Tricky Chi-Town

 

A visit to Chicago isn’t complete unless you visit the “Navy Pier”.   I came to Chicago a few years ago for the first time in November and it was very cold.  This visit we had hot and humid days and it seemed like a totally different city.  Warm weather definitely makes a difference!

 

My friend Claire and I walked to the end of the Pier and along the way found many things to amuse us! 

 

Lake traffic…

I don’t remember where these art works were…but I loved them!

 

This performer was dancing to Michael Jackson tunes and was very talented.  One of his cool tricks was to stay in a diagonal position for an inordinate amount of time.  I noticed that one of his boots had a lot of electrical tape…perhaps that’s how he did it!

Now I see why people have a love affair with Chicago!!

 

Art-i-texture

 

The Chicago Architecture Foundation  boat tour was a highlight for me in Chicago.  I have never viewed city buildings as “works of art” until this tour.  The docent or tour guide was a volunteer and his knowledge of architecture…particularly Chicago architecture was amazing.  His passion for the subject helped the buildings come to life! 

The tour lasted 90 minutes and toured more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River. 

I loved the way the other buildings were reflected on the shiny ones.

The “Trump Tower” was one of my favorites.  It reminded me of a perfect diamond the way it shimmered!

The buildings were made out of a variety of materials…concrete, brick, steel, and the guide explained how the Architects would sometimes create more of a horizontal or vertical look to the buildings.

The Willis Tower aka Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world until January of 2010 when the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai was completed.  This is a photo of it on the left.

This building has a gothic look…

A female architect designed this building…it was also one of my favorites.  The balconies were designed to not only be functional but “artsie”!

I have a new appreciation for architecture!!

Contrasts While Biking

 

Bobby’s Bike and Hike was a fun 3 hour tour of some areas in Chicago.  As with most travel experiences, there were a wide variety of sites to see.  Part of the time we traveled on the main roads in Chicago, which wasn’t a problem because there were 20 riders and we whizzed through stops signs!  We only covered 8 miles…but cycled through the neighborhoods of the Gold Coast and Old Town.  The Gold Coast got its name because the homes are very expensive.  Many of them have been converted into condos.  We rode past the original “Playboy Mansion”, but Hugh decided that the cold Chicago winters didn’t work with women in bikinis!  I checked Tripadvisor for some of the most popular tours and this was listed as #1. 

We learned some interesting facts about Chicago, but if I had it to do over again…I probably would have preferred just renting a bicycle and gone at my own speed…which is faster…and also would have been able to stop where I wanted to take photographs.  We stopped at the free Zoo and this gentleman was playing the violin!

There was a stop at the Contemporary Arts Museum…

We rode through Lincoln Park…

 

I’ve never seen a mailbox with a flower basket attached!

 We rode along Lake Michigan and there were lots of people playing volleyball, sunbathing, walking, jogging and bicycling.  

I also booked an “Architectural Foundation” boat ride for later in the afternoon…but I’ll save that for tomorrow! 

Hope your having a great day!!

Illusions

I picked up my friend “Claire” from England at the O’Hare Airport in Chicago on Friday and drove to the Sheraton Gateway Suites, which is located a couple of miles from the Airport.  I met Claire in Bangkok, Thailand back in December on a trip that I took through GAP Adventures through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.  Although this is Claire’s first visit to America, she spent the past year traveling through 21 countries on the other side of the pond.  The first six months were with her boyfriend, but that much togetherness is difficult…so they parted ways and she traveled the remaining time on her own.  Planning the trip took a couple of years because they were driving a Land rover and had to research having it shipped from India to Malaysia.  Their set-up was quite elaborate.  There was a tent that opened on top of the vehicle with a ladder for access.

This is Claire…she’s single and loads of fun!!

Some people may think it’s crazy to invite someone who you barely know to stay with you for a couple of weeks…but I think it’s a great way to extend hospitality!

We took the Blue Line train to the Jackson stop (approx. 50 minutes) and went to the top of the Willis Tower aka Sears Tower.  There are a few plexiglass ledges to walk out on…for us thrill seekers.

We then walked to the Millennium Park which is fascinating for children and adults!

We didn’t expect Sylvester to spray water!

This sculpture was also quite entertaining…

 

That’s me on the right in the center…taking the photo!

Claire was surprised at how clean and vibrant the City was…and most of all how friendly Americans are!!