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Old 06-06-2005, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default 1 day in Chicago...what should I do?

I will be in the Chicago area for a week for a conference in July. The conference is pretty intense and it is in Northbrook area, so I won't be able to see much, but I do have one whole day to do whatever I want. Given that I don't have a whole lot of time to spend there, what are some MUSTS for me to do/see while I am in Chicago?
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:13 PM   #2
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MUST HAVE GARRETT'S CARMEL CORN.......

can be purchased on the Mag Mile......mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:15 PM   #3
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The Navy Pier is cool. They also have a free trolley for downtown Chicago
which takes you to the Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo(which is free) and other
places downtown..

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Old 06-06-2005, 03:22 PM   #4
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Oh, go to the Zoo or the science museum! Those are two things that I didn't get to do that I wanted to when I was in Chicago 2 years ago.
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:26 PM   #5
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I have been to Chicago once... I barely remember it I was so young.

Since I saw the movie the Ghost and the Darkness I have wanted to go to the field museum in Chicago to see them. I Loved that movie.

Have fun on your trip...

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Old 06-06-2005, 03:31 PM   #6
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I'd just walk the mile and look at all the shops, you'd probably have time to take a trolley and hit the pier also - DON'T do the 4D history of Chicago ride - boring waste of money.
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Old 06-06-2005, 03:57 PM   #7
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One of our favorite things to do is be on top of the Hancock tower at sunset. You can watch the sun go down and the lights come up. Absolutely lovely!

If you enjoy art, the art museum is wonderful, but it is huge and you could probably spend the whole day there. I also love Shedd's Aquarium. The otters are the cutest things ever and you can see dolphins and whales. I think the Field Museum is kind of outdated so wouldn't recommend it. And I hear the Science and Industry museum is great, but it might be more aimed at kids. I am not sure. Never having had the chance to visit NY, I enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of Michigan Ave. which is bustling during the day, but a bit dead by nightfall.
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Old 06-06-2005, 04:06 PM   #8
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1) If you like art, The Art Institute is *fabulous*! You won't be disappointed! Gran' Wood's "American Gothic" is there - the farmer holding the pitchfork with his wife standing to his right (our left) with the farmhouse in the background. There are also several Monet's, Georges Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" (commonly referred to as "Sunday Afternoon In The Park") pointillism masterpiece (which is *enormous*!!), sculptures my Henry Moore, the Thorne Rooms (downstairs - 1/12 scale miniature rooms - that is 1" to each 1' representation...), Degas, Dali, Picasso, Manet, Frank Lloyd Wright, Van Gogh, Magritte....really, a *PHENOMENAL* collection if you are an art enthusiast. But if you are, plan on it taking an entire day.

2) The Museum of Science and Industry is located on the southern end of the Lake Shore Drive, about a 10 minutes cab ride from "The Loop" and the other major museums. It is the only remaining structure from the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition (World's Fair). There is currently an exhibit on the human body using plasticization techniques and human cadavers - quite fascinating. This would be one of the more expensive choices - probabably $15 general admission plus $25 for the Body exhibit.....

3) The Shedd Aquarium is always a hit - but this time of year, with school being out - it will be packed, and I do mean *PACKED* with little people! Even I won't take my kids there during the summer...too easy to get turned around and miss a great deal. Also, if you're from a coastal area and accustomed to salt-water exhibits, this would be a great departure: many of the exhibits feature freshwater fish, aquatic, and plant life native to the great lakes region.

4) Navy Pier has great restaurants and shops.

5) Lincoln Park Zoo is free and pretty!

6) I highly recommend Greek Islands Restaurant for dinner - they make a braised lamb dish called Arni Fornou that is out of this world! In fact, I can't eat lamb any more unless it is made grecian!

7) If it is a clear day, the Skydeck at the Sears Tower is always a good bet. But if it is the least bit overcast, save your $$$...you won't even be able to see halfway down the tower. Also: I prefer to go at night...my NSHO says that is when the city looks the best...

Call for tickets to the Oprah Winfrey show if you can...though I don't recall - does she do *any* tapings in the summer anymore?

9) When I was at the Field Museum of Natural History in April for the Jacqueline Kennedy clothing exhibit, Sue the T-Rex was also on display there. I *love* the Field, though I can do without the smell of mothballs....


