Going Up Anyone?

PS:  I heard from several of you that my pictures were not loading to your devices.  I have taken them all out and put them all back in to see if it will work this time.  So if you go back to the previous post (use the left pointing arrow below this post), hopefully this time you can see the pictures.  I’m crossing my fingers this is working! 

Well, after a good night’s sleep and some yummy homemade breakfast (which for Landon, means Apple Jack’s cereal, no milk!!), we’re off to mass.  We took the boys to Old St. Pat’s because it’s close by and has a beautiful environment.  Not sure what they thought about it though …


img_2019That’s better Lan …

Now, take a look at the area above the altar.  See all the beautiful white filigree pattern?  That is all around the church and so intricate and delicate that when you get up close to it you can see that it’s absolutely stunning work.  But, do you notice anything else about their altar?  Um … Yep, that’s good ol’ St. Patrick right up there, front and center behind the altar.  Now, continue looking around … do you see Jesus?  Yep, that’s Him, over in the corner on a little cross.  That’s how they did it back in the day when a specific ethnic group built a church.  St. Patrick’s is the oldest catholic parish in the city, and it was the only parish to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  Here’s what they boast:

“Since its founding by Irish immigrants on Easter morning in 1846, Old St. Patrick’s has been interwoven in the life and history of the City of Chicago … The cornerstone was laid on May 23, 1853, and the building was dedicated on Christmas Day, 1856.”

Those Irish love their guy … woops, I mean their God!  Hehe!!  Ok boys, let’s keep going!!

On our walk back to the apartment, we pass by that BIG … TALL … building … yep, the Sear’s Tower (aka the willis tower).  The boys are up for the challenge!  They are ready to go … UP UP UP to the 104th floor to see the sights from the 4-sided glass box that hangs away from the building, over the street, 104 floors up.  Ok boys, we’ll wait right down here for you!


Good luck and God Speed boys!

And off they go!!  After an almost 3 HOUR WAIT (apparently there are lots of line inside the building that make it look like not too many people are waiting from the outside!  What a scam!), this is what we get:







I’m not sure what the draw is for this tourist trap, and thankfully, I’ll never find out!  But the boys had a great time and checked it off their bucket list!

After all that waiting around, it was just about time for our 5:00 dinner reservation at the hottest spot in Chicago since … oh I don’t know, 1871??  (Hehe!  Get it — Chicago Fire in 1871??!!)  A great little place that was featured on “The Food Network” with a young, new talented executive chef named Stephen Gillanders.  Stephen was chosen from one of the network’s challenge shows to head up a restaurant called “Intro” as a way to get new chefs into the business and help them to learn to run their own restaurant.  Intro generally gives the winning chef a 3-month stint at the restaurant as the executive chef in charge of … well, everything!!!  And why do we care about any of this???  Because Stephen just happens to be Andrew’s cousin!!  Yes, he is!!  How cool is that??  So, you can bet we were excited to be heading that way!  But first, we gotta get there!!  Let’s go boys!

The “22 Clark Street” bus is our way of heading up and down the Loop.  It’s also a great way to actually see what’s out there, rather than taking the “Red Line” which is the subway and you don’t see anything.  So another city experience for the boys … the “RTD” (whoa, I’m dating myself!) … or here in Chicago, the “CTA,” also known as the Chicago Transit Authority.  It is connected to all the subways and El lines and every ride costs $2.25 with a transfer adding on .25 cents!!  Now that’s what I call a public transit system!!

img_2061And I know this is a dumb question but … is anyone hungry?  You bet!!

After a 20 minute ride uptown, we arrive at “Intro” and we can tell this is going to be good.  We go inside and are greeted by the hostess.  “Do you have a reservation?”  “You bet!”  “Oh, you’re Chef Stephen’s guests!  Well right this way!”  And it gets even better from there!!


I have no idea what anything was called “officially” from the menu, but I can tell you that we were in foodie heaven with all the delightful plates that were being brought to the table!  It was like a non-stop conveyor belt of food!  Be sure you’re not hungry when you look at these pics … you are gonna start drooling!!


A fried rice ball with a tasty sauce … 


Oysters on the half shell from all over!


Me first!! 


That went by way too fast!

Now for some more  of the plates that kept showing up  …


I don’t even like shrimp and this was AMAZING!!



Do you agree with me that each and every plate is a fabulous work of art?  It was almost too hard to eat because you didn’t want to ruin the beauty of their work!  Oh, but don’t you worry … we did.  We ate each and every morsel, swiping our fingers when no one was looking!  You bet we did!


Chef Stephen does a fabulous job there, making sure that every single bite is filled with enough flavor to send you to food heaven!  But, we didn’t want to stay there too long because we knew this was coming …


Every dessert that was on their menu ended up on our table!  Holy Cow it was fabulous!!!  As much as we wanted it to linger on … I’m pretty sure it took us about 2 whole minutes to powder these babies off!  Deliciousness at its best!!

We were so spoiled by Chef Stephen and his staff that we didn’t want to leave … “Um, can we just sleep here for a while and then you can feed us again?”




Thanks to the generosity of the Cote Family and Chef Stephen, we had a wonderful Chicago Foodie Experience where we actually knew the Chef (well, Andrew is related to him, but now we’re best buds!  How fun is that?).  By the way, after Chef Stephen’s 3 month stint, the restaurant was so impressed with him, they asked him to stay on as their permanant Executive Chef!  Now you know this guy’s good, right??  You’re coming to Chicago?  Put this one on your “MUST EAT THERE” list!!!  You won’t regret it!

Well that was a pretty good second day, don’t you agree?  Come on boys, let’s go home!

Talk to you tomorrow!







5 thoughts on “Going Up Anyone?

  1. Andi says:

    Oh my! The church is GORGEOUS!! And the history soooo interesting! Enjoyed the pics-thank you for your perseverance! What a great experience for the boys and to get special treatment at that restaurant??? It doesn’t get any better than that!!!


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