Monday, May 18, 2009

Chicago Architecture and Chocolate

Wow - today started off gorgeous weather wise - clear skies, warm - it was awesome! But by the time I got off the architectural cruise I was freezing my butt off! BRRR! I was thinking about doing an art deco architectural tour tonight, but I don't have the clothes for it. And, no I am not buying a winter coat. I already bought a Hershey sweatshirt I don't need - that's as far as I'm going.

Let me show you some of the shots from the cruise:

I took about a million more, but this is On Motivation and Chocolate not On Motivation and Architecture.

The cruise really was terrific and seeing the city from the river was very cool. If you come to Chicago - do one of these tours.

Also, I think it's a shame how much we miss of life. We really are blinded by ignorance. I had looked at many of these buildings while walking through the city, but I didn't SEE them. When our tour guide pointed out details or things that made the buildings special, I realized how vast my ignorance and how little I really saw. Knowledge really does give you an appreciation - of art, architecture, writing, people.

Let me give you an example. See these buildings?

Yeah, yeah more skyscrapers, whatever, right?

Well look closer:

This one is called Aqua - it's under construction. Look at the amazing balconies that undulate like water. A tribute to the river. It's also one of the tallest buildings in the world designed by a female architect. I would have never seen it. Now, it's all I see when I look at those buildings.

Keep learning - life is way more fascinating that way.

I did manage to visit another chocolate shop on my own (imagine that!). I don't think a chocolate lover can come to Chicago and not stop by:

And check this out from their website:

More than 85 years of Fannie May – The first Fannie May retail store was opened by H. Teller Archibald in 1920 at 11 N. LaSalle St. in Chicago. By 1935, there were nearly four dozen retail stores in Illinois and several neighboring states. During World War II, while other companies chose to change their recipes when ingredients were scarce, Fannie May stuck with its exact recipes, making only what it could which often meant closing shops early because no more candy was available - never was the taste of the candy compromised.

Well - we'll just see about that.

If I spent at least $40 I got a free 1 pound assortment, so of course I spend the $40. Did I mention earlier than I'm kind of cheap? And you already know I have a thing for chocolate.

I also have a thing for almonds:

Okay, I'm not going to lie. I was pretty skeptical about these. They were $16.99 for the one pound bag pictured here. Regular Jordan almonds are nowhere near that much. But these blow regular Jordan almonds out of the water (or maybe I should say out of the river as a tribute). The last bag of Jordan almonds I had were hard as rocks - these were perfect, you could tell the almonds were very fresh. Delicious. Well worth the extra cost. A++

I also bought a few loose pieces:

Two peanut butter buckeyes (one with white chocolate), a butter caramel, a butterscotch caramel, a milk praline, and a milk caramel present. All of these were really, really good. Now these are not crazy gourmet candies. There ain't no salt on these caramels, no weird spices, no talk of saving the Earth or organic sun drenched fields. These are good, solid all-American chocolates. I have to say I think they are better than See's, but not as good as Sarah's. After all - they are mass produced.

But I was very surprised at their quality. I'll report more when I break into the boxes, but right now, I have to say that Fannie May makes a damn fine chocolate and I hope they are around for a long, long time.

They also have a location right by where you board the cruise boats at the corner of Michigan and Wacker. So you can do two great things at once. (You are planning to do SOMETHING new and different after reading this, right?)

Tomorrow - CANDY EXPO!! I feel like a kid on the night before Christmas. WHEEE!!!

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