I could go on and on but I'll stop.... just a few suggestions of some of my fave places in one of my fave cities! ~ K
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Old 06-06-2005, 04:53 PM   #9
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Of course you can spend an entire day shopping on the Magnificent Mile, but that's beside the point!!!
My very favorite place in Chicago is the Field Museum - SUCH interesting things, dinosaurs, etc. And it's practically right next to the Shedd Aquarium, my second favorite place!!!!
Sears Tower is really cool if it's a clear day and you aren't TOO afraid of heights!
And there is NO lack of great restaurants in town - try to go out to breakfast at the Original Rock and Roll McDonalds - fun!! Seriously, it is.
I hope you have a ton of fun!!!!
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Old 06-06-2005, 04:59 PM   #10
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You can start at the Art Museum and the Loop area and make your way north. The Art Museum is wonderful. Depending on the day of the week the stores on State St. are open. The lakefront area behind the Art Museum is beautiful. You could just go for a nice walk along the lake/marina - go south to the aquarium. This is also the area of the new Millinium Park. Head north on Michigan Ave. and go to the old Watertower - one of the few things still standing after the Chicago fire. More shopping along Michigan Ave - Magnificant Mile. Keep going and you will hit Oak St. beach. You can walk along the beach to Lincoln Park or catch a cab. The Lincoln Park zoo and botanical gardens are a great way to spend an afternoon. I lived in downtown Chicago for 3 yrs. and loved it. It is a great place to live or visit. Would love to live there again.
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Old 06-06-2005, 05:18 PM   #11
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Go see OPRAH!!!!
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Old 06-06-2005, 07:29 PM   #12
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THanks so much ladies! Except now I have a problem in that I have to choose what to do LOL. I wonder if I can sqeeze something in on the day I leave before I go to the airport........
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Old 06-06-2005, 07:54 PM   #13
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I wanna see oprah!!!!!!! Anyone ever been??
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Old 06-06-2005, 08:02 PM   #14
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Oprah doesn't tape in the summer. This may be her last couple of weeks taping for the year.

I got to see Dr. Phil the first time he was on her show (several years ago).

Lisa
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Old 06-06-2005, 08:16 PM   #15
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shop
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Old 06-06-2005, 08:29 PM   #16
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I'll be there for a conference in July also---the 6th---10th. The ONLY thing I MUST do is go to the American Girls store. The rest of the time the "veteran" conference goers will show me the town! When will you be there?

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Old 06-06-2005, 09:03 PM   #17
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DH and I lived in the area when we were engaged, and I just love the city but I have to say I'm not a big fan of Navy Pier for anything other than the view of the lake.

I would pick the field museum over Science and Industry, just because S&I seemed to be more geared towards kids IMHO.

I would highly recommend eating at Gino's (Pizza), Ed Debevic's (50's diner), Lou Malnati's (pizza), or Portillos (Chicago-style hot dogs) while you are in town though!!

I would just shop the Mile and go up the Sears Tower. That'll probably take you all day in itself!!
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Old 06-07-2005, 12:57 PM   #18
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Eat at the Cheesecake Factory. The cheesecake is fantastic!
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Old 06-07-2005, 02:42 PM   #19
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Portillo's also has great italian beef.
Now I'm homesick!
Also have to see Buckingham Fountain at night
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Old 06-07-2005, 03:53 PM   #20
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I suggest you go to Water Tower Place to shop. It has wonderful stores and it is air conditioned. The city is hot and humid in July. The thing is no matter what you decide to do you will have a great time, because Chicago is the best city on Earth. You will meet some of the most wonderful people on the planet and see the most beautiful skyline ever created. I lived there my whole life up until two years ago and I really miss the place. Have a wonderful time.
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Old 06-07-2005, 04:34 PM   #21
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This is so timely! My family and I are going to be spending a few days in Chicago while on our family vacation. You guys have given me some great ideas! The girls really want to go to the American Girl Place and now I think the aquarium! The zoo sounds great too (we love zoos) and of course, shopping! Thanks so much for the great ideas!
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Old 06-07-2005, 05:12 PM   #22
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There's so much to do in downtown Chicago that you couldn't go wrong heading down there for a day. You'd have your pick of great attractions - Shedd Aquarium (great place!), Planetarium (only been there a couple of times but enjoyed it), Field Museum (I liked parts of it and skipped over others), Millenium Park (just for a quick look) and of course the lakefront with all its beauty (boats & buildings). To me, that alone is worth the trip downtown!

