I went on a short trip to Chicago last week. I mentioned in my previous post that the main reason I was going was to see Jonathan Groff perform at Ravinia Festival. Jonathan was amazing! Before I go into more detail of the performance, I decided to blog a bit about what it was like visiting Chicago for the first time.
I must admit Chicago is not that special. Even though I was mainly in Highland Park, it is definitely not a city I would go back to visit unless there is another event I need to attend there. It was nice to finally hang out with Britt again and finally meet Tat! The taxi from the airport from Chicago to Highland Park was expensive. Somehow there was an additional 50% on top of the fare. Apparently one should call a taxi when leaving for the airport to go someplace outside of Chicago? Talk about unfair pricing. Whatever the real reason was. We stuck with American Taxi from then on and it was only a flat rate of $30 to the airport. A BIG DIFFERENCE! We weren’t in Chicago for that long on Friday and we could see why it was called “the windy city”. Luckily it was only very windy the day we arrived but it was really cold around -15 throughout the three days we were there. We visited Northbrook Shopping Center Mall and the mall didn’t really have a food court. It only had some restaurants. We watched Frozen again. It was even better the second time around! I just love the movie! Olaf is awesome. There is actually a small clip at the end of the credits. Make sure to stay til the end. We ended the day with having deep dish pizza at Pequod’s Pizza. It was amazing! My mouth is still watering just thinking about it.
On Saturday, we had brunch at Walker Bros in downtown Highland Park. The pancakes were really delicious. I had eggs benedict and they were amazing too. I could see why this place was very popular. We then took the train to downtown Chicago. The weekend pass was only $7. It’s pretty decent price compared to Toronto. We visited Willis Tower Skydeck. I managed to even take a picture sitting on the glass floor. Talk about freaky! I didn’t look down. That was how I managed to get pictures of myself sitting on there. You could only look at the windows for the view of Chicago. It’s not like New York. In a way, it was great to avoid the cold. I guess the wind factor may also be another reason why. Britt and I had Chicago hot dog in the food court there! It was interesting what ingredients they put on it but it was good. You don’t ask for ketchup in Chicago and they don’t put it on their hot dog. Even though it was freezing outside, we managed to head to Millennium Park to take a picture of the Bean. We checked off majority of the must see things in Chicago.
Now to Jonathan Groff performing at Ravinia Music Festival. The venue was a decent size. It fits 450 people and the performance I was at did sell out. They ended up adding an earlier performance that day. I still manage to have a seat on the main floor. Even though I was in the back, I didn’t feel like I was too far away from the stage. I love how Jonathan engages the crowd as much as possible and talks with his fans even on stage. Sometimes it was like Jonathan was having a conversation with us and we are all responding to him. I think it has to do with the fact he introduces each song with a personal story. He lets us into his life a bit with each song. Even though I knew most of what he was sharing with us already, it was nice to hear it again especially in person. I love how throughout the show, he kept saying “you guys are winning, you guys clearly won etc.” So, adorable! He even did a little hands up in the air dance. We even filmed a video message for Laura Benanti. She previously performed at Ravinia with Mary-Mitchell Campbell. The best part was Jonathan singing Baby It’s Cold Outside as a duet with himself and as Sven. He even had the Sven doll which was adorable! That’s how great he is. During that piece, he even promoted about Frozen and how amazing it was doing at box office and receiving amazing reviews. There was an official meet and greet autograph signing after the performance. It was nice to meet Jonathan again and talk to him for a bit. I didn’t get a chance to get a new picture with him. Hopefully, I will get a better one in the future. Honestly, that was still the highlight of the Chicago trip. I just want to keep replaying his performance in my head. If only there was a way to have it on repeat… 90 minutes is too short. I’m just happy that I finally got to see Jonathan Groff perform live! Another check mark off my “list” and another city I have now visited. I would only visit Chicago again if there was another event happening that I need to go to. Otherwise, I really don’t see myself heading back anytime soon.