200 Things To Do In Illinois – Crosstown Doubleheader

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We conclude things this week with one of the entries from the Sports category: Crosstown Doubleheader, from Chicago, IL.

Usually, at least once during the baseball season, there’s a Cubs home day game followed buy a Sox home night game – or vice versa.  When these scheduling stars align, hop on the Red Line and hit both games for a crosstown day-night doubleheader.

One of the best things about living in a two-team town is the occasional opportunity to take in two games, one at each park, in the same day.  There have been 7 times I’ve watched both the Cubs and the Sox on the same day at their respective homes: first, in 2003 as the Rockies defeated the Cubs and the Mariners throttled the White Sox, and most recently last season, as the Nationals beat the Cubs and the Rangers shut out the White Sox.

There was an 8th instance, in 2004, where I took in games in both parks on the same day, but it didn’t involve the White Sox.  The afternoon tilt that day at US Cellular Field was between the Expos and the Marlins, relocated to Chicago due to Hurricane Ivan. That night, the Cubs slipped past the Pirates at Wrigley Field.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Water Tower

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018. To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities. With the state still shut down due to the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We continue things this week with one of the entries from the History category: Water Tower, from Chicago, IL.

Salute a survivor of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 by stepping inside the city’s Historic Water Tower, an enduring Michigan Avenue landmark that’s now a repository for local artists’ work.

If I’m being honest, I’ve never actually been inside the old Water Tower.  But, I’ve been by it plenty of times, including catching a carriage ride after junior prom way back when.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Morton Arboretum

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We continue things this week with one of the entries from the Nature category: Morton Arboretum, from Lisle, IL.

Thank Morton Salt Co. founder Joy Morton for this “tree museum” spread across 1,700 acres.  Trees from 40-plus countries populate the nearly century-old arboretum, whose offerings include walks with a certified forest therapy guide.  Cap off the arboreal experience with a cup of tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail.

The Morton Arboretum was a favorite field trip location during my grammar school years.  I have vague recollections of trips there, mostly about seeing trees and butterflies.  I haven’t been there in well over 30 years, so you can’t expect much more from me, can you?

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Route 66

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018. To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities. Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We kick things off with one of the entries from the History category: Route 66, from Chicago, IL.

Snap a selfie under the “begin” and “end” signs of historic Route 66, the legendary 20th century highway that stretched nearly 2,500 neon-lit miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, California.  The brown markers are at Michigan Avenue and Adams Street (the westbound starting point) and Michigan and Jackson Boulevard (eastern terminus).

The Mother Road was decommissioned years ago, but lots of Route 66 relics remain along Illinois’ 300-mile stretch between Chicago and St. Louis.

Truth be told, I can’t say that I’ve even seen the signs marking the start and end of Route 66 on Michigan Ave, but it isn’t for a lack of being in the area.  I spent most of grad school 1 block east of Michigan on Jackson, so I would make the walk over on occasion, as time permitted.  Not to mention events in Grant Park, like Lollapalooza or the Cubs championship parade in 2016.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – United Center

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018. To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  Now that the state is starting to open back up following the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We kick things off with one of the entries from the Sports category: United Center, from Chicago, IL.

Seeing the stars of the Bulls and the Blackhawks go to battle in the Madhouse on Madison is thrilling – or infuriating, depending on how the teams are doing.

But no trip to the Near West Side stadium is complete without genuflecting at a trio of statues commemorating former Chicago hockey and basketball greats Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Michael Jordan.  You’ll find Hull and Mikita outside, while His Airness is enshrined in an atrium that opened last year.

I’ve been to the United Center 10 times, for 4 Bulls games, 4 Blackhawks games, a 2011 NCAA tournament game, and a concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  My first two Bulls games came in 1997, a month or two prior to Michael Jordan’s return to the team.  My only game during the championship years came in November of 1997, when I saw Jordan and Bulls defeat the Hornets.  3 of the Blackhawk games came during their lean years, with just one coming during their championship runs.  The NCAA tournament game saw the Purdue Boilermakers fall to VCU in a surprising upset.