The Art Institute is awesome, if you're into that kind of attraction. It's also on Michigan Avenue, so a brisk walk or bus ride would take you up the "Magnificent Mile" for some great shopping (that's where Water Tower Place is). Lincoln Park Zoo is also very nice (although not as spacious as Brookfield Zoo, but for that you'd need a car to travel to the western burbs). One of my favorite restaurants is just outside the LP Zoo on Lincoln Park West - RJ Grunts, which is the ORIGINAL "Lettuce Entertain You" restaurant still kept open & flourishing for the past 3+ decades (and which I used to frequent when I lived down there in my 20's). (And now I've just dated myself....) Parking at the zoo is $12.00 for the day, although I usually have luck parking on the street (just be patient).

I was just downtown yesterday showing off Navy Pier to my out-of-town cousins. We immensely enjoyed the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows on the Pier -- a FREE exhibit (we were shocked since it seems like everything typically has an added-on cost). A ride on the slow-moving giant Ferris Wheel ($5) is a must for views, if you're not afraid of heights. There's also miniature golf, and a couple of other rides that I didn't check out in detail. And of course, there are several different boat companies that offer cruises on the lake for not too much $$. The only thing that was disappointing to me was the price to park on the Pier - we were charged $22 for just over 3 hours - OUCH!! Parking off the pier can probably be found for a bit less, but we had time constraints.

Sorry to ramble, but I wanted to give you some in-depth ideas about the lakefront area. I've lived here all my life, and a good portion of it in the downtown and near-north areas (now I'm out in the burbs west of O'Hare).

Oh, and I second the Garrett's popcorn suggestion, only get cheese and caramel and mix them together! (And be prepared to wait, because the lines are usually long but for a good reason!)

Just be assured you're going to have a marvelous time!
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Old 06-07-2005, 05:54 PM   #23
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Reading all these responses make me miss the days I lived in Chicago. Can't believe Ed Debevic's is still around. I remember when it opened - now I'm really dating myself. The wait would be hours. You gotta get a Chicago style pizza. And if your go to Marshall Field's try a Frango mint. Now I am really hungry
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Old 06-07-2005, 08:31 PM   #24
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Get Garrett's popcorn and then come visit me! LOL
I'm not "too" far from Northbrook and I totally LOVE Garrett's, but i'm never down in the Loop anymore. Definantly get the cheese/caramel mix! LOL
If I only had a day, i'd probably check out Michigan avenue! Lots to see, shops to browse...their Crate and Barrel store is out of this world! Shops are just "different" on Michigan avenue!
Seriously though, go to Garrett's and then hop the Metra train back out to visit me in Lake Villa! LMAO
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Old 06-07-2005, 08:46 PM   #25
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Garrett's Caramel Corn is a must!! And, it's on the magnificent mile...so you can take in some sights while you eat.

Ride the El. It gives you some interesting perspective on Chicago...and, if you're a west coast native like me,...we just don't get to ride subways and Els often enough. LOL

The History Museum is awesome!! Well worth the visit if you have any interest in the Great Chicago Fire and/or Abraham Lincholn.

Navy Pier is pretty cool. The ferris wheel is AWESOME!! Great views of Lake Michigan and Oprah's house.

The Science Museum is fabulous. That's on the South side of town.

Definitely get a braut and some caramel corn, though.
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:23 PM   #26
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If you are in the Northbrook area, you are about 25 miles North of the city of Chicago. I'm about 10-15 minutes North of Northbrook (depending where you are), and there are lots of things to do here in the suburbs too!

