One of the goals for our trip to Chicago was, of course, to try a bunch of Chicago food. The other goal was to visit baseball stadiums. Jake’s goal is to visit all of the major league stadiums and Chicago helps us knock two off our list. Jake is into all kinds of baseball though – not just major league – so on this trip we hit up 3 stadiums!
Chicago White Sox – Guaranteed Rate Field
The Chicago White Sox play at Guaranteed Rate Field which is in the South Side of Chicago. This is a much more modern looking fancified stadium.
We got duped by a parking dude before we even got into the stadium. We were heading to the parking lot when a guy directed us to park on the street and gave us a parking pass and we gave him $10 bucks. It looked legit. I had a little bit of a bad feeling about it and this guy, but for whatever reason I decided not say anything. We ended up with a $200 parking ticket because we didn’t have a valid city permit on our rental car. SNAP.
Here’s Jake and T in front of the stadium.
We bought tickets the day of. Our seats were actually to the left on this photo, in a shady covered area. It was on the cooler side that day and it was on the windy side, making any seats in the shade super cold. We ended up never going to our seats and instead sat in this sunny spot below the scoreboard with this cool view of the field.
The White Sox were playing the Padres! It was Mother’s Day so all of the ball players had bits of pink in their uniform (pink shoes, pink numbers, pink belts, pink masks, etc.)
I got a shot of my “baseball boyfriend”, Wil Myers, up to bat.
Since we just had brunch at Dusek’s I wasn’t all that hungry when we were at the White Sox game. The only thing I ate at the game was a churro.
A couple of days later we were back at the White Sox field for a free stadium tour!
It looks a bit different when it’s empty!
I got a shot of us sitting in the soft leather seats behind home plate since this is probably the only time we would ever sit here.
In the batter’s box.
In the dugout.
After the stadium tour we were hungry! We needed a little bit of food before we hit the road to go down to Joliet for another baseball stadium. About a block away from the White Sox stadium we saw 35th Street Red Hots. We hadn’t tried any hot dogs yet so we stopped by for a quick bite.
Ketchup on hot dogs is like a shameful crime in Chicago. It made me laugh. Jake loves putting ketchup on his hot dogs and I am strongly against it, just like these Chicagoans. He didn’t ring the bell though since he didn’t ask for it. Ha.
I got a half pound of French Fried Shrimp [$9.14] which comes with a cup of “mild sauce”. We had tried mild sauce earlier in our trip (more on that in a future post) so this was actually our second time trying it. Mild sauce has been described as a mixture of ketchup, bbq sauce, and hot sauce. I remember reading about this and thinking it would be something Jake would enjoy and boy was I right! Jake loves this concoction. The funny thing about it is that you will only find mild sauce on the South or West side of Chicago. On the North side of Chicago, people have no idea what you’re talking about.
My shrimp tasted awesome dipped into the mild sauce. The mild sauce was kinda sweet, kinda tangy, with a hint of spice. The shrimp were big, plump pieces of shrimp is a crispy batter. I loved them! It was quite a lot of shrimp for me to eat but I left no shrimp behind!
Jake got the Polish Dog [$4.11] which came with a mess of hot crispy french fries.
And T got the Double Dog [$4.34] which is quite literally two hot dogs stuffed into one bun. He got it with relish, onions, and mustard (no pickle). I had a bite of both and I prefered the hot dogs, which had a nice crisp snap to them. I only had a bite of each though since I had that mound of shrimp to tackle and no one to help me (muhahaha).
Joliet Slammers – Silver Cross Field
After lunch at 35th Street Red Hots, we proceeded to head down to Joliet, IL. I’ll share the “road stops” version in another trip since we saw a bunch of cool Blues Brothers stuff. It was a little confusing figuring out how to get over to the stadium. There are a bunch of one way streets in their tiny downtown area and there was construction going on, so around a few circles around the area we found parking near the train station (which is across the street from the stadium). Parking set us back one whole dollar!
It was Opening Night and tickets to the game were only $2 each! How cool is that?!
They have a raven as one of their mascots (J.L. Bird) and the other mascot is a doggie named Spikes (who is supposed to be a former prison guard, according to this article). Obviously I needed a photo with him!
Here’s the field when it was still light out.
And the night time view! It was quite warm and windy that evening. On our drive down, our rental car told us it dipped into the 90’s a few times! I think it stayed in the 80’s range the whole time we were in Joliet. We got seats right behind home plate, too. Nice!
Not a bad turnout for opening day at an independent league baseball game!
After poking around in the gift shop, Jake and I went to check out what kind of food they had. I saw “Pork Tenderloin Sandwich” and I was sold. I think this was $6 bucks. Look at how big the pork tenderloin is!! I’m pretty sure that was bigger than my face! It only comes with the meat and the bread but it was deliciously. Tender pork and nicely seasoned.
The other item I wanted: Cheese Curds! These were only $4 and a total steal. They were freshly fried ooey gooey and quite crispy. YUM.
Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field
Our last baseball stadium trip was to the iconic Wrigley Field in the North Side of Chicago. Wrigley Field is the second oldest stadium (the oldest being Fenway Park in Boston which we visited in 2015).
The view from our seats at Wrigley. The game was PACKED that day, unlike the other two stadiums we went to.
It was kind of a trip for us. When the starting line up was announced, the fans cheered and gave standing ovations. When there were good plays and runs scored, the fans went nuts. At the end of the game, more standing ovations. I guess that’s what happens when you win a World Series! The fans love you to pieces!
We had a couple of pricey hot dogs at the game. They came with a mess of grilled onions which I liked.
Jake also got me a strawberry mojito in a collectible cup!
Jake wanted to roam around the field and take photos after the game. This place CLEARS OUT immediately after the game. A few people told us to move along and exit the stadium. I believe there was another event going on after the game so they were really pushing people to exit.
Jen and her husband was at the game with us, too! Hi Jen!
More Chicago fun to come!