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A Bachelor's Tour of Chicago

Last weekend LL and I were out of town for our respective “last hurrah”s (less than a month until the wedding!). Now that the jet-lag and hangover have finally cleared up, I’ll offer some recommendations for future Chicago bachelor-party goers based on a, uhm, partial recap of the weekend.

We took over Ray’s B&B in Bucktown. This was a great homebase for a large group. They make a fantastic breakfast to order, and have lots of fun common areas. In general it felt like staying at a good friend’s house — you get free reign of the kitchen, projection TV, poker chips, etc.

In Bucktown I had one of the best margaritas in my life at Cafe Laguardia. I recommend ordering by the pitcher. They also have tasty Cuban sandwiches.

Friday evening we kicked things off with drinks at the Signature Lounge. The Signature Lounge is on the 96th floor of the Hancock tower. Given its potential as a big tourist destination, it’s refreshingly unpretentious. Order an iced coffee martini and enjoy sweeping views of the city and Lake Michigan. To quote my friend Mark, you can see Iowa from the Western facing windows. 🙂

Drinks at the Hancock are also a great way to occupy the 2 hours needed to get a table for 14 at Giordano’s Pizza, where mozzarella is piled on by the pound and they don’t take reservations. Solid pizza, beer, and fried appetizers (size warning: the appetizer “sampler” easily covered all 14 of us).

If you are in Chicago on a blistering hot weekend (it was pushing 100 degrees when we were there), then I highly recommend taking a boat out onto Lake Michigan, which is where we spent Saturday afternoon.

Saturday evening we had a fabulous dinner at Adobo Grill. This is the kind of place we could use to advance the Seattle scene. Innovative food, and great service. They handled our large party with ease and the smaller parties also seemed quite happy (perhaps some of the joy is due to the 100 different tequilas available, your call). “Upscale” food and decor but still reasonable prices, Adobo Grill is definitely worth a visit. And if you have tickets to Second City, it’s only stumbling distance away!

Chicago easily outlasts Seattle’s 2AM curtain calls, and The Apartment is a fun place to while away the late night hours. The concept is supposed to be that of visiting your friends huge loft apartment. It’s a little kitsch, but still draws a large hipster crowd.

No Chicago visit is complete without a stop at the Art Institute. This gorgeous air conditioned building was a great chill activity to both counterbalance a weekend of debauchery and escape the heat wave. And you can reenact parts of Ferris Bueller while you’re there. Worth checking out even if some of the women won’t believe you when you say you went to the Art Institute during your Bachelor Party weekend.

Cross Country Dress Escort

LL and I were in New York this weekend, primarily to surprise my Mom and Paul for their 10 year anniversary. Also on the agenda were some dress fittings at Kleinfeld’s (yes, I have seen the dress already. If you’re superstitious, then pretend you didn’t read this). When all was said and done, the dress was freshly pressed and looked great but there was just one problem: the dress was still about 3000 miles away from Seattle.

After some stress due to mixed responses from Continental’s phone staff, we decided to take our chances and see if we could get the dress hung somewhere on the plane. Fortunately we had some very nice flight attendants who not only stored the dress in the 1st class closet, but also brought us some champagne mid-flight to celebrate our engagement 🙂

Us with champagne at 30,000 feet

Guitar Hero

Sunday we were at Julie and Damian’s place for brunch. The pancakes and mimosas were awesome, but what stole the show was Damian’s latest toy — Guitar Hero, a “revolution”-esque game where you get to be the lead guitarist in a band, and there’s a guitar controller that you use. It was awesome.

Unfortunately, they don’t make an x-box version yet. The word from Red Octane in October was that “It’s seriously being considered, but things also can’t exactly happen overnight because you’ll need a guitar controller.” Well, it’s April now and while they’ve announced Guitar Hero II for the PS-2 this November, still no sign of an x-box release. Fortunately Julie and Damian love visitors 🙂