1) Northbrook court - beautiful shopping mall with lots of nice stores right near where you'll be. They have a restaurant there called "Stir Crazy" where you choose your meat and then go fill a bowl with whatever veggies you want and whatever sauce you choose. Then they cook it up for you. My son and I ate there today - we had Asian Ceasar salads with Calamari - out of this world! For desert I recommend the fried banana wontons with vanilla ice-cream and caramel sauce. And homemade ginger ale that is awesome!
2) Chicago Botanic Gardens - right off Lake-Cook Road which borders Northbrook and Highland Park to the North. Gorgeous gardens, exhibits, and a lovely restaurant. I LOVE going there and maybe they'll have their special yearly exhibit at that time. You can ride the tram and have a relaxing tour of the grounds before you set off on your own ($3-5). Depending what night of the week it is, they could have a bell concert in the evening or some other special event.
3) Gurnee Mills - about 30 minutes North of Northbrook, depending on where you will be. Gurnee Mills is a very large mall. It takes about 20-30 minutes to just walk from one end to the other without stopping to look at anything - and it has so many different types of stores! There is a beautiful Archiver's store in it - have you heard of them? It is a scrapbook/card maker's heaven! Tons of papers, punches, stamps, embellishments and anything else you can think of!! You could spend the entire day just there! If you buy their paper, you can use all of their fun die cut punches for free!
4) Ravinia Festival - all kinds of music from the Temptations to Chicago Sympany Orchestra, there is something going on all summer long. If you know the dates, you can see who will be performing that night. Lawn seats are $10 and Pavillion seats are more pricey. You can rent chairs, tables, umbrellas (all cheap), and get great food there too!

I could list more things but will stop here. I just wanted you to know that if you aren't up to going into the city, there are lots of nice options right here in the far northern suburbs.

Feel free to PM me for more information!

Mary
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:29 PM   #27
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Forgot to say that Northbrook Court's anchor stores are Marshall Fields, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Crate & Barrel and lots more smaller stores!

Gurnee Mills has Bass Pro Shop (had to add that since I frequent it with my husband and sons), Rainforest Cafe, Marshalls or TJ Max (can't remember), and about every speciality store - they used to have a store just for cashmere! And many, many kiosks! It's so big that I usually go to Bass Pro or Archivers so I'm not familiar with all of the other stores. It is well known and people come from all over to go there.

Of course Great America and their new water park are just around the corner too if you just want to play!
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Old 06-08-2005, 06:14 AM   #28
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If the CUBS are in town go see them even if you don't particularly like baseball that field has so much history.

Navy Pier is a good one. I like walking around on the Miracle Mile (lots of shopping).
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:39 PM   #29
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wahhh, now I REALLY can't decide what to do I will be there from July 5-14th. The conference is at Techny Towers if anyone knows where that is. We will have a 3 hour block in the middle of the day each day so that would be a cool time to check out some of the stuff in the suburbs I think, so getting some ideas for that was great! If anyone has any more ideas for Chicago or Northbrook area suburbs, I'd love to hear them!!!
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:45 AM   #30
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I wanna see oprah!!!!!!! Anyone ever been??
I was on Oprah in 1998. I was one of the five book-club guests for "What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day" by Pearl Cleage. Got to have dinner with her and Pearl Cleage - at the time, I was the first Chicagoan to be on her book club. 4 hours of taping for a 30 minute segment but I *love* it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat! Except next time, I want to be the *author!* ~ K
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:48 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaSophie
wahhh, now I REALLY can't decide what to do I will be there from July 5-14th. The conference is at Techny Towers if anyone knows where that is. We will have a 3 hour block in the middle of the day each day so that would be a cool time to check out some of the stuff in the suburbs I think, so getting some ideas for that was great! If anyone has any more ideas for Chicago or Northbrook area suburbs, I'd love to hear them!!!
I think you'll be pretty close to Old Orchard Mall, though admittedly I don't know the northern suburbs too well. If your schedule allows, maybe a group of us can meet you for lunch! Are you getting a rental car, or are you relying on public transportation? ~ K
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:21 PM   #32
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Ohhh, I loved "What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day." Great book - sorry for the hijack
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:19 PM   #33
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I would love to do lunch! We are not getting a car but I can definitely get a taxi or something to meet somewhere if anyone wants to get together!
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:57 PM   #34
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Andrea - where in Northbrook will you be? If you can tell me the name of the hotel or conference center you'll be at, I can give you an idea of how far away things are.

For instance, if you are located on Rt. 41 or 94 (The Sheraton?) - you are very close to the Ravinia Music Festival, Chicago Botanic Gardens (border of Glencoe & Highland Park), and a straight shot South to Old Orchard as Kaylyn mentioned and the city of Chicago. You are also a straight shot North to Gurnee Mills, Kenosha/Wisconsin, etc. Depending on what time of day it is, it could be 1 hour or more to downtown Chicago with traffic - 30 minutes if smooth sailing.

