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