LOVED it. Did you hear that it comes to SLC at the capitol theatre this next season! YES! I totally want to go-but I also hear you are basically going to have to buy season tickets to see it. So this is long sorry! I am glad you had a great time and got to have a vacation getaway!

Eardley Fam said...

I love Chicago! What a blast-I can't believe you scored front row tickets to Wicked-twice! Looks like you guys did it all!

Adam and Kollen Marchant Family said...

Oh wow, what fun. Glad you guys had a good time.

KFinley said...

That trip is awesome - it get me excited to go there! Chris is going there to see a game in a couple weeks and I'm planning a weekend train trip over! Hooray for Chicago! Plus, I'm so jealous about Wicked - but I'm going to buy tickets to it hour and a half! Go T-Birds!