Saturday, August 10, 2013

CHI Town

Slapping some balls around in the cage

After our little road trip back from Colorado, we set up camp at Matt's family's house in an outer suburb of Chicago. Just another fantastic example of a wonderful family hosting us. Matt showed us glimps of his suburban side. Full of fast food chains, strip malls and even a batting cage. America!!! We watched playoff NBA basketball and NHL ice hockey with his family, played pool and table tennis in his basement, made some excursions to the city and found a brewery to tour. It was a good way to spend time with my best buddy after a winter season where barely a day went by that we didn't spend time together.

For a day trip, we took a drive to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Matt's sister lives there so we stopped in to say hello and grab some dinner with her. Not before we hit the big attraction of the Lakefront Brewery tour. With some very wet weather, we had a damp walk to get to the brewery. Not helped by the fact that my leg was still very broken, and seeing as I had ditched my boot and was rolling with the theory that straining it will make it stronger, made it a bit of slow damn walk. The tour was standard procedure but I was very impressed with the brewery being set in a huge old factory building on the bank of the river leading into lake Michigan. There defiantly was no shortage of big old buildings in his very 1900s industry influenced city, which is something we noticed right around the surrounding cities of Lake Michigan, a stark contrast to our traditional image of a coastline, but obviously representing the importance of these industries demand for water resources.

Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee
With my sore leg I did end up struggling to walk a bit so my best buddy Matt hooked a brother up with a lift. He's a bit of a decent dude and also gave me a pair of his shoes because he had seen me wearing the same shoes the whole winter and thought the old ones were due for retirement.

Thanks for giving me a lift bro
We headed into Chicago City for a couple of days staying at Matt's brothers apartment and having Matt as our personal tour guide. This worked for us as we had a really good day in Chicago when we were there for just half a day during our road trip. Matt really looked after us, calling in the wicked weather for us too. We headed to the Zoo in Lincoln Park. This was a really awesome zoo, it had all the bad ass animals and best of all they generally all looked pretty happy and had some nice enclosures. We walked about town and once again I was amazed at the vividness of the blue/turquoise Lake Michigan and the retaliative calmness of Chicago. Surprising for one of the most dangerous cities in America, I don't quite understand!

Something Chicago is renound for, other than murders, is their deep dish pizza. Like the blood in the streets, the tomato sauce on the pizza runs thick. They also make it backwards, starting with toppings, then loading it with cheese and finally covering the top with the sauce. I cannot believe Matt waited till the second to last night before we left to introduce us to this phenomenon. This pizza is just a revelation, so much so that I am currently salivating on the keypad wishing I had some right now. So good!!! Another thing that caught me off guard was a particular 6 pack of beer we brought, Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger. I'm not sure what it was, I must have been having an off night, but this was the first beer I have ever come across that was too bitter, and too flavorsome, something I always crave. Maybe that makes it the greatest beer I have ever drank?


To finish our time off in the Midwest, we headed to another game of America's favorite pastime. The Chicago White Sox vs the Tampa Bay Rays. Enjoying some good $7 seats, we had a fantastic vantage point over the whole game as we witnessed the continued success of the Chicago sporting enterprises.

Fireworks display after Whitesocks win

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