|Gilligan, via Google Image Search|
Gilligan's three hour tour should have been by city rather than sea. Instead of his weary travelers suffering from “sea-legs” and then being stranded, they could have suffered from “Seg-legs” and found oasis at the local pizza joint.
After our encounter with “Ginger” aka Rude Girl, we needed to put some fun back into our trip, so we set out to have a day touring Chicago by Segway! Since I am not a huge boat fan, I found this three hour tour more my style and really, really fun! If you have ever thought of taking a Segway tour of the city you are visiting, do it! It is well worth the money and you see quite a bit!
When we checked in at Tour Central, we were already planning what we would have for dinner and that was authentic Chicago style deep dish pizza. We asked the clerk where she liked to eat such pizza and immediately said “Oooooh, Lou Malnati's! The. Best. I eat there all the time!” She was very nice to write down the phone number and directions, which we safely tucked away to use later.
We picked out some rocking helmets, and feeling much like a tough roller derby girl, headed down with the group to meet our tour guide and grab our rides.
Our tour guide (I will call her “Belle”) was a cool surfer-chick kind of gal, with a funky, artsy vibe. She was from San Diego and was so glad to have just finished nursing school. Chicago's winters were a bit harsh and she was looking forward to getting back home to warm weather and the chance to grab a surf board rather than snow shovel this winter. Belle got us geared up on our Segways and taught us the basics of how to operate one. We were a small group and we picked it up quickly.
We signed up for the River Tour which, you guessed it, brought us down by the river! We cautiously moved down the path in the direction of Lake Michigan. Making our way through the crowd as a newly “licensed” driver was a bit scary; maneuvering around an empty plaza is one thing, add tons of people on a narrow paved path is quite another! Thank goodness these things are equipped with bells! I kept pushing the black button on mine. It wasn't ringing, so I stuck close to my friend, who was “ding-dinging” her way through the crowd.
We made it through without casualty, and greeted the harbor filled with sailboats. It was beautiful.
We toured the harbor, Planetarium, Field Museum and Aquarium, which we were told was THE best place to visit. Did you know that when the Aquarium first opened, they spent so much money that they could not afford to fill it with marine life? So they brought sea water by train and filled the empty tanks charging folks to come and see the ocean!
After shaking out our “Seg-legs” we made our way past the beach, then Soldier Field and back through Grant Park.
What are “Seg-legs” you ask? A term aptly coined by Segway tour guides after spending hours on the personal transport machines.
On the way back to the Tour Center, one of the Segways stopped working. Oh, no! The three hour tour did end with one of us stranded!! Not to worry, “Belle” was on top of it and coasted back to our ‘land-wrecked' friend and brought them back safely. She apologized for ending on such a bad note…but we felt the opposite. Belle did a great job and was an excellent tour guide!
By this time, we could not get out our directions to pizza fast enough. We were all starving. We finally found Lou's and were seated. A lanky fellow introduced himself and took our drink orders. “Gilligan” was working hard to remember that we wanted water and a menu. He brought the menus and then said “Oh, the water!” He returned with three and forgot the fourth. We put in an order for appetizers and beer and waited for him to return to ask for utensils to eat our snacks….he came back with the fourth water then hit his forehead remembering that he didn't have forks and knives in hand. Not the sharpest tool in the box. Every three hour tour needs a little comic relief, right? Lucky for us, he did remember to bring dinner and when the pizza arrived, we all thought my goodness, this was like heaven on a plate. It was so incredibly delicious, I wish I could have eaten a second piece! This picture does not do it justice:
If you head to Chicago and want fabulous authentic pizza, go here. You will not be disappointed!
We walked our stuffed selves out of Lou's and headed down the street where we came across “Howl At the Moon” a dueling piano bar. It looked fun and we made our way inside. Little did we know that in less than an hour, we would finally see “Gilligan's” buddy the Skipper!