20.01.2018 45 °F
An easy 6.5 hour drive from Fort Campbell puts me in Chicago at dinner time on Friday night. I checked in to the Best Western Grand Park Hotel which was pretty awesome but does gouge you for parking. It is centrally located within walking distance of Soldier Field and the museums which is nice. They give me an upgrade in my room to a corner looking over Lake Michigan. It has a lovely doorman who suggests I get dinner at Lou Malnati’s and I take advantage of being in Chicago and have the deep dish pizza. The hotel gave me a coupon for free bruschetta which was fantastic.
The F^3 Lake Half Marathon is what brought me to Chicago and it had a late start at 1000 on Saturday morning. The race was well organized, allowed me to do race day packet pick up and even gave me a $6 military discount. The start was at Soldier Field and runners were allowed in the United Club right up until the start of the race so we weren’t waiting in the cold. It turned out to be a beautiful day for a run with a temp in the 40’s at the start.
The entire race was along the river on a running/biking path. It was a bit narrow at times as the route was out and back so at some points along the way runners were passing going opposite directions.
After a lunch of left-over pizza and a shower I walked over to the Shedd Aquarium. I had to stand in line longer than expected but was pleasantly surprised to be given a free ticket with my military ID. (regular price is $40). One of the neatest and most unusual things in the whole aquarium was the art work done out of recycled trash found in the area waters.
The rest of the aquarium has a variety of wildlife from all over the world. It was crowded on a Saturday but still a pleasant experience and I saw some things I have never before seen.
After a short nap it was time to eat again and I went with the second recommendation I got yesterday, Giordano’s was a short walk from the hotel and also famous for its Chicago style pan pizza. I couldn’t pass up what its known for so had another pan pizza with a beer from Chicago, Goose Island 312.