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Yummy Chicago - Food Tour and Shedd Aquarium

November, 2020 (5 days)
Bus Trip
Walking Level: Light to Moderate
Signup Deadline: Friday, October 16, 2020
Wheelchair Accessible Trip

Join Special Journeys as we travel to Chicago to show you our favorites dishes to eat!

We all know that Chicago is known for their deep-dish pizza, but there are so many more delicious things for you to explore, that we had to make a whole trip dedicated to it!

Though it's not customary, we'll begin this yummy tour of Chicago with sweets, no need to wait until after dinner! Our first activity brings us to candy or a chocolate making class. If chocolate making, this hands-on experience will allow you to learn about all the techniques that make your favorite treat such as how to temper chocolate, chocolate dipping, truffle rolling, and molding. We'll get to make yummy chocolate concoctions with exotic herbs and spices. At a candy making class we will learn all about making yummy confectionaries. In this class, we can see how boiled sugar is turned into pulled lollipops that we can shape and take home. We haven't yet decided which class we'll take because (a) the chocolate may melt before we get to Chicago, and (b) someone just ate the last piece of candy so we'll need to find more before then!

Our next activity will allow us to give our taste buds a break, a palate cleanser if you will, and brings us to the Shedd Aquarium. This aquarium is Chicago's largest, and when we walk through the doors, you'll see why. Animals from all different waters call the Shedd home. You'll see Kimalu the baby Beluga, hear penguins chatter and sea lions bark, and stingrays seemingly fly through the water. You will also see the creatures of the Great Lakes where Lake Sturgeon, sunfishes, and turtles dwell. But be careful of those Alligator Snapping Turtles, they're the largest of the freshwater species and are also one of the best camouflaged so you'll need to be careful of where you put your toes! At the Wild Reef exhibit we can see the predators of the ocean. Here we'll see such animals as the Blacktip Reef Shark, who have to keep swimming to push oxygen through their gills, which means they never stop moving, even while sleeping! We will also see the serpentine shaped Honeycomb Moray Eel which hides among the coral reefs. Then step on over to see the Giant Pacific Octopus. This spectacular animal has an average arm span of 14 feet, 280 suction cups on each tentacle, but can fit through a hole less than 2 inches in size!

After all the exploring the Aquarium, it'll be time to get some Chicago grub. We'll have a taste of a Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo's Hot Dogs. These delicious dawgs (as you say here in Chicago) are served on a poppy seed bun, topped with yellow mustard, white onions, pickle relish, a dill pickle, tomato, and a dash of celery salt. But don't you dare ask for catsup, that doesn't belong on these dawgs. You can also try one of their delicious burgers too - yum!

For dinner, we'll enjoy some deep dish pizza, like a true Chicagoan. Deep dish pizza is prepared using a pan with a high edge, so that there is ample space for lots and lots of cheese to melt in the middle with chunky tomato sauce. These slices are so deep, that they resemble a piece-a pie more than a flatbread slice of pizza. But, in order to truly have the best slice, we'll have to decide between two different pizzerias, Lou Malnati's and Giordano's, because both claim to be the best in the City! Lou got his start making pizza at Chicago's first deep dish pizzeria, so you could certainly say he's an expert, while Mama Giordano is from Torino, Italy where pizza originated.

For our final activity by touring, and tasting of course, Easthill Teas. This venue is the destination spot for prized teas in Chicago. Easthill Teas was started just a few years ago by Keqi, a gentleman from Hangzhou, China who has tasted many kinds of specialty, rare and high-quality teas from all over East Asia. We'll learn from tea tenders and Easthills knowledgeable staff about tea ceremonies, slurp up some of their specialty-crafted tea drinks, and eat delicious treats made by local Chicago chefs. We'll get to taste all the unique flavors of tea, while learning about how it's grown, dried and processed. We will also learn about the complexities of tea, how the same tea can have a different flavor if the brewing time is longer or where the leaves come from. If you're curious about what Dragon Oolong tastes like, we are too because it has such a cool name, this is the time to try it! Easthill has every type of tea under the sun. We can even try teas that aren't made from leaves, but things like lavender and ginger. What a perfect way to end the trip!?

Your Guaranteed Cost Trip™ & Full Fare Price Disclosure

  • Your Guaranteed Cost Trip™ means there are absolutely no hidden costs - everything is included: all meals (breakfast at hotel, lunch and dinner both at a restaurant), lodging in your own, regular bed, and all transportation including local pickup and drop off in your city, all attractions, entertainment and activities, an experienced tour leader and experienced staff care in 1:3 and 1:4 small groups. Travelers only need to bring souvenir and snack money.

  • All prices shown are round trip prices and include all mandatory taxes and fees. Note: Soda cards on Royal Caribbean cruises are at your own expense (to keep the trip price fair for everyone).

  • Vendor & fuel price increases between the time of the traveler’s initial deposit and the due date for final payment are covered by Special Journeys—you never pay extra for Your Guaranteed Cost Trip™.

  • Travelers that need to travel with a dedicated 1:1 staff require an additional, reduced price fare to cover the costs for that staff.

  • All trips with a domestic flight component cover one 50 pound checked bag. See the trip description for 10+ day trips as 2 bags are usually covered then. The cost for additional or overweight bags will be shown on your trip itinerary. There is no fee for carry-on bags but they are limited in size to the then current airline standards.

  • Medical equipment does not count as luggage but you must notify us in advance so we have room to transport this equipment!

  • Some trips require a passport (see trip description). We recommend getting the passport book, not the passport card. It can take 2 to 3 months to receive a passport so apply as early as possible. They are good for 10 years!

  • We offer interest-free payment plans that allow you to finish paying for up to half of the trip cost after you return.

  • You can send in money (pre-pay) for a trip to be selected later.

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