We heard many great things about Chicago and how their downtown had european influence. A river passing through the city center and beautiful colorful buildings along the East side of Lake Michigan, make up for a great skyline. We had to see for ourselves.
August 2013, both my wife and I decided to travel for a few days to visit the windy City. August always brings great weather and it still held true that weekend. Sunny with no clouds always lifts the mood and the landing was smooth…hey that rhymes.
Head to our hotel, drop off some belongings and start the venture. This particular trip definitely needed comfortable shoes since we walked, and walked, and walked forever. We only took public transportation which made us really enjoy the true essence of downtown Chicago.
The city center was gorgeous. The area called River Walk has a river in the heart of the city with either side stacked with buildings and bridges. River boats sailing along the length giving the tourists a spectacular view of the area. After a nice lunch at some renowned Chicago pizza place (can’t remember the name), which Anna actually didn’t approve, we headed for the Millennium park. Great open space with hundreds of people concentrated around this one gigantic silver bean. The Big Bean by Cloud Gate.
We continue our journey by seeing the Chicago Tribune newspaper building, and the famous Chicago Theatre. It would have been great to see a musical, but we decided to spend time outside with the beautiful weather.
As the night was approaching, we continued our walk to the Chicago Navy Pier. Again, I never expected this place to be this beautiful. Large ferris wheel going round and round at a speed so slow that can actually hypnotize you. Across the water, you see the city center buildings all lite up. Truly a panoramic view. People buying warm nuts, cotton candy and ice cream. Commotion all around but yet everything seemed so peaceful. While Anna and I are walking along the boardwalk, this one individual jumps up and asks if we want tickets to the pier boat ride that will take you out to see the city from another angle. I jumped at the occasion and boarded the boat. What a ride….totally spectacular. Seeing the sun was down, and slight clouds moving in, the temperature was dropping. Not cold enough to shiver , but just enough to hug and exchange body heat. It was romantic and all along the ride I was taking everything in. The view, the company and most importantly, the gratitude of being able to travel.
Next day we decided to visit the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo. Great grounds, awesome greenery and water ponds that would give any photographer a pleasure to shoot. One particular funny event was while we were going around seeing all different animals, a huge concentration of people congregated in one particular area. Of course humans are curious so both Anna and myself felt drawn to see what was all the hype. I see Anna forcing her way to the front of the line, while I stayed back to get a more general broad view. She moves to the left, forces to the right, bends sideways to squeeze in front only to see the “pièce de résistance”. All that for a cute hippopotamus with his face looking over with nice button ears. It’s not as funny recounting the story but it was one of those things you had to be there.
Back on the plane heading home, both Anna and I were so impressed that Chicago remains a city that everyone should visit. The European flare, the bridges, the water, the river, the buildings and the architecture are just remarkable.