Escape Artists offers up a global discourse ranging from great finds close to home to adventures far afield. You'll find weekly travel deals here, too. Share your road wisdom, rave about great finds and rant about roadblocks that get in the way of a great trip.
Contributor: Travel editor Kerri Westenberg.
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There are contests and then there are contests. This one sounds too good to be true. The San Francisco-based tour company Viator is looking for travelers with wanderlust and video acumen. Winners will get an all-expenses-paid junket to visit 20 cities in 60 days, shooting video in two-person teams. Official details are slated to be announced March 1, but Escape Artists got the scoop a little early and is happy to share the following press release. (We're also guessing Chicago will be among the cities on the list, so we've included a photo from the North Pond restaurant in Lincoln Park)
If you’re feeling the need to get away from the cold, now is a good day to hunt for cheap fares. A Sun Country Airlines “Escape the big chill” fare sale ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. One-way tickets cost as low as $129 to Las Vegas; $139 to Orlando and San Diego; and $124 to Phoenix. Taxes and fees are extra. Sale prices are good for travel from Jan. 4 to March 7. For more details and destinations, go to www.suncountry.com or call the airline at 651-905-2737 in the metro area or 1-800-359-6786 toll-free.
CHICAGO -- Everyone agrees: Chicago is a major-league eating town. From its cliche deep dish pizzas to its upscale gourmet restaurants such as North Pond and Spring, there is something for everyone along Lake Michigan. But nothing's more thrilling than finding an out-of-the-way, unpretentious gem with good prices and good food.
To wit: The City Cafe at 3234 N. Pulaski, just west of Interstate 94 between W. Addison St. and W. Belmont Av. We were heading over to visit our nephew's new house and intentionally got lost to wander the Sunday morning, rainy streets of my hometown.
Just as our hunger and edginess began to build, we spotted the City Cafe in a decorative corner building. My daughter ordered the huevos ranchero. My wife picked a fluffy spinach omelette, My son, complaining about being rushed, jumped on a huge breakfast burrito. I ordered the 2-2-2 special, which included two eggs, two slices of French toast and two slices of bacon so crisp I'd swear an iron was involved.
My breakfast came with a homemade custard sauce made with sugar and milk that rendered the maple syrup unnecessary. Our waitress joked that she couldn't tell us how they made it. The whole deal cost $5.50 and the massive breakfast for four came in at a reasonable $36.
Owner and chef VIcente Duran (left, with assistant chef Pedeo Coss in the hat) said the 2-year-old family business justed expanded its hours at the request of the neaby Kindred Hosptial staffers who frequent the place. Perfect way to start the day.
CHICAGO -- Black Friday 2011 in the Windy City brought unusually balmly sunshine and the typical crowds on Michigan Avenue, deals in the stores and animal rights protests outside Elan Furs and other places still selling mink coats and other politically incorrect fashions..
And just like every years dozens of organized protesters descended on the furriers, shouting things such as:
"STOP THE INSANITY; NO BLOOD FOR VANITY."
Anthony, the doorman at my friend's condo near Lake Michigan, said the highways were jammed at 5 a.m. for the door buster electronics deals.
The beatific weather was only supposed to last one day. The weekend was slated to bring back the typical Chicago crud. Tonight's entertainment: Ike Reilly at the Double Door.
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