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In the Garden of Beerdom

I’m jumping out of order here and posting about the weekend I just had (I’ll be jumping back to my Bucket List summaries this week, but for now, let’s talk about the amazing weekend I just had!)

When I found out I’d be up here for awhile, I knew I needed to sneak in an extra weekend with my favorite DGs. The only date that worked for people was this weekend, and it just so happened it was the same weekend two of my friends had already bought tickets for a Trolley Pub Crawl put on by the Chicago History Museum called ‘In the Garden of Beerdom’. Basically they’d go to 4 hole-in-the-wall bars, be at each for a drink, and then get back on the trolley and head to the next place. In between, the tour guide gave us a little history on the bar and the neighborhood it was in. And a ticket was $30… ummm nerdy history + beer + friends.. SOLD! I bought my ticket and counted down the days to the weekend.

I took the train from Royal Oak to Detroit on Friday afternoon and got in right around 8:30pm. Kristen was so nice to pick me up from Union Station, and then we headed back to her condo. Once there we met up with her bf, Joey, and headed down to Noodles & Co for dinner. Afterwards we went to Guthrie’s, which is a neighborhood bar by her that has a good beer selection and a bunch of board games you can play. The three of us played Guess Who, Candyland, The Game of Life, and Battle of the Sexes. All of a sudden I hit a wall, and realized it was 2am… umm yeah. I’d been up at 5am that morning to go play golf with one of my devs, by the time we were back at the condo it was 3:30am. Yeah, I’d almost pulled an all-nighter! No wonder I was so exhausted!!

Saturday we all slept in straight til 10:30 (and even then waking up was a struggle!). We showered, grabbed breakfast at Einstein’s, and then met up with Joey’s sisters to play trivia. The trivia at this place was INSANE.


It was the championship tournament, and there were 87 TEAMS!! And, they made you check your cellphone at the door. I left mine at the bottom of my purse and didn’t touch it, but seriously, if you were caught with a phone, your team was disqualified no. questions. asked. The first round was only ok, we got about half the questions right, and then it went all downhill. I couldn’t believe how hard it was! I’m not sure how anyone knew these answers. Finally around 4:30, we packed it in and started walking back to Kristen & Joey’s condo to wait on Meghan & Cody who were coming down from Madison to join us.

We enjoyed happy hour out on the patio before getting dressed for dinner and heading over to Coast. Coast was an awesome sushi place that was also pretty cheap! And it was BYOB, so you know I loved it!!


From Coast, we headed over to this awesome Prohibition-era bar called The Violet Hour. We waited for about 20 minutes to get in, but once inside it was really cool. From the outside all you can see is this light, there’s no signage or anything.


We finished out the night there and cab-bed it home, but it was a fun night! And once again, the old-lady in me was very happy to finally crash and go to sleep!!

On Sunday we woke up, showered, and headed back down to Old Town to enjoy something I hadn’t had in 6 whole weeks… MEXICAN FOOD!!


I had my heart sent on enchiladas, but once I saw they had a brunch menu, I knew I’d be regretting not getting my beloved migas. It absolutely hit the spot and I had the craziest happy-grin on my face the rest of the day!! We also met up with Jason and Amy at the museum and caught the trolley to start our tour. Our first stop… the J Parker.

     JParker3  JParker2

It was a rooftop bar atop this boutique hotel (The Lincoln Hotel) and the views were breathtaking! It was sunny and warm outside and it was just amazing. We could’ve sat there all day chatting and soaking up the vitamin D. But about 30 minutes later we were back on the trolley and heading to our next stop. Stop 2 was The Plymouth.

              Stop2_Plymouth    Stop2_Plymouth2

This patio was so fun (and covered!) and my Moscow Mule was delicious!! Getting out of the sun for a little bit was awesome and I think it perked everyone up for the rest of the trip. Stop 3 was a total dive, and by dive I mean I felt absolutely at home there. It was called Happy Valley.

Stop3_HappyValley   Stop3_8bit

Happy Valley is one of the few Peter Hand breweries left in Chicago. And the pale ale I had there (pictured above) cracked me up. Being that I work with developers, it seemed fitting that I had to try it. And it was pretty good! Not too hoppy, so I liked it!!

Last stop was Clark Street Ale House.

         Stop4_ClarkStreet2   Stop4_ClarkStreet4

I tried a German Weiss there that was delicious, but it was getting close to the time I needed to head back to Union Station and catch my train back. So unfortunately I had to rush out of there and say quick goodbyes to everyone. But I will be back!

I had such a good time catching up with everyone and it was so weird to be leaving knowing that we would be getting together again in the next month or so. I’m used to going a year in between visits! Also knowing it was the end of my crazy traveling for awhile, it was a great end to a great stretch!! Now I’ll be in Michigan for at least the next two weeks before heading home. Operation make-Michigan-more-of-a-home and less of a temporary situation begins next week. I’d love to make some more friends and start to meet new people. Definitely will be pushing me out of my comfort zone, so here is fingers crossed that it’ll go well!! Smile

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