Chicago, Life, Photography

Why I Bring My Camera With Me to Get a “Life Changing” Cheeseburger

This past weekend was absolutely stunning.

Sunny, crisp but not cold, perfect for November.
It was the first weekend without any soccer or cheer obligations since summer so we decided to celebrate.
By getting in our automobile.
And sitting in traffic.
But it was worth it because we got really good greasy food.
Really, all you need are cheese fries to lure me out of the house on a Saturday.
Same with my children; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I brought my fancy camera along, for what reason, I have no clue.
To document the cheese fries?
To document the traffic?
To document us getting out of the house?
We needed proof.
We started our day by heading to Paradise Pup in Des Plaines.
Only my husband had been there before and he has wanted to take all of us for years because “it is the best burger you guys will ever have”.
I will be the judge of that. 
See, I am a self-professed hamburger snob and I mean that in the least snobby way.
I haven’t had a really good burger since Piccadilly Grill in Vernon Hills in the mid-nineties.
It was right next to the Kohl’s I worked for many years and holy moly they made the best greasy food I have ever eaten.
That place was kept running by the employees of our department store alone, I honestly believe.
When they went out of business, we were all in tears, standing with our noses pressed against the greasy windows. clutching our old menus.
Okay maybe that was a little dramatic but the burgers were that good.  
So I was skeptical.
Dick Johnson
When we got to Paradise Pup, the line was out the door.
That is always a good sign.
Also, Dick Johnson from NBC 5 News had been there.
Also a good sign.
Dick Johnson.
Heh heh heh.
Guy Fieri
Oh yeah and he’s been here too.
I find it interesting that his special request was a Red Bull.
She has obviously not seen an episode of Triple D before.
And I can’t believe she is shocked by all of that food.
Have I not raised her correctly??
I didn’t get the “Paradise pup” but rather the “life-changing cheeseburger” and we shared the 3 layer fries.
Let me just say, those fries didn’t stand a chance.
I will drive back to Des Plaines for those fries.
Merkt’s cheese, sour cream, bacon and green onions. OH SWEET LORD.
I may drive back there this week.
Anyone want to go with me?
Oh and the “life-changing cheeseburger”?
Yeah, maybe I should have ordered a Red Bull like Mr. Fieri.
Next time, I am sticking with a Paradise Pup and Google searching the hell out of the former owners of Picadilly Grill.
And ordering TWO of the 3 layer fries.
Or just ask them to make me a 6 layer fries.
Chicago Skyline

Back in the car, we hopped on the highway and headed into the city for the day.

It sounds so much easier said than done.
Just “hopping” on the highway and “heading into” the city on a Saturday.
Chicago Traffic
Because everyone else has the same damn idea.
frustrated husband
“Are you having fun snapping pictures over there? I have a title for you. Traff….expletive….”
Party pooper.
taking pictures in the car
I do have to say, this did make sitting in traffic go a lot faster.
Chicago skyline
Chicago Salvation Army Building
Chicago Buildings
Chicago River House
Fall in Chicago
Chicago Condos
Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker Sign
I am sorry, I know this is a beloved tradition but it always makes me laugh.
I know, I realize I am secretly a seven-year-old boy.
You said nut…..cracker.
Blue Stripe Building Chicago
Ohio House Motel Chicago
Billboard Chicago
Oh, I am real alright.
Navy Pier Sign Chicago
Taxi Cab Chicago
Beautiful Fall Leaf Chicago
This pretty leaf fell through the sunroof onto my lap as we were driving on Ohio Street.
The girls giggled as a leaf shower streamed through our sunroof as we were driving down the street.
It was a perfect fall memory.
Traffic Ohio Street Chicago
Tourists Chicago
Uhh, ma’am, they are standing in front of a garbage can.
There are lots of other cool things to take their pictures in front of in Chicago.
Pedestrians Chicago
Michigan Avenue Chicago
Water Tower Chicago
Old and new.
Michigan Avenue Chicago
Man Billboard Chicago
Hipster Men Chicago


Argo Tea Chicago
My favorite setting in the city.
Too bad I don’t drink tea.
Signs on Street Chicago
Beautiful Tree Chicago

I love this tree.

Putting lights in the trees Chicago
Putting up Christmas lights.
Amish in Chicago

Amish in the city.

NOTHING like Sex in the City.
Religious Barker Chicago

This guy was telling us all that we needed to be saved.

Umm, sir?

I don’t think she is buying it.

Topshop Chicago

Chicago cop with a red Starbucks cup.

Tiffany and Co. Chicago
Tiffany blue.
Chicago Flag
Chicago flag.
Fall trees Michigan Ave Chicago

November on Michigan Avenue part one.

Fall on Michigan Ave Chicago

And part deux.

Gino's East Chicago

Cool building.

Just not the best pizza in the city.
Horse Chicago

By George, that horse has a hat.

Horse Carriage Chicago

We told the girls we had enough money to either get pizza for dinner or go on a horse ride.

They chose the horse ride.
Hands down.
Riding in a carriage in Chicago
Park in Chicago

There is a park tucked in behind the water tower and right across from the Ritz Carlton.

Good to know.
Trees in Chicago


I love you so.
Trees in front of John Hancock Chicago

Still putting up those lights.

John Hancock Building Chicago

John Hancock.

Or since I am already being a seven-year-old, “the cock”.
Horse and Carriage Driver Chicago

Showing “Ellie Grace” how to feed “Ellie Mae” a carrot.

Feeding a Horse Chicago

Even Annie wanted in on the action.

Ella petting horse Chicago

It was totally worth giving up the pizza for.

Afterward, we stopped at Water Tower Place to use the bathrooms and I found a scene that I had to take a picture of:
Men waiting at Water Tower Place Chicago
They lay there like slugs, it was their only defense. 

Lakeshore Chicago

The lakefront on the way home.

It was a wonderful day, spending it as a family.
As they get older, it is harder to carve out this time together so when we get it, I grab it like a thief in the night.
I didn’t want it to end.
I am really glad I had my camera with me after all.


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