Chicago: Part Three!

(I tried finishing this post yesterday but Blogger was acting up so I’m going to finish all of it in THIS post…)
Day 3 in Chicago and the temperatures were cooler, thank you god!  So I walked up Michigan Avenue to seek out the Museum of Contemporary Art.  On my way there I found the Water Tower, which is a symbol of the Great Chicago Fire that happened in 1871 that destroyed the city.  It’s one of the reasons why Chicago is nicknamed The Second City…because look at how they rebuilt such a fine city!
Water Tower

Contemporary art is not usually what I like to look at, but it was something to do and I’m glad I went.  The thing about contemporary art…it always makes you think and wonder…most times I’m wondering “Um…WHY?!!!”…lol…but the current exhibit by Mark Bradford is amazing.  Why did I think so?  Because he used all kinds of media.  One piece was a bed sheet that he had to use as a canvas because he couldn’t afford canvas.  He layered all kinds of media onto the sheet and then started tearing at it.  I love that.  The physicality of the art…can you imagine yourself pasting and layering poster upon poster until it’s oh so thick then going in different parts and peeling at it with now rhyme or reason?  Haha…it sounds like stress relief to me!

Mark Bradford

After MCA I wondered what to do and I looked up and realized the John Hancock Building right above me so I headed towards it and bought a ticket to go 94 floors up in 40 seconds.  Amazing view of Chicago!

It’s Navy Pier!  From 94 floors up it looks tiny.

Competition!  See Sears Tower in the back?

After John Hancock I figure I shouldn’t waste the day so I walked another mile towards Navy Pier (almost got lost).  By then the sun was beaming, girls were walking around in their bikini tops and the boys were shirtless…it was hot.  Once I walked around a little I knew I had to leave or else pass out from exhaustion.  I took the free trolley (love FREE) back to Michigan Avenue and walked to my hotel.

After my one hour nap, Josh woke me up to ask if I wanted to do Sears Tower or a river boat cruise.  Since it wasn’t a humid day, I chose the river cruise.  And what a lovely ride it was.  We learned about the various architecture and history of Chicago and even went out into Lake Michigan.

ready for our cruise
I love these buildings.  Reminds me of honeycombs!

I was trying to get the restaurant name “Dick’s Last Resort” in this pic, but notice how the cars are parked?  Only valet parking for residence here, just so no one drives off the building!  Nuts!
It’s the “L” Train
Merchandise Mart (my picture doesn’t do it justice, I can’t fit it into one frame), when built in 1930 is was the largest building in the WORLD.    It’s so massive that JUST the building has it’s own zip code.  I didn’t get to go inside, but next visit I will.
And here she is, tallest building in America, The Willis Tower (to Chicagoans and the rest of us I think, I will always call it the Sears Tower!)
35 East Wacker Dr. known as the Jewelers Building.  When it was built it had it’s own car lift (elevator) to safely transport jewels…very cool.
After cruising down the river we went out to Lake Michigan for this lovely view of Chicago.  We went past Navy Pier and learned about more Chicago history.  It was such a beautiful afternoon that the lake was busy with speed boats, jet skis, sailboats and every Wednesday they have a fireworks show at Navy Pier so the pier was packed.

love this lighthouse

After our boat adventure we were starving and it was time to try some Chicago Deep Dish pizza.  We found Giordano’s a street down from our hotel, which was great since I had a long day of walking already.  We ordered our pizza as we waited for our table and took in the ambiance.

Josh is waiting for that dish to go atop this wooden box frame!

And there it is!…Half cheese half pepperoni!
My slice…yum…

So good!

There he goes!

Overall, a fantastic Chicago day and night!!
My last day to explore Chicago came too soon.  Thing is, I was too tired to go walking.  Next time I know to bring my sneakers (I so wasn’t prepared for this trip!).  So I took my time getting up and chilled out in the hotel basically until Josh was done with his conference.  That afternoon we walked down past Millennium Park (because Josh had never been there, even though it was his second time to Chicago!).  I noticed it was extra crowded with people as there was music at the Park Terrace…and one other event was happening that weekend.  Lollapalooza.  Yup.  And I missed it. Headlining?  Eminem.  Foo Fighters.  Ugh…I was so bummed.  But it is what it is!

We walked to the Sears Tower (The Willis Tower) and found ourselves looking at a 1 hour wait to the top!  Say what?  I told Josh it wasn’t too bad.  At Empire State building, we waited almost an hour and a half.  But I don’t think the wait was that long…we got to watch a little video about the Sears Tower before actually waiting in line for the elevators to take us to the 103rd floor…so I think our wait was maybe 30-45 minutes?  Not bad at all.

My ears popped in the elevator as always.  At the top, Josh went searching for the Sky Deck and I was anxious.  It’s weird.  I know I’m SAFE in the building, but for some reason, looking down makes my hand shake.  I always fear I’ll drop my camera or phone and destroy the glass and make a catastrophe happen…I know, I know…total mind trip.

This is Josh, on the Sky Deck looking down 103 floors.

The view of the sky, 103 floors up.  Gorgeous.

More looking down…
Josh took off taking pictures with my camera,  but I stayed at the Sky Deck trying to get over my fear.  
Josh in the Sky Deck, with me freaking out.
Oh see…I’m not even fully in the Sky Deck, total cheat
Nice view
For a brief moment, just to get a pic of two of us, I bit the bullet and stood at the corner of the Sky Deck and didn’t look down.  Josh wanted to take a pic of us sitting on it, but I wanted to get out of it.  LOL…
After Sears Tower we took a cab back to our hotel and decided to have a nice meal at Stetson’s Chop House.  We wanted steak and steak we ate.  I was so full but Josh wanted dessert and I didn’t take a picture of it but he ordered a chocolate cake.  Um….the cake was HUGE, it could’ve fed five people at least!  I couldn’t stop laughing.  Yet as part of our meal, they served us chocolate covered strawberries and Josh looked so defeated.  He could’ve had just THAT for dessert and that was free! hehehe…

The next day we took a cab to the train station (wrong train station-thanks cabbie!) Eventually we made it to the Blue Line to take us to O’Hare.  Cheap and convenient, love it!  But I still had to buy Garrett Popcorn for my souvenir gifts to my house-sitter and sister.  I bought 4 small bags of the Chicago Mix.  Um….hello…Josh and I FINISHED one bag on the 2 plane rides back to Honolulu.

No one told me it was way addicting!  No wonder Oprah had it on her Favorite’s List 🙂  Overall a fabulous Chicago trip, can’t wait to go back.  Even if it’s just to O’Hare airport so I can eat a deep dish, or chicago hot dog and buy more popcorn.

Thanks for reading!

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