I haven't been cycling for the past two days. Instead, I've been eating a lot of delicious food. On Day 21, I had van duty and was driving the food van, which meant that I went around to beg for food donations. It was my second time in the food van. Although I was a bit bummed that I didn't get to ride into Chicago, I enjoyed the extra rest day driving the van with Ariana. My butt surely did, after cycling over 300 miles in the past four days.
Ari and I went to a Panera, Krogers, a drugstore, and a few family-owned restaurants. Almost everyone was really friendly and was willing to help. We got donations at four out of the six places we asked. I was happy to bring my teammates a great lunch of sandwiches, wraps, paninis, salad, homemade potato chips, and a bunch of snack foods and veggies. And we got all that stuff before 11 am, too! The morning went by smoothly and we were able to have an early lunch stop.
Getting into Chicago and reaching our host at UIC was a bit of a pain. There was some confusion about our dorm rooms which took over three hours to figure out. We finally got rooms and everyone arrived and was able to shower. Everyone was really hungry by then. A group of us decided to go to a steakhouse, and chose a random steakhouse. Turned out, it was kind of fancier than we thought, about on par with Ruth's Chris. Whoops, I was wearing running shorts and my 4K shirt with flip flops. Oh well.
I wanted to splurge a little since we were in Chicago, so I ordered two oysters, a 16oz ribeye, a side of truffled peas, and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
I also stole other people's sweet potato fries which were some of the best I've ever had. My medium rare steak was delicous.
The next morning, my body automatically wanted to wake up at 5am, but I made myself sleep in until 6:40. I wanted to go for a run to the Navy Pier and see the lake path since I didn't get to ride into Chicago on it. I went for a 5ish mile run with Chris and enjoyed the views of the lake.
The mist shrouding the skyscrapers was eerie and pretty cool.
There are a few interesting sculptures along the lake path. I thought this whale sculpture made with plastic bottles and scrap metal was interesting.
After we got back and showered, a group of us headed to Chinatown for some dimsum. Ki Young, a teammate who is from Chicago, took us to a really great dimsum restaurant.
I sat at a table of four, and we ended up ordering 13 dishes, including chicken feet and congee.
I ate so much food and it was amazing. I needed to lie down for a bit afterwards.
In the afternoon, Ki Young took us on a tour of UC. It was a really beautiful campus with huge gothic buildings covered in ivy. The cathedral was immense.
We also went downtown to walk around and see the bean. Chicago seems like a pretty bike-friendly city with a lot of bike lanes. I guess I'll see when I bike out of the city on Day 23.
This was the second time I've visited the Bean. We took a bunch of group photos and some people got hot dogs in honor of Jamie, since it was her favorite food. We still laugh about that.
It was a fun day in Chicago and I wish we had more time to do stuff. I'll just have to come back again.