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Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

San Jose, California
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333 posts
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Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

We flew from SFO to Chicago on 1/13 and arrived about 9pm to O'Hare. There was some snow that evening, but we walked from our hotel to Lou Malnati's for some deep dish pizza. We stayed at the Hilton Suites on Delaware near Michigan and love the location of this hotel. This was not our first trip to the city.

Hotel:

The Hilton was an average hotel in my opinion (we stay at Hiton's about 90% of the time). Staff was helpful. Rooms were small, beds were not super comfortable. We had two kids and asked for a rollaway, but they did not have them. We were on the 28th floor and had a great view of the lake. Starbucks in the lobby is convenient for a coffee or quick snack at the hotel. Rooms have a microwave and frig which are nice to have.

Food:

Loved Lou Malnati's especially this location. The restaurant is pretty new and we loved the layout. Pizza was good as before. One piece of advice - don't plan to order more than you will eat at the restaurant as in my opnion, it was not as good reheated in the microwave at the hotel and we probably threw away half of the pizza we had ordered :) Just a thought if you are staying in a hotel.

Other meals were Fronterra (best meal of the trip) and Gibsons for dinner and Mr. Beef and Portillos for lunch. We enjoyed all of them. We also had snacks one day in McCormicks at the bar, and had a pretty tasty chicken soup that I would definitely go back for. Also ate way too much Garretts popcorn, love that stuff.

City Pass:

We bought the City Pass which was a great deal. We passed lines for all attractions, and used all of the passes in our 3 1/2 day trip. We loved the Art Institute, wonderful to browse through. Even our 16 year old son liked this place most of all we did over the weekend. One note to consider. We showed up at the Field Museum on Sunday, not realizing it was a free day for residents, which meant it was very crowded there. We would have gone the day prior if we knew this in advance. The city pass was great for avoiding lines if nothing else.

We did not realize until about an hour before heading to the airport that there were shopping centers inside some of the buildings we walked by all weekend. We had a couple of times been looking for a snack and somewhere to sit for a bit and did not have a lot of luck looking for a restaurant or market. We finally wandered into the building where Macy's is and saw all of the stores and restaurants in there that we never knew were there! Oh well, now we know for our next trip.

Weather:

I had asked prior to our trip about the weather as we are from CA and do not get snow. Thankfully, we missed the snow thursday and the weather was not bad while we were there. The advise to bring hat, scarf, gloves, warm socks, etc was helpful. It was cold, but we walked a lot and felt very prepared for the weather. Even my teenage son was prepared with two pairs of jeans to wear together in case he was cold. Which he did wear all weekend.

We love the city and can't wait to go back.

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

Great report. Thanks for posting.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Train Travel
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2. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

I'm glad that you had a good visit. You missed three multi-level indoor Malls? Didn't your credit card get warm and start to vibrate in your pocket as you passed? Do you know the Nordstrom Mall on Market in SF? That is tiny compared to these. It's probably better that you missed them. If I remember correctly a "market" in California parlance is something like our French Market here and not a grocery store? We have a couple of them but they are off the Michigan Ave. high rent district. The next time you come back your task is to seek them out and enjoy.

San Jose, California
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333 posts
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3. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

Shallow-shoal - LOL! Thanks for the advice. yes, I am sure my husband is glad we did not disover the shopping sooner, although we did have to walk by Chanel, LV, etc, all weekend! Pretty much any designer store you could wish to shop in. Thankfully, with the kids it just was not in the cards for this weekend.

We did feel pretty dumb for not realizing what we missed, but in the end it all worked out. Something to look forward to when we are back :)

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

Thanks for posting...it's always fun to read about trips. Come back again soon!

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

I was there at the same time and also ate at Frontera-yum!. I froze my ars off walking around and you are from CA! Bless you! I wasn't crazy about the Hilton and have basically ended my relationship with Hilton's. Too much money for so little.

Thanks for the report!

San Jose, California
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333 posts
31 reviews
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6. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

tulu - hope your trip was good despite the cold! I guess we just brought everything we could think of to keep warm, and wore it all every day! Everyone here was a big help to me in terms of preparing for the cold. We don't have that issue to deal with in CA. It gets into the 30's in the morning, but usually between 55-65 during the day. And we do not have that Chicago wind! It is cold. But skies were clear and the city is beautiful.

Chicago
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7. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

tulu haha your breaking up with the Hiltons. Well, me and Marriott are still going strong with no end in sight--give Marriott a try if you need a rebound hotel chain.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

Thanks for the great, detailed trip report. As a fellow Californian I too worry about the cold weather when traveling this time of year - but with your good spirit and warm clothing, you managed it and had a good time. Trip reports are such a help to others planning their future trips.

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9. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

Nice report. Glad you enjoyed our city.

NI
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10. Re: Trip Report Jan 13-16, 2012

Hi

Could I hijacjk this thread and ask where the indoor malls are - just so my credit card gets a good workout when we visit :-)