I had my fingers crossed for today. Of course more rain was in the forecast during the day. We lucked out with fog in the morning which I will take over rain everyday. We had a tour set up for Wrigley Field at 8:30am.
There was a large group gathered so they had us split into 2 groups, we where in group one which started the tour at 8:30am and the next group would start at 8:45am. Our tour guide for the day was Janet. We really liked her.
Our first stop was the patio which was added onto the stadium in 1989 and on a clear day you can see all the way down to Sears Tower. I didn’t take a picture because it was all fog and just tables.
Next we walked down a narrow hallway past the organ booth where the current player will be playing his 2,000th game in August.
The other booths where audio and media rooms.
We took a seat in the stands and learned some of Wrigley Fields history.
In 1985 3,000 rooftop seats where added which you can rent out if you have a large group. When the stadium was built there are 14,000 seats, today there is a capacity of 41,210. The suites where added in 1989 along with the press box and patio. Wrigley Field is the 5th smallest stadium national, 9th smallest overall. In 1918 the cubs played in the world series and the league had a problem with the size of the stadium and said they would never be able to host a game if they didn’t increase the size. The pitchers mound today is where the home plate used to be. Since then the stadium now host events such as circus, ski jumps, concerts, soccer games, and film movies.
We headed down to the field where we could take pictures before heading to the batting cage.
The batting cage area is the one and only on the field where each team is allowed to practice for a certain amount of time. There are tables there and the glass is a 1 way glass so the players don’t get distracted by the fans watching. The cubs make a make shift one in the locker room, but we couldn’t go on there on the tour today since it was game day and the players where already arriving.
We walked to the bleachers where we sat and listened to some more of the history of the park.
The ivy on the way below the bleachers was planted in 1938 and is still the original ivy on the wall.
An interesting part of the tour was all the details of the score board. The steel box is hand operated with no plumbing, heating or ac. The squares are 20x15 steel plates and they would change the numbers colors from yellow to white so fans could see that the inning was half over because the clock wasn’t added until 1941. The pendants on the top of the board are in order of the teams current standings. Ever since 1938 including today they will put up a flag with a W or a L to let people know if the game was won or lost.
The first official game was supposed to be 8-8-88 but because it got rained out the first game was 8-9-88. I really loved this tour. I’m not a huge follower of sports, but the history of the stadium was really neat. The whole tour was from 8:30am until 9:45am and cost $25 a person which all goes to charity.
On our way out we got to see Kosuke Fukudome practicing.
We had taken a cab down to the stadium, because we wheren’t sure where the L dropped off at, turns out it’s right next to the stadium so we took that back in town. We try to learn the local transportation when we travel, but I have to admit Chicago maps where hard to figure out ahead of time. There’s some other train that I don’t understand so we took the L a couple of times the remainder of the trip.
We got off a block away from where we planned to eat lunch, but since they weren’t open yet we walked around the corner and saw the Webber Grill restaurant. I had seen this on tv, but I had no idea they where in Chicago.
The prices are a little high, but it’s neat to see. We sat at the bar waiting for the time to tick on. D ordered their beer (Weber Backyard Brew) and it didn’t taste any different then a Miller Lite.
We then headed over to Pizzeria Uno where it began to pour down rain. The waiting area is super tiny, you place your order there since it takes 45 minutes to bake, then they seat you.
Since the rain made us cold I ordered a bowl of Tuscan Pesto Minestrone $4.59. It tasted good, but nothing to die for.
Then came our small deep dish pepperoni pizza $14.59. The difference on this one from the day before is the toppings where on top. The ingredients seemed fresher with their chunks of tomato in the pizza sauce. I happened to like this pizza better, but D preferred the one from yesterday. So the pizza debate isn’t settled! I think I like our pizza back home best the crust isn’t as cracker like and dry from being baked so long.
After eating we headed down to the Adler Planetarium. The line was really long there so we decided to skip it and head back to the hotel for some rest and then head to an early dinner.
For dinner we chose The Beer Bistro. I didn’t bring my big camera so I was mad at myself when we sat in a darker spot of the restaurant.
We started with the BUFFALO CALAMARI $8.99 (with blue cheese and celery). I love buffalo sauce and I love calamari so it sounded like a good idea. The calamari seemed to be over cooked and chewy and the sauce tasted like Frank’s Red Hot.
They have daily specials so be sure to check out their site for details. We where there for 25 cents wings so we got 6. They where good.
I ordered the BISTRO STEAK SANDWICH $9.99 (With provolone, sautéed onions, mushrooms.) Yummy! This was awesome, I really liked that the steak wasn’t super chewy, The onions and mushrooms added a nice flavor to the sandwich as well. My favorite part was the home made chips. Oh WOW!!
D ordered the FISH TACOS $9.99 (Made with mahi mahi, served with black beans, guacamole. Sub Chicken $9.99, Steak $10.99) They where ok, but wouldn’t order them again. The beans where really good though.