My consulate business had been taken care of during the previous day so the second day was a free day for us. We planned to peruse the nearby shopping center before going to lunch and possibly return back to finish any unfinished window shopping before heading out for dinner again. The plan sounded foolproof and effective until reality came back and proved me so otherwise.
The Plan: 900 North Michigan Shops
900 North Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
900 North Michigan Shops was surprisingly close to our hotel, not to mention it was easy to find once we got off the bus. As we entered the establishment, I noticed that the Bloomingdale’s logo loomed over the 900’s sign. I wonder why? It wasn’t until the second or third floor that we realized Bloomingdale’s was pretty much on every floor of this building except the lower level.
We anticipated staying at this mall for quite a while because we knew there were a lot of stores to explore. We started our journey at the lower level, which ended after thirty seconds because we didn’t fancy exploring a salon, fitness center, and a spa. At the ground level, I contemplated entering the Michael Kors store but we decided to skip it as well so we headed right on to second floor.
Second floor seemed a little more promising. I looked around Coach and spent quite a bit of time there before entering Williams-Sonoma. I should say right now that this is where we spent most of our time at this mall. I felt quite at home looking at their kitchen-related items, especially their spices. I was really planning on buying some spices but I figured I could find them for cheaper at The Fresh Market. So far we probably burned about half an hour.
Third floor didn’t catch our attention so we skipped right to fourth floor.
Fourth floor was also fruitless after I decided to skip Banana Republic and Scandia Down, not to mention that I spotted a chocolate shop on the next floor. You can bet your gerbil we rushed to fifth floor!
We headed straight to Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland at fifth floor right after getting off the escalator. The store was surprisingly small, at least for the front part. They had various kinds of chocolates and even offered them with gift packages. I suggested getting a gift package with a few chocolates inside to serve as our souvenir and house decoration, but we abandoned the idea. Wade wanted something that would stay with us longer than a consumable chocolate and something preferably cheaper. We spent about three minutes there before heading over to Galt Toys + Galt Baby (I had to make a John Galt reference that day). We roamed the store for about seven minutes before heading out. I took notice of Potbelly Sandwich Shop right beside Galt Toys as well as Frankie’s Scallopine. To the escalator we go (again)!
Sixth floor had a Thai restaurant called Baisi Thai. A sudden craving for curry surged over me and led me to the menu they had by the entrance. I learned that Baisi offers a lunch buffet from 11 AM to 3 PM everyday except Sunday. They also had a featured blog post from a reviewer with praises about how the restaurant broke her disbelief in buffets. I was already contemplating of entering the place and jumping on the buffet to burn time but Wade reminded me that we had a crab meal waiting for us. Accepting my defeat, I promised myself I’d come back and try this place eventually. As we walked further down, we noticed a narrower hallway leading to the attached parking garage. We also looked around the stores that lined the hallway, particularly Metromart Newstand where we got a cheap reminder of our little trip: a white mug with a gangster duck (the Al Capone kind of gangster) smoking a cigar and holding a gun, with “Chicago” written over his head and “Everybody duck!” written below him.
We had pretty much explored the whole mall in about an hour and we were not satisfied. I thought I would have some fun window shopping at name brand stores like Gucci and Coach but I didn’t. I guess you could say that it was mostly my fault for not planning better and I accept that. At this point, I was really thirsty so we headed to Potbelly to get some drinks and relax a little.
The Unplanned: Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
We got trolled, once again, by my lack of planning. Our lunch destination, King Crab Tavern and Seafood Grill, didn’t open until 3:30 during Mondays to Thursdays (it was a Thursday and it was only around 1:30). We couldn’t possibly go back to the mall again after that floppy attempt. Luckily, we noticed a sign pointing to the general direction of Chicago History Museum a few minutes after we got off the train station. Since we had two hours to burn and we needed something to do, we walked from King Crab’s (closed) front door to Chicago History Museum. That was a good mile of walking.
We were greeted by a blue low-rider car when we entered the museum, which we quickly bypassed as we approached the reception desk. Their general admission ticket was $14 and they had a $2 discount for students. I was glad they extended the student discount to students from out of state so we were able to save four bucks total from our tickets. The person who helped us also suggested starting at second floor and gradually work our way down, a suggestion that we heeded after we checked-in our jackets.
We only explored about half of the second floor exhibits since we were really just trying to kill time. We chose to enter the Chicago History exhibit and the Lincoln exhibit. I learned some new stuff about Chicago that I didn’t know before, such as the Great Fire and the “We’re Cooking” experiment about uranium that contributed to the creation of the atomic bomb. I was able to snap away some pictures like I always do. The gentleman who retrieved our jackets for us was very friendly and asked everybody how their tour was. As we walked out the door, I took a picture of the low-rider car I mentioned earlier. I would love to complete the tour someday.