Monday, December 3, 2012

Chicago, IL

Chicago! Gosh, we fell hard for Chicago. Such a great city with amazing restaurants, a beautiful skyline (I'm such a sucker for those skylines), and endless fun to be had in the public parks and beaches.

The details from our time in Chicago are after the photos! PS - our food tour of the city will be coming up in a separate post.


When we first got into Chicago we were a bit stunned with all the traffic and tall buildings - we hadn't driven in a large city for a few weeks and it took a bit of time to adjust; it hit us almost like a culture shock. We did come to enjoy (kind of) the aggressiveness of the city's drivers - it reminded us of the spirited drivers in Boston. We found it refreshing to be in a city with well-planned roads (something Boston lacks) and were kind of obsessed with the double-stacked roads around downtown.  Our GPS was less impressed, she couldn't keep track of where we were and lost her satellite signal a few times. Oh, and we had the hardest time with our AT&T service in the city, even though overall on the trip AT&T worked great. 

We learned quickly that Chicago is appropriately named the windy city, as the nights spent walking around downtown were chilly and windy. And then, the days were HOT - we happened to be visiting during the record breaking heat wave over Memorial Day weekend.

We visited the Navy Pier for a couple of hours. It was, of course, touristy, but it was fun to ride the Ferris wheel (Taras had a grand time swinging our cart when we were at the very top, scaring the crap out of me), listen to some live music, and enjoy a couple beers in the hot sun (tip: the beer prices go up and up the further you walk on the pier). We realized later that it would have been fun to visit the Pier at night, when they light up the rides and it's not so dang hot.

Lincoln Park is perfect for walking or lounging and is home to a FREE zoo, where most animals were hiding from the heat, and a gorgeous lily pond, which offered great shade for us humans trying to beat the heat. The Park borders Lake Michigan and the city's beaches.  And, can I just say, holy beaches - the water is a beautiful blue color and the sand is soft, although yellowish in color. Being Memorial Day weekend (and ridiculously hot) it seemed every single person was at the beach - sunbathing, swimming, playing volleyball, sail boating, paddle boarding, and cruising on bicycles. For this native Floridian, I have to admit that lake beaches give ocean beaches a run for their money.

We also wandered through the Lincoln Park neighborhood and eyed the great homes, walked around Old Town to take in the beautiful, historical buildings, and visited The Bean (we suggest visiting it at night when there is less of a crowd to mess with the standard self-reflection photo op).

Chicago, we'll be coming back to visit you soon!

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