After our morning at the Evanston Farmers Market, we went back to Rachel’s apartment to drop off some produce she purchased. We then got our tickets for the Cubs game and prepared to make our way over to Chicago! Once again, the location of Rachel and Mark’s apartment is really central so we were able to walk just a few blocks to the closest train stop. Once we got on the train and made our first stop, it quickly filled up with other people in their Cubs gear and we followed the crowd off at the Wrigley Field exit. The game wouldn’t be starting for another hour but the ballpark was already pretty full – those fans take their Cubs games seriously!
I was already really excited to be going to a Cubs game with Rachel; Wrigley Field is just such a classic ballpark! But what made this game even better is that they would be playing the Arizona Diamondbacks! Having grown up in Tucson, I was a pretty devoted Dbacks fan back in high school and my first couple years of college. Not sure if I should be proud of it or not, but I know a few too many facts about our 2001 World Series against the Yankees. However after that 2001 win, the team began to do a lot of trades and soon all my favorite players were gone. It was hard to follow the team while living in San Antonio since I know longer had the dependable Arizona Fox Sports channel to watch and keep me updated. Long story short, I haven’t done a great job following the Diamondbacks over the last five years or so. But. I was still very excited that of all the teams the Cubs could be playing this Saturday, they would be playing my old team. I did feel conflicted over who to cheer, but I had to go for the Cubbies! (although I did quietly clap whenever any of the Dbacks I still followed made a good play or got a hit)
Our seats were awesome… Rachel did a great job picking them out! There are a couple of key factors when buying tickets at Wrigley Field. 1-Watch out for the beams. It’s an old ballpark, so there are a lot of visible support beams that can obstruct your view. 2-The ballpark doesn’t have a roof, so don’t sit along the third base line for an afternoon game unless you plan to get a nice tan/sunburn. Rachel got us tickets along the first base line, under the shade of the level above us and in between two support beams. In other words, pretty much perfect :) The game got off to a slow start, but the Cubs soon got the momentum going and eventually won the game 4-1. We actually left the game a little early at the top of the 9th. It was starting to rain again and we were hoping to beat the rush of people back onto the train. We had pretty good timing and didn’t have any difficulty getting ourselves some seats for the ride back.
Once we got back to Rachel’s apartment in the afternoon, we started working on our dinner plans. We kept our fingers crossed that the rain would let up so we could go back to Chicago and eat downtown and thankfully, it did! Instead of taking the train again we instead drove into the city and had dinner at this great restaurant called Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge. I highly recommend this place to anyone looking for some awesome sushi in Chicago! I’m no sushi expert (I’ve really only had it a few times) but this was rather phenomenal sushi :)
After dinner, we did some window shopping on Michigan Avenue. For all the on and off rain we had had over the weekend, the weather really couldn’t have been any nicer for our time walking around! The only hiccup in our evening of shopping was Crate & Barrel closing at 7:00… what’s up with that?
We got back to Rachel’s apartment after our shopping, watched another episode of Downton Abbey (season two is intense!), ate some brownies and called it a night to a very full, long day.
We went to church Sunday morning and it was great getting to meet some of Mark and Rachel’s new community. The weather was staying sunny, so we decided to take advantage of the sun and head over to the Evanston beach. Again, Lake Michigan is huge. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a man made beach! We spent an hour or so there reading and laying out in the sun and then walked back to Rachel’s apartment in the afternoon to get my bags packed and ready for my flight in the evening.
I am so glad I was able to spend those couple of days with such a dear friend. I am so impressed at how Mark and Rachel have found their place in this new city, discovering great restaurants and finding new communities. I am so grateful for my friendship with Rachel and hope to be seeing her (and Mark!) sometime again soon!