The Windy City
Trip Start Dec 28, 2007
64Trip End Aug 28, 2008
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Despite weather reports of rain we found the sun out making for a pleasant Sunday afternoon so we took a walk towards 'downtown' and found ourselves on the top deck of an open tour bus around the city like ones we have done elsewhere. As it was quite late in the afternoon we stayed on for a whole two hour round trip to get an idea of the layout and the sights to see
We woke the following day to the sound of rain on the windows before a thunder storm arrived. We knew this because we saw a huge lightening bolt struck the top of the Sear's tower! As the rain passed we ventured out and got back on the bus to the Field Museum where we said hello to Sue, the largest most complete skeleton of a T-rex. We then continued on towards Navy Pier, supposidly the most visited tourist attraction in the state of Illinois, for a look around and a view of the yaught clubs on Lake Michigan. Next stop was 'Magnificent Mile'where we took a look at the shops and two of the oldest survivng buildings from the fire damage of the past. We then contunued on towards the Hancock Observtory but by this point the clouds had engulfed the tops of the city's tall buildings making for an interesting collection of pictures. We finished our sightseeing with stops at some of the places where we could get a few freebies using our bus ticket. First of all we had a walk around Millenium Park enjoying some local Jazz bands before picking up two tacky T-shirts for our collection. Next was Hershey's Chocolate where we got some samples and a couple of free milk chocolate bars - let's put it this way, it's not Cadbury's
On Tuesday we used our bus passes to have a trip on an 'ethnic tour' which took us through areas just outside the centre of Chicago. We visited Chinatown, Little Italy and Greek Town via a quick stop at Oprah's studios and new shop. Nothing to really 'see' and write home about but it was good to get out of the city and learn about the history of some of the areas. The only other event of the day was at dinner. We decided to grab a bite at the bar/grill next to the hotel where we were bombarded with question after question about our food. After ordering an item the following questions came - Would you like soup or salad? What kind of dressing would you like? (The list followed for a minute or so.) Would you like chips, french fries, jacket potato, mashed potatoes or rice? Would you like vegetables? ........as you can guess this carried on for a little while to the point where we almost were exhausted! This we saw as a little fun, and the food was actually surprisingly good and value for money, until...
Our final day in a town named after smelly onions (or something like that - we were told the name dates back to a translation describing the swamp-land the city is built on) took us for a view of the skyline from the Skydeck of the Sears Tower. Being the tallest in North America we definitely got a great view over the city in all directions. From the 103rd floor you can see for miles and miles but you still can't see the other side of Lake Michigan. You could be forgiven for thinking that Chicago is on the coast! We then headed south on the subway to 35th Street where we watched the Chicago White Sox baseball team playing Texas Rangers
Chicago is definitely an American city that sits apart from the rest and has many assets that make it a pleasant, greener, more enjoyble place to visit.