Good morning and Happy Thursday! Another cold, wet and rainy winter day here in Virginia and I’m over it! This weeks blog post will be a travel post for a place I recently had the chance to visit… Chicago, CHICAGO! I arrived in the windy city (stood true to this statement!) on a Thursday afternoon for a long weekend. It was my annual family reunion and Chi Town was this years pick of the draw. I’ve been to almost every US state with the exception of a few, and Illinois was on that list. You hear so much about Chicago so I was itching to come and see it for myself and I’m so glad I did!
My first night there was pretty uneventful. Although I live on the East Coast in Virginia, we first drove to Detroit and spent Wednesday night with family before finally heading to Chicago Thursday morning. The road trip wore us out but we did attend the meet and greet, which consisted of happy hour drinks, snacks and socializing. A little while later we were served a Chicago hot dog style bar and karaoke. I ate and talked for a bit before heading for our room to shower and lay it down for the night. The next day (Friday) was the family picnic where I saw many more relatives, ate more than I needed to and even learned to Chicago step- the infamous Chicago dance the area is known for. That evening followed with a evening excursion into the city and down to the first Chicago landmark- the Navy Pier, a 3,000 ft pier located on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan on the North side of the city. On the way to the pier, we stopped at a popular area for pictures of the Chicago skyline, one of the worlds tallest and features four of America’s eight tallest buildings in the county. A beautiful sight indeed!
The navy pier features dozens of restaurants, events, cruises, rides and games, shopping tours and more. I had to try some of the infamous Garrett Popcorn, a Chicago tradition and opted to try the “Chicago Mix”, a blend of Caramel and Cheese. I was a bit put off by the combination but not too bad. My mother and grandmother wanted real food so we walked down to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co Restaurant and Market. I stared off with a frozen mixed drink (Mai Tai I belive) and a water. The cool thing about these drinks is some of them come with souvinere glasses or drink shakers to take home! This particular one came with a drink shaker so that was a nice perk. When it came to the food, I ordered the Shrimp New Orleans. This is a shrimp dish that reminds me of shrimp etouffee, a creole southern classic. It was delicious!
Another stop that we made was to The Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, another famous Chicago landmark. It features one of the largest fountains in the world! The neat thing about this fountain is that its built in a Rocky, Rococo wedding cake style and is meant to artistically represent Lake Michigan. The inspiration for this fountain is from the Latona Fountain, found at the Palace of Versailles in France. I love how live and lit up it is a night. There was so much to stop and see down here.
Saturday, our final day in the city began with another city tour but my photos weren’t that great from where I was sitting on the tour bus. I did manage to grab a slice of Chicago deep dish pizza (it wouldnt be right to come to Chicago and not try the pizza lol) and ended with a family banquet to close off the weekend. I didnt get to see as much as I wanted to due to time constraints but here are a few things that I want to experience the next time I come back to Chi Town:
- The Chicago skydeck! Located on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formally Sears Tower), this attraction is most famous for its thrill-seeking, panaromic views of the Skyline but specifically- an extended glass balcony over 1300 feet from the ground!
2. A cruise down the Chicago River! This is a great opportunity to get a up and personal look of the Skyline and all it entails. I love the water, so anything to be close to it is great for me! Plus they offer evening cruises and offer a full bar!
3. Millinimum Park- Three square blocks of art and acritecture to include Crown Gate, Crown Fountaim, farris wheel, outdoor music pavilion, ice skating rink in the winter and the perfect backdrop for a host of local and family friendly activities. We did drive through here but next time I want to stop and explore!
Overall I would say that this trip to the mid-west was successful! There was so much to see in so little time, but I’m glad to have checked some things off my to see list! Until next time Chicago!