ice skating and red robin: Chicago travel guide

January 24, 2016

After we got donuts at Do Rite, we went back to Meg’s place for a second, and then went ice skating. It did not go so well for my best friend (we found out a week or so later that she’d broken her arm when she fell). We decided to go to the lessons the following day – meaning I would be taking the L back downtown since I was heading to stay with family that night. No big.

So we set out for Millennium Park. On the way, we passed the lions in front of the Art Institute. We listened to the North Lion (the one at the back of this picture) before, so we stopped to listen to the South Lion. They’re both so great.

See the blue sign in this picture? That’s the sign for the statues that talk.

This sign was just amusing. Meg and I both pet the lion.

Photo op while the ice was being resurfaced (aka Zamboned).

The rink as we were leaving…

From the ice rink, we got Starbucks (I think. Honestly it’s getting a little hard to keep track of all the times we got Starbs because we were so cold) and then went back to Meg’s for leftover breakfast sausages and then headed to the Metra station for the lovely trip into the suburbs where my grandmother lives.

So we took the Metra, my cousin picked us up in Park Ridge (uptown!), and the three of us got Chipotle. I’m not destined to be a food blogger, apparently, because I didn’t even stop to take a picture. It was very good (but I still prefer Freebirds), but we were pretty hungry. We took Meg back to the L station (adventure!) and then off to grandma’s house we go.

The next morning, I bundled up and took the L into the city. I’d made that trip before, so I was on the watch for a particular graffiti spot. It’s just past the California stop. See the otters that are almost hidden behind the white vans?

Then it was ice skating lessons time! More accurately, it was “it’s raining downtown and I’m either getting sick or my allergies are kicking my butt”, so I stopped into a Walgreens on my way to meet up with Meg at the rink. One purchase of cough drops and Zyrtec D later, and I was on my way to Millennium Park.

It was so cool to just get off the L and walk. I figured out where I was going, I met up with my best friend, and I realized that I probably should have taken an umbrella, because the wind isn’t as rough on them in the city as it is in Corpus.

Still, the rain pretty much stopped by the time the lesson started. Due to it, though, there weren’t many of us there. That was GREAT, because we were able to learn a LOT OF STUFF.

I definitely plan on taking lessons as soon as I move somewhere that actually, you know, has lessons.

After the lesson ended, we went to get a couple quick tourist shots of the Bean…

Then it was off to lunch…

Red Robin! The place was T I N Y – we actually moved around a couple times, trying to get a bigger table. I first asked if they had gluten free buns, and the cashier said YES but then explained that they DO gluten free, but not actual buns. They do the lettuce buns instead. Fair enough. I got that (though note to self, I prob should just get the burger and eat it with a fork. I’m bad at burgers) and fries, and it was good!

I love having options downtown. While we didn’t go all out, we have plans to do a little more exploring – L riding and walking farther than the river and maybe even a Metra trip to cute suburbs – in THE SUMMER, when it’s WARM.

But even still, there are lots of places to safely eat in downtown Chicago. What are your favorites? Let me know! I’ll always have reasons to go to the city, and I love options.

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