After heading through Wisconsin, manfriend and I stopped to visit friends and family in Chicago. The weather was disturbingly beautiful, so we spent the afternoon at a street fair and then Millenium Park, followed by dinner at Tango Sur, an Argentine steak house. My meal was a delicious glorified chicken fried steak, which sparked Chicago resident friend Michelle to tell everyone about how in elementary school, we were served chicken-fried steak for every Monday hot lunch. I don’t particularly remember this, but according to Michelle, all the other students brought their Monday lunches from home, while I always requested double-orders of hot lunch from the cafeteria. Apparently, I’m gross.
a close up of the pixels on Crown Fountain in Millenium Park
After a great night in Chicago, we drove down to Dollywood, the flagship destination or our roadtrip. Along the way, had lunch in South Bend IN to visit some of my family. You can smoke everywhere in South Bend.
The drive through Kentucky and Tennesse was gorgeous, and luckily we passed through Daniel Boone National Forest before nightfall. We spent two nights in Pigeon Forge, TN, and experienced a full day at Dollywood in between.
Dollywood is nestled in the Smoky Mountains, so in addition to riding roller coasters and listening to bluegrass performances, we were also able to enjoy the incredible scenery. The park is home to the largest group of non-releasable bald eagles in the country, and it was shocking how close we could get to these enormous raptors. We attended a Birds of Prey show, in which I was selected from the audience to have featured vulture Cujo sit on my arm. In retrospect, I think I may have been the only volunteer.
After a satisfying stay in Pigeon Forge, we were off to St. Louis. But not before we could sample one more traditional Kentucky meal. I present to you, "Kentucky Hot Brown."
Or as I like to call it, "Um, I have to go to the bathroom," or "Now that's what I call a 'hot lunch.'"