Monday, April 30, 2012

Chicago Day 1 - Rain, Baseball, and Tapas

Each year, our ortho residency class will attend an academic conference.  This year, we were scheduled to attend the Orthopaedic Trauma Association's Comprehensive Resident Fracture Course in Lombard, IL (18 miles outside Chicago).  During intern year, we rarely have the opportunity to work with each other since we're divided among many different surgical rotations.  We were all quite excited about spending 5 days together in fun-filled Chicago, and most importantly outside of the hospital that has become our home.

We arrived in the city on Wednesday and had tickets for a Cubs vs Cardinals game at Wrigley Field.  In typical Chicago fashion, the weather that greeted us was less than stellar.  Personally, I believe there's no better weather for a baseball game than 45 degrees, windy, and raining.

We arrived at the game at 1:30pm, which was actually 2:30pm Charlotte-time.  Mission number one was to find food.  I had high expectations for stadium food.  Have you ever been to an Atlanta Braves game?  Food options are endless and vegetarian options are plentiful.  Sadly, Chicago did not even begin to compare.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream, and beer were plentiful.  Vegetables were non-existent.  I finally spotted a menu that included a "vegetable wrap" and quickly stepped up to order.  The picture below is what I received for $9.  Yes, you see that correctly, a white bread wrap filled with lettuce and white american cheese.  I smothered it in mustard and tried to enjoy it, but eventually resorted to munching on the trail mix in my purse.

Ortho Interns 2012!  

Wrigley field was much smaller than I imagined, but attendance was reported to be 40,000.

After 3 hours in the rain and cold, the Cubs lose to the Cardinals.

We took the subway to the Magnificent Mile and set out to explore.  We came across this incredibly large statue of Marilyn Monroe and stopped to take pictures.

Time to get this party started!  On the recommendation of a concierge, we headed up to the 40th story of a nearby hotel to enjoy drinks at Roof.  Great views, good friends, and a very tasty mojito.

Phil, Nikkole, Gavin, and Matt
Dinner was at Mercadito, a modern Mexican restaurant recommended to us by Matt's sister who lives in Chicago.  It was a great pick!  We shared lots of small plates, including chips and guacamole, flautas, vegetable tacos, mahi mahi tacos, shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, and plantains.

After a fun first day in the city, we hailed a taxi and headed back to our hotel (The Westin) in the burbs.  Time for some sleep before three days of intense lecture + lab sessions start.

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