After another leisurely start to the day, we wandered over to the Illinois Institute of Technology to check out Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's buildings. This guy is a famous architect that pioneered modern building designs. For his 126th birthday, the building pictured above was a google doodle. If you missed it, check out the link. Even cooler, Martin's college friend's wife was instrumental in getting the doodle to happen! Even cooler, she gave us a tour of the other Mies buildings on campus for our third day in Chicago! Score!
There are a ton of Mies buildings on campus, but the campus center building was built by a rival of Mies. In the building, there is this orange honeycomb-like wall that looks out onto another Mies building. Because orange is a color that strips emotion away, when you look through the wall you see the Mies building, supposedly without emotion. Regardless, it makes for a pretty cool picture.
After our totally awesome tour, we headed to Nana's for the best meal we've had since we arrived. Everything is local and organic which is an added bonus to the fantastically tasting food!
Martin got the Huevos Rancheros with soy chorizo. The over-easy eggs were cooked to runny egg perfection. The corn tortilla was deep fried (yum!) and the green sauce was a fantastic poblano cream, topped with queso fresco. Seriously, delicious.
My dish was equally fantastic! I ordered the Veggie Pot Pie. This one is more difficult to describe because it doesn't sound all that great, but every ingredient in this dish was seasoned to perfection. The base was a pile of mashed potatoes, which was surrounded by a puree of root vegetables. Brussels sprouts, kale, parsnips and soy chorizo topped the soft food, which was then topped with puff pastry. Everything was slathered in mushroom gravy. I seriously licked my plate clean. The perfect meal for a chilly, rainy day.
Afterwards, we headed downtown to visit the famous Shedd Aquarium. We heard great things about the aquarium, but when we arrived, the line was too long! The aquarium was to close in 2 hours; we wanted to spend all that time inside, not waiting to stand outside.
Additionally, we were exhausted from walking around most of the day, so we decided to take a break by watching the new 21 Jump Street movie. Surprisingly entertaining and funny. Well worth it. Plus, we felt restored. :)
It was a very cloudy day in Chicago.
So, we thought we would spend the rest of the afternoon in the clouds! We walked over to the John Hancock tower to take a peak at what we could see from high above the clouds. There is an open air observatory on the top 97th floor that costs nearly $20 to go to. Instead, we took the elevator to the 96th floor and had some cocktails and cheese in the Signature Room lounge. Not much of a view on a cloudy day!
Eventually, the clouds cleared slightly for a peak at the amazing view.
We played it low key in the evening. We stopped at Trader Joe's and picked up some goodies to share when we arrived back at our hosts' house. We enjoyed a delightful Malbec, a fresh baguette with olive oil, grapes, and dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar. The best goodie, however, was some brie cheese Martin found on the steps of the John Hancock tower, which was aptly named "John Hancock" cheese. :) Delicious.
Another cold day is upon us in Chicago, so the boat tour is out. :( It's our last full day in Chicago, so I'm sure we'll find something fun and exciting to do!