Day Five: Let's Play, Too

Sleeping in is one of the great pleasures in life, and felt just fine today in a big bed that does not fold up like something in a Transformers movie.  Yes, we were spoiled by the Palmer House bed, breakfasts, and bathrooms that don't move when you use them.

Well rested, we ventured out onto State Street, that great street, and played tourist all day.  We caught the Big Red Bus and did the downtown tour of Chicago adding yet another form of conveyance to our growing list of things ridden on this trip. We had a classic Chicago tour guide named Vince, no not Vince Vaughn (See the movie "The Break-up" to catch the irony here). Like Vince Vaughn, our Vince was a classic Chicago-loving character comparing the discovery of deep dish pizza to electricity in historical importance.  Vince was worth the price of admission and he took the obligatory photo of us in front of one of the world's great skylines.  While we have seen the sights here before (try the architecture tour by boat in milder weather) but it’s fun to play tourist unapologetically. 

We shopped a little on the Magnificent Mile and bought our dog-sitting friends back in Boise a box of famous Chicago made Fannie May Mint Meltaways. Having avoided Neiman's and Nordstrom's, I was very happy to escape with just a box of candy.  Since it vital to experience at least some culture, and since the Black Hawks were not in town, we decided to take in a play.  The Musical "If/Then" was opening at the Oriental Theater in Chicago's theater district.  We bought half price, day-of-performance tickets at a nearby downtown outlet just like in New York.

We did a classic Chicago pre-theater dinner at a classic Chicago haunt, The Berghoff.  The Berghoff is a great old German joint, with the real deal homemade spaetzle.  I'm not sure why, but I have become a spaetzle lover recently.  Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s made of butter, eggs and more butter, and it's something fatty I had not properly discovered until this past year.

Then it was off to the show.  The Oriental Theater is a beautiful house with a fascinating ornate interior, and it was a full house for opening night.  "If/Then" spent about a year on Broadway, and this was its opening here in Chicago.  It is not your father's musical.  My review; great talent, especially the lead, Jackie Burns, but lousy story line...two stars.  Anne seemed to like it a little better than I, but that may be because it saved her from a Black Hawks game.  All in all, a great day to play in the second city.  Falling to sleep back at the hotel, but I hear the train a comin'.