Birthday Celebrations!

The weather this past week has been spectacular! I’m all for the Polar Vortex in July. This just made the birthday celebration just perfect.

The past few years have found us far from home and discovering new parts of the world during this birthday week. So it was surprising to find us home. That just would not do. Especially for this birthday into a new decade. So we made a plan and escaped from the realities of chores and mundane life at home. Where did we go? What did we do? Read on to discover . . .


We arrived in the city mid-afternoon, just in time to check into our hotel, the Ivy Boutique Hotel. What a snazzy place to stay! We had a sitting room, bedroom, and a bathroom which had a hanger of directions on how to operate the rain shower head (plus a huge soaker tub and a TV in the mirror). Like I said, snazzy. 🙂

We were only a few blocks off of Michigan Avenue, so we set out to explore and wander the Magnificent Mile. We walked up one side, down the other with a brief stop at the Bean and Garrett for a bag of Chicago mix (caramel corn and cheese popcorn). We thought we might eat that as we walked, not possible as our hands turned orange very quickly. By this time we needed to find dinner and return to our room. I had walked a blister on the bottom of my foot. (It never fails, no matter what I do, I seem to always get a blister. 😦 )


The next day was the big birthday and we were registered for a Bike, Bites, and Brew bike ride from Bobby’s Bike Hike at 11:30. First order of business was breakfast. Dunkin Donuts was close and we don’t have one in Springfield. We enjoyed a jalapeno cheese bagel with bacon, egg, and cheese. Next order of business was to find the bike shop. Success, but we were early, so we wandered around Navy Pier for a bit. Unfortunately every day camp in the city was converging on the Pier to attend Seussical the Musical. I celebrated that I was not in charge of a group of children. Back to the bike shop to begin our tour.

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Alex was our guide for the day, she was full of interesting stories. First stop was Gino’s East for a piece of spinach deep dish pizza. I must confess, it was not my favorite. I prefer thinner pizza. Next stop was Lincoln park where we rubbed Lincoln’s foot for luck. The bonus was a heron was watching us the whole time. I’m sure it was thinking, “What silly people.”

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A short ride took us to Swirlz, a cupcake place. So many flavors to choose, it was a tough decision. We rode through several neighborhoods to get to our next stop, Murphy’s for a Chicago dog. What an interesting combination on the hot dog!


Now we have pedaled to Wrigley Field and around back was Murphy’s sports bar. We were given two beers to sample. They tasted pretty good after the spicy pepper on the hot dog.

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Last stop was RJ Grunts for another beer sample. We had reached the end of our consumption portion of the tour. Now we took the path along Lake Michigan back to our starting point. Four hours and fourteen miles later we were back and ready to claim our car from the hotel’s garage. It had been a great day and just what Mike wanted for his birthday.


We drove out of the city with lovely memories of this special day.