Thursday, October 27, 2011

Illinois Weekend: Chicago

I realized afterwards that it had been about 4 years since I had been in downtown Chicago.   I fly in and out of O'Hare and Midway every so often to visit family, but to actually go into the city and enjoy it?   It's definitely been too long.  I had no qualms in using a friend's bridal shower as an excuse for a relaxing three day weekend.   In the past few years I've been taking a lot of "big" trips.   Big trips eat up your vacation days quickly, leaving very little time for long weekends the rest of the year.   I'm making a conscious effort in the coming year to try and and do more of these trips - starting with this one.
View of the city from my hotel window at O'hare. 
Obviously using's not that close.
My uncle took me to lunch at Rosebud near the University of Illinois Chicago campus.    This dish isn't exactly on the menu but was built with the help of our server.   What is it (other than delicious)?  Baked Cavatelli with vodka sauce and sausage crumbles.
It was followed by a cappuccino and this massive pumpkin cheesecake.
After lunch we went downtown.   It was a beautiful day - this view is from the Adler Planetarium.
Marilyn is on exhibit as public art
Tiffany ceiling in the cultural center (formerly the library)
The bean!  (aka "Cloud Gate")
And everyone's reflection looks great
You can't stop yourself from the self portrait
Inside the Rookery - designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

And then we succumbed to the ultimate tourist destination:
Sears (Willis) Tower Sky Deck
The last time I was in the tower was probably elementary or middle school.   In high school and college we hosted college exchange students and my mom would always take them to the John Hancock Center instead.  It's almost as high and we would just have some drinks in the bar rather than paying to take the tourist elevator to the viewing deck.  In typical tourist attraction style, at the Sears (I just can't call it Willis yet - that's still so new) Tower you wait to go down a floor where you wait again to go through security and then wait again after getting your ticket.   You can't see one waiting area from another, so just when you think you're're not.   If you were thinking of doing this, there is a Fast Pass option.   You get the fast line through security as well as to the elevator.   You can also get the Fast Pass access if you are using the City Pass to hit the major attractions.  Another fast pass option may be available by using Groupon Now! Deals depending on the day and time.  Of course, we didn't do any of these options, so we just waited in line.    But they have added a great feature since my last visit - the Ledge.   Step out over the street from the 103rd floor.   And then look down at your shoes.

1 comment:

  1. Fun trip! If you have any recommendations on restaurants, shopping or anything really - share them with your fellow travelers in CityPASS's new online community, City Traveler. Our Forums could use some love. :)

    Your photos are great!


    Melissa @City Traveler.



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