Windy City Welcome

Well, we just concluded three consecutive weekends of visitors here.  Not quite sure what to do with myself now, so I’ve taken to annoying entertaining Patrick while he tries to study for his finals.

We love getting visitors here in Chicago as it allows us to get some quality hometown tourism in!  Of course, you can’t visit Chicago without partaking in some delicious Chicago deep-dish pizza… and we had the great excuse of eating it three weekends in a row 🙂  Our favorite places to frequent are Gino’s East and Lou Malnati’s.


Patrick’s parents, Bill & Sue, were the first to grace us with their presence.  During their visit, we wandered around the farmer’s market near our house and then made our way down to Old Town, one of Chicago’s 180+ official neighborhoods.

Old Town

We ate lunch at O’Brien’s, which has been in Old Town for over 30 years and also has locations in O’Hare International Airport and along the Chicago River.


We had a lovely outdoor seat situated just behind this O’Brien’s sign, which gave us the perfect position to spy on people walking by without them noticing… as Patrick demonstrates here.


Following lunch, we made our way downtown to take an architecture tour with Wendella Boats.

Wendella Boat Rides

On the architecture tour, you get to ride a boat along the Chicago River while a tour guide talks about the various buildings you pass along the way.  It’s quite relaxing and fun to learn a bit about Chicago’s architecture and history.

Wendell Boats

Despite the long line, we somehow found prime seating, front and center.

Wendella Boat Rides

Wendella Boat Rides

Here are some lovely structures we passed…

Architecture Tour

Architecture Tour

Architecture Tour

After the tour, we walked around downtown and admired the lovely flowers (or “Salboos” as Patrick’s mom would call them) along Michigan Avenue.


We stopped at Ghirardelli’s Chocolate & Ice Cream Shop for some ice cream and then checked out Weber Grill for dinner.

weber grillSource

Everything on their menu sounded delicious so we decided to split three entrees, like the BBQ plate featuring brisket, ribs, and pulled pork…

BBQ Plate

and the steak kebob with a medley of vegetables and rice.

Steak Kebobs

But ultimately we all agreed the best was the beer can chicken… how can you go wrong here?  I must try making this at home!

Beer Can ChickenWeber Grill

Luckily Patrick picked up some good grilling tips from this guy.

Weber Grill

On our drive home, we hit up some Sweet Mandy B’s for second dessert.  The decor here is really cute and their desserts are out-of-this-world.

Sweet Mandy B'sGingerbread CookieM&M and Gingerbread cookies

Confetti CookieSugar cookie (Patrick’s favorite)

Sweet Mandy B'sConfetti Cupcake (my favorite)

Good thing we did a lot of walking that day…

After church the next day, we had brunch at Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House… definitely the best brunch place in the area (I also wrote about it in this post).

This restaurant was even featured on Food Network’s show The Best Thing I Ever Ate where Melissa d’Arabian (winner of “The Next Food Network Star” who also happened to be a J.V. like me whose husband attended Kellogg!) talked about their Bacon with Cheese Oven Baked Omelette.

I’ve never had their Bacon with Cheese Omelette but Patrick and I split their vegetable omelette this time, which I think is every bit as good.

Vegetable Omelette

And best of all, it comes with a side of buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes

In fact, in addition to their omelettes, they are equally as known for their pancakes.  They have a wide variety to choose from like their German and Dutch Baby pancakes, bacon pancakes, Swedish pancakes, and potato pancakes, which Patrick and I also shared.

Potato Pancakes

But their speciality pancake is the apple cinnamon pancake which Bill ordered.  This pancake was massive in size and in taste.

Apple Cinnamon Pancake Pancake

Me and Patrick

Thank you for visiting, Bill & Sue!  Come again soon!

Sue & Bill


4 thoughts on “Windy City Welcome

  1. Sue Longenbaker says:

    Monica, you are the hostess with the mostest! Thanks to you and Patrick for a great visit.

  2. Susan says:

    Excellent visit recap! Looks like you showed Sue & Wild Bill a great time. 🙂 Wish I could have been there for the meals (and the cookies, of course).

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