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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Exploring Chicago by transit

Well, that's the plan - my plan. My husband on the other hand, who is apparently too good for public transit, is terribly stressed by this idea. I am NOT taking uber or a cab to Wrigley Field from our downtown hotel to this Blue Jays vs. Chicago Cubs game he talked me into next Friday. We are taking transit.

So, he owes me one.

I picked a hotel that is literally close to everything on foot. I have already mapped out our eating excursions (we arrive next Tuesday and leave Saturday) and one place I need to go, is the fire hall that stands in for Firehouse 51 on the tv show, Chicago Fire. The fire hall is 35 minutes away from our hotel by subway and apparently, we can use a credit card as fare payment. However, I plan on hooking both of us up with day passes which makes my husband shiver in horror. If he had his way, we'd rent a car (no thanks) or take a cab everywhere (apparently we're very rich and I simply choose to ignore just how wealthy we are).

I truly believe the best way to really see a city and feel its vibe is to ride its transit system.

At least I didn't suggest we rent bikes...

18 comments:

Al said...

check costco travel for rental cars. its not that expensive,

Im with Chad.

Anonymous said...

I was in NYC for the first time ever this spring and was impressed that their subway has an express line even on the weekend. That makes so much sense! Just like GO, but seemingly all the time. But I was not impressed at the station attendant who wouldn't clarify the poster poorly describing subway/station restrictions while work was being done. Very rude. Unfortunately, he reinforced the stereotype (?) of rude New Yorkers.

Al said...

$260 for the term?

Use your credit card or personal insurance for insurance

deepfish said...

Check out he museums while you're there!

C.J. Smith said...

Al,
I appreciate what you are suggesting. I have no desire to incur the additional expense, plus the daily parking fees at the hotel, which for this hotel, is limited parking anyway. Chad isn't going to die. Of course, he *thinks* he's going to die. He needs to pucker it up.

C.J. Smith said...

deepfish
Art institute is on the list. Because Ferris Bueller.

Ed said...

I loved the architectural tour there. We went when taste of Chicago was happening at the waterfront where I ate several unrecognizable things. Put enough hot sauce on it and I can eat almost anything. I took a picture of myself in front of the fountain shown in Married with Children.

A boat cruise through the various waterways was the best. Riding the EL train wasn't so nice.

I'll go back someday.

Ed said...

Oh yeah forgot. Watch out for scams when using the credit or debit card for fares when you have to tap. It's an ongoing problem there.

Apparently the fake tappers look so much like the real thing you'll never know the differences.

C.J. Smith said...

Ooooh, thanks Ed. I think then a Ventra card is the way to go, it's like Presto or we buy day passes. I really don't need an issue like that.
I am PUPOSEDLY putting my husband on the L train. AWESOME.

I really appreciate everyone giving me tips and insight!

Ed said...

PUPOSEDLY? That sounds harsh.

C.J. Smith said...

*can't spell.

Jamie Skinner said...

I was in last Chick-a-go last summer - amazing trip! I recommend the bikes, our hotel had courtesy bikes to borrow during the day with locks and helmets...was great!

Dave said...

We used the El going to both White Sox and Cubs games when we were in Chi-town. Definitely the way to go because both parks are right beside the El red line. For whatever reason, we couldn't buy a day pass at the El station (we would have needed to go to a store a few blocks away and didn't have time), so we bought a dollar value card from an automated machine and used it to get on and off at several stations during the day. I think it cost a quarter to re-ride within a certain length of time (I think two hours). Beat the hell out of what we had in Toronto at the time.

TomW said...

The idea of driving round downtown Chicago fills me with horror. It would be like downtown Toronto, except without all the polite Canadian drivers.

deepfish said...

The art institute is worth it for Grant Wood.

Vanessa Medina said...

We went last week and were lucky to know a couple who lives there and they took the L Train with us to Wrigley and back.

Anonymous said...

I visited Chicago in August 2015. I recommend buying a Ventra card. I bought a card at an automated machine at the subway station at Midway airport. The machine asks you for your zip code, but I simply used the zip code of the hotel I was staying at and I didn't have a problem.

You can load up 1 fare on your Ventra card to get to your hotel (or close to your hotel), and then you can register your card online - again, use your hotel's address for the registration. That way, the $6 card purchase fee is refunded, and you can buy a 1 or 3 day pass on the card using that $6 credit (though you have to buy online to do this). I didn't use the subway that much during my visit, but I liked the convenience of the day pass. (You have to have a Ventra card to buy a pass.)

Also, if you're going to Wrigley, make sure to go to Addison Stn. on the Red Line, not the Brown Line - though you're likely already aware of that. Trains going to Wrigley are crowded, but it's not "sardine can" crowded. You'll likely want to go up to Wrigley Field a bit early to enjoy the pre-game atmosphere.

Enjoy your trip! Chicago is a great city!

W.T.

CJ Smith said...

I so appreciate this! We leave tomorrow and this was insightful