On Saturday morning, we wandered down to the Chicago River and hopped on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. As the boat meandered through the river, our docent told us all about the history of Chicago and we were blown away by the skyscrapers and architecture through the ages. From the early warehouses in the early 1900s, to the art deco style, then mid century modern and post-modern, and contemporary architecture, there were examples of every style.
After the cruise we spent more time near the river by exploring the Chicago Riverwalk, and we ran into one of Elizabeth's co-workers who was there for the Chicago Marathon... Oh yeah, we were there on marathon weekend. It made some things very busy!
Our next stop was the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park, affectionately known by everyone as the Chicago Bean. Made up of 168 highly polished stainless steel plates, this has got to be the most fun, interactive piece of public art we've ever seen.
We then walked along the waterfront all the way back to the hotel, stopping at the Navy Pier for some refreshing cocktails along the way, and to take photos, playing around with the settings on our camera.
On Saturday evening we filled our boots with Chicago-style deep dish pizza from Gino's East. So good. Followed by some comedy at The Second City. Also so good.
Since we were in the area, we headed to the Chicago History Museum. From the indigenous population, to Chicago becoming a transportation hub, the jazz era, racial tensions, and everything in between, we learned a lot during our visit.
For the last couple of hours of daylight, we hung out in Lincoln Park and enjoyed the sun setting over the city.
Then on Monday, the city was crazy busy with hobbling marathon runners. Little did we know, it was also the day of the Columbus Day Parade so it wasn't the best time for us to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour. But we did. Unknowingly.
Unfortunately it ended up being so busy that we were stuck on the bottom level for a few stops, and then because of traffic detours, the bus got stuck and couldn't turn under a bridge so we missed the Willis Tower stop. After all of that, once we escaped the traffic, we finally hit the road and actually decided to get off early to enjoy some amazing views looking back on the city from the park near the Adler Planetarium.
We stopped for some drinks on the way back to the hotel before heading to the airport. All in all, a great way to spend a long weekend (although we didn't manage to try Chicago mix popcorn, i.e. didn't want to wait in line to try Chicago mix popcorn)!