Monday, August 1, 2011

My Trip to Chicago

View from the plane! 
On the weekend of July 23rd, I went to Chicago for work. I worked very few hours and got the remainder of the time to explore the city with my co-workers, Bill and Cody.

I'll have to admit that when I first got to the city I was a bit of a "city snob." I live in Connecticut and visit NYC and Boston quite a bit so when I got to Chicago I spent some time comparing it to the two. But just like Boston and NYC are two very different cities, Chicago is very unique as well. Its such a wonderful city and I had an amazing time.

Top 10 favorites:

1. Sears Tower/ Skydeck

Going up to the 103rd floor of the tallest building in North America was probably the highlight of my trip. The Sears Tower, now called the Willis tower, was quite a sight to see! On a clear day you can see everything in a 50mile radius! As you look out to the city skyline you have to look down to see all the other skyscrapers in Chicago! What's really amazing is the glass boxes that extend from the building allowing you to look down at the 1,353 feet below you!

2. Navy Pier
Navy Pier attracts over 8million visitors yearly and it wasn't difficult to see why! The giant boardwalk had carnival rides, featuring a VERY tall carousel that towers over the pier, shops, and a variety of other activities. Fun fact: Carousels were invented in Chicago and the first carousel had carriages the size of school buses and a minibar!

3. The beach
I'll have to admit that the man made beach on lake michigan was probably one of my favorite spots in Chicago. Slightly separated from the busy bussel of the city, the beach is a great place to relax, tan, and go for a swim. The water was very clear and very clean, especially since its located to such a busy city! The sand was amazingly soft! It was a great way to take a break from all the busy touring and just relax! 

4. History
One of the Unique things about Chicago is its history. When the city was created most of the buildings were made from wood and in 1891 there was a huge fire that wiped out 4 square miles of the city! This created the opportunity for innovation and growth and architects took advantage and created gorgeous skyscrapes using metals this time!

5. Double Decker bus tour
When you have a short time in a new city you have to use your time wisely and really make an effort to see everything. That is why I was really glad my group went on the Double Decker bus tour. There were 14 stops and the route took you around the most important parts of Chicago. Best of all, you can get on and off the bus as much as you want, so it was like a tour taxi! These tours are great for seeing the most in the shortest and most efficient amount of time.

6. The Bean
Out of all the beautiful sites, very few are more beautiful then rounded reflection of the city and the sky in the bean. It is called the bean because of its rounded shape and its reflective surface attracts visitors to take funny pictures. When you walk under it, the view is even more interesting, as the structure curves upwards and the reflections become tiny!
The bean from the inside! 

7. Aqua Tower
This building was the most beautiful and creative in the city and is the tallest building in the world to be designed by a female architect!  The ledges were all different lengths and each room in this apartment building has a different view because of the angles of the ledges. This makes the building very unique and also very expensive to live in!

8. Deep Dish Pizza
I was sooo excited to go to Chicago and try the food that its famous for--its deep dish pizza! Saturday night Cody and I went to Giordano's and had a beef, mushroom, onion, and pepper deep dish pizza. Although pricey it was worth every penny and probably the best pizza I've ever had!

9. Magnificent mile
The Magnificent mile was not a place I spent a lot of time on but it was quite a site to see. Burberry, Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co. and many more all had a home on a very expensive mile of land which was filled with high end stores. Most of the stores do not actually make enough money to justify being there but they see it as tremendous advertising since so many people visit the magnificent mile every year!

10. Park and concert hall
When we went to the Millennium Park it was a Monday at around 11 AM and the concert hall was packed with people as a band played lively jazz music. The concert hall had amazing structure and the park was gorgeous and attarcted many tourists. It was also the place where you can find "the Bean"

10.5 The Married with Children Fountain

I can't actually justify making this an separate item so its a .5. If you were a fan of Married with Children in the 90's you'll be happy to know that the fountain in the opening skit was located in Chicago!

It was an amazing trip!

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