Brad visits Chicago.

Brad in Chicago

Did I mention that my good friend Brad came to visit last week? I first met Brad in Memphis where we spent many hours watching the Grizzlies, playing pool, and hanging out here. Brad now lives in Nashville. We make every effort to see him whenever we’re in the Music City area visiting my sister. When we saw Brad last, he told us he was planning on paying us a visit real soon. True to his word, Brad was checking into our guest room three weeks later.

Since he was only here for three days, we were only able to scratch the surface at what Chicago has to offer. But nevertheless, we had a lot of fun. And since Brad is a professional photographer, I was able to use the opportunity to be the shutterbug that I am. Here are a few photos from past week:

Chicago Skyline

One of the first places I took him was the Museum Campus where one can catch an amazing view of the Chicago skyline. I’m posting my photo but it doesn’t compare to the panoramic one Brad created in Photoshop.

U of Chicago

Afterward, we headed south on Lake Shore Drive towards Hyde Park. I knew that he wanted to check out the Museum of Science and Industry. Not for the exhibits but for the building itself since it was a part of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. While we were in the neighborhood, he also wanted to check out Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. We also explored the beautiful University of Chicago campus. Check out the overgrowth on the buildings in the photo above!

After we spent several hours in Hyde Park, we ventured downtown for dinner and a free concert a Millennium Park (see post below). Afterwards, along with Apryl, we walked Michigan Avenue to the John Hancock Observatory. Between the Sears Tower and the Hancock, the Hancock is my favorite in that it provides a grander view of the city.

However, Apryl and I were a bit shocked at all the additions since the last time we had been to the Hancock with Apryl’s mom. Now, there is a free audio headset provided where as David Schwimmer gives you a tour of the many sights. Also, there is a coffee shop with even a few tables. And at all times, you are being serenaded with bad pop music through the speaker system. Still, you can’t beat that view. See below:

Chicago view

I have to say, I was proud of my new camera. A shot as sharp as the one above wouldn’t have been possible with my previous Canon Power Shot.

LSD

Here is a shot looking north at Lake Shore Drive.

On that first day, we did a lot of walking. On our way back home, we walked through Millennium Park once more and I grabbed this shot from the garden.

garden city

Not only was there a lot of walking, but there was a lot of heat. This was literally the first week of summer and it felt like it for sure. For Brad’s entire trip, the highs were in the upper 90’s. As I explained to him, though, the next week’s highs might be in the 70’s. Sure enough, that’s just what happened.

hot dougs

The next day I took Brad to one of my favorite places to get a hot dog, Hot Dougs. I have heard of folks waiting hours in line to get their hands on a Hot Doug dog. There was a line when we arrived but we luckily made it through in less than twenty minutes.

Brad and Hot Dougs

I believe it’s safe to say Brad thought the dog was worth the wait. What’s funny about this photo is that he’s holding a ketchup bottle in his left hand. Putting ketchup on a Chicago hot dog is a real no no. And I can assure you that Brad followed the long Chicago tradition, and used the ketchup only for his fries.

Chinatown

The White Sox happened to be in town playing against the number one team in baseball, the Dodgers. So I got us some upper deck seats, and we headed out to he ballpark. But first, we made a pit stop at Chinatown. Chinatown is only one train stop from the Sox stadium, so we took in some sights and grabbed dinner.

sox and dodgers

At the game, Brad confessed to me that this was his first attended Major League baseball game. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a well played one for the Sox. When Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked, after the series wrapped up, why the attendance was so low for the Dodgers games, he responded “because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans. They know we’re [insert expletive here].” Still, after that loss, the Sox have won 6 out of their last 7 games. And as amazing at it sounds, the Sox are currently in 2nd place in the AL Central Division.

Sox view

This is the view you see as you’re leaving the Sox stadium.

That night we lived up old times at The Map Room. So much so, that we slept in on his last day, and barely got in a lunch before we had to head out to the Midway airport. Still, it was a great time spent with an old friend.

You can check more photos from Brad’s visit here.

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