Bikes and (high)lights...

Trip Start Sep 07, 2009
Trip End Nov 17, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the morning we walked down to Millennium Park, just south of the river., at the edge of the Loop. The park was recently regenerated and includes a number of famous sculptures and architectural buildings, such as the Jay Pritzker Pavillion (an outdoor concert venue), the interactive Crown Fountain and the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture (see pics). The sun was shining as we walked around and the whole area looked beautiful.

Jim had convinced me that it would be a great idea to hire bikes and ride along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, so we made our way to the bike-hire centre, just north of Millennium Park. We hired a couple of 'comfort bikes', although they were anything but, and made our way slowly to the lake. I hadn't ridden a bike for ages and these particular bikes had narrow tyres, so I was wobbling all over the place! I was completely out of my comfort zone and to make matters worse it was absolutely FREEZING. I moaned all the way for the first mile, and then, gradually, with a bit of encouragement from Jim, I started to actually enjoy it! Jim was in his element and would have cycled a lot further if I hadn't have held him back. We had such a laugh, even though we didn't make it as far as we would have liked. We would definitely recommend seeing the lake this way, but it's maybe a better idea during the Summer months, as by the end of the ride neither of us could feel our fingers or thumbs!

We returned the bikes and decided to catch the brown line 'L' train back, which goes all the way around the Loop in one direction. We hadn't caught the train much, and it was very interesting being up above street level in between the buildings.

After dinner at Chili's (again! I think Jim is trying to eat his way through the menu), we headed up to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Tower. Fortunately, this time the weather was clear and we didn't have to wait long before a table next to a window became available. The view was incredible. Seeing the contrast between the Chicago city lights and the blackness of the lake was amazing. Dare we say, even better than seeing the New York skyline. We reflected back on our time in Chicago and both agreed that we had had a much better experience than we thought we would. Chicago may even be our favourite city so far... 
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