Old Orchard is a very nice mall. It's in the town of Skokie which is between east Northbrook and Chicago. And, there are lots of other shopping areas within a mile of it. Have you ever heard of The Cheesecake Factory restaurant? They have one there. There is also a great Thai restaurant right down the road if you like Thai food.

Let me know where you're staying and I can help you figure out what's close and what's not!
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Old 06-12-2005, 09:24 PM   #35
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I will be staying at Techny Towers. I believe it is a former monestary?!?!
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Old 06-13-2005, 06:33 AM   #36
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Techny Towers is a former monastary, but I did not realize that they rented out "rooms" there! How funny, learn something new everyday! PM me AndreaSophie with your availablilty and I will see if I can arrange to meet you for lunch or something! Wouldn't that be fun? I live about 30 miles away from Northbrook, but if I can unload my children, i'd love to do a girls lunch with ya!
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Old 06-13-2005, 05:52 PM   #37
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I've heard of Techny Towers (wasn't always called that), housing conventions, etc. - a friend of mine was there for a weekend of quilting. But it isn't a place that comes to mind when I think of conferences in Northbrook!

I'll bet it's lovely inside!

You are close to a new area of shopping in Glenview, and not too far from Rt. 41/94 if you want to head North or South. Even for meeting someone, you're not too far off the main path!

Have fun whatever you do. Be sure to post when you'll be here if you want to get a group together for lunch. I'm up for it depending on what the date is, as I'm only 15-20 minutes up the road to the North.

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Old 06-23-2005, 05:50 AM   #38
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I just recently got back from being in Illinois. I lived there for almost 35 years. I looked up Northbrook and you won't be that far from Long Grove, Illinois (http://www.longgroveonline.com/attractions.html link to information).

They are famous for their candy and it is such a cute place to visit. I am sure it has changed, but their chocolate strawberrys are to die for.
I have listed their site. They have different and unusual shops there and their apple cider is very good and they have wine testing. Also, since I live in the South I would have to agree with the ladies that you need to have a Chicago pizza. Pizza is so bad here in the South that when we visit family we bring coolers with dry ice to take them back. Also, Chinatown can be interesting area to visit and would probably be about 45 minutes, but you will have the best chinese. Also, Woodfield mall isn't far from where you are at either. It a pretty big mall and you can shop til you drop.

As for traveling downtown, I would recommend going on a bus. My sister and I would park are car and get on a bus and get off and on. You can probably ask the place your staying at if they have bus transportation or where to pick it up.

Also, I have to agree with the lady about FRANGO mints. Something that my BUNCO ladies when nuts about when I served it to them. I got the ones with candy canes and they said they never tasted anything like it.

Also, I have gone on a boat cruise at night in Chicago at it is stunning. It is absolutely beautiful to see the city from that perspective. Also, something that people haven't mention is the theaters that are there. If you aren't from the big city areas going to a broadway show is something to see. I know that Chicago is playing at Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, and the Lion King. You might want to do this if you do a lot of walking it might feel nice to enjoy a broadway show.

Hope you have a safe and wonderful trip.


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Old 07-07-2005, 08:32 AM   #39
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I was reading back messages to see what days you would be gone and you must be here NOW!

If you happen to read your emails and get this message, Diane is right - Long Grove is a very fun place to see!

It's funny because I've lived in this area most of my life and totally forgot about Long Grove!

BUT most importantly - there is a little stamping/scrapbooking store tucked into a group of stores that is called Nickelby's. When you enter the "town" from Coffin Road, it will be on your right just before the main stop sign.

From the road, Nickelby's looks like a stationary shop. Go inside and check out all of the fun supplies they have, including stamps, Art Institute glitter and glue, Twinkling H2O's, papers, stencils, inks, 18k gold leaf/copper/red/silver accent pens, and lots of other unexpected surprises.

Have fun!
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:50 AM   #40
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Didn't Nickelby's go out of business? I know a sideline of mine had purchased some display racks from a scrapbooking/stamping store in Long Grove that had gone out of business. Wasn't this the only store of that kind in Long Grove?
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