I recently took a trip to Chicago, IL for a few days. It was mostly a business trip, however, I did take a day to explore around the city. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but what I can say is the weather was no different then how I had left Oregon….foggy and rain. I was expecting at least some sunshine as I had seen a few friends experience the gorgeous weather just a few days prior…but alas, I wasn’t struck with the same luck.
No matter, come rain or shine I was ready to see what Chicago was all about and was on a mission to not only see a few places, but to also experience their deep dish pizza. Yum! I will never view pizza the same way ever again. If I had no expectations before…believe me when I say I have high expectations now. Be sure to check out Giordano’s if you’re ever in Chicago. It takes a bit of a wait time, so it’s best to order your pizza beforehand while you wait for a table. The good news is they have the individual size. Believe me when I say you will be super full after, but so worth the cheesy experience.
I didn’t realize there were many events and festivals happening around the city and the realization hit me when I not only was greeted with “Coachella/Playboy” guests roaming around almost naked in the lobby of the hotel, but when I first heard the beautiful sounds within Millennium Park. Apparently, I arrived just in time to see their blues festival. Also, another reason why all of Chicago was booked and we had a hard time finding an extra room for one of my colleagues. Yikes! But we made it happen.
If you haven’t guessed already, my first stop was Millennium Park as I was on a mission to see the famous Cloud Gate “The Bean”. I have always seen this art sculpture featured in many films and I couldn’t wait to see it in person. My first thought when I saw this face to face was…Jack and the Beanstalk. I kept wondering if something was going to hatch out of this and a huge giant would come down from the clouds. Luckily, it didn’t happen.
Another place on my list was the Skydeck located inside the Willis Tower. This has been another famous shot that I’d see all over Instagram and also within my friends’ photos. It’s located on the 103rd floor and as you’re going up in the elevator, there is a video that displays every building in the world depending which level you’re hitting. Believe it or not, the Skydeck exceeds the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. The view was incredible though, even the fog made the scene so dramatic as if you’re literally on a plane and above the clouds.
While I was at the Skydeck, I decided to purchase a key chain. I’m actually a huge keychain collector. I noticed a keychain that had 3 figures: The Bean, The Willis Tower, and The Navy Pier. I had never heard of the Navy Pier and I was told it’s a place I should check out. So, I did exactly just that. By the time I arrived, the fog really rolled in and the famous wind was felt. It quickly got very cold, hence the lack of people in the area, but it was so worth it and made me forget I was in Chicago.
At that point, it was time to head back to the hotel to rest up and get ready for dinner. I made a reservation online at one of the popular restaurants in town, but it was very difficult to get a hold of someone and have them confirm my reservation was received. So, as I was in the Uber on my way back to the hotel, I noticed a cool restaurant along the Chicago River and it looked like the perfect place to have dinner. A change of scenery.
When I called Wollensky’s Grill, I had mentioned it was my first time in Chicago and if all possible, would like to request a table by the window so I can view the river. When I arrived, the staff was so friendly. I immediately saw it was a popular place as the house was packed, but they were still somehow able to save me a table by the window. It was perfect! The food was delicious, the wine superb, and the dessert…to die for! Also, they are the same restaurant featured in one of the episodes of Suits season 7! Super stoked when I saw this just recently. Jessica and I apparently share the same taste and she sat by the window!
There was another night I had the chance to go out for dinner. There are so many cute restaurants located on Rush St. in Chicago. It reminded me of The Pearl District in Portland, OR, but with a European feel. The Italian food at Carmine’s was so delicious! This is a place I plan to hit up the next time I’m in Chicago.
Though I only had one day to explore the city as much as I could…it was amazing! I wish I would have had additional time to explore around, but I got to see everything I wanted to see and I’m sure there is still so much more.
Overall, my experience was absolutely amazing. I can say the skyscrapers in Chicago our very cool and I am looking forward to visiting Chicago again, hopefully soon! As always, so much to see and so little time to see it. Until next time Chicago!
Side note: I love flying Southwest Airlines. The flight attendant on my way to Chicago literally looked like a young Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean young). He was engaged of course, but lets say my view wasn’t too shabby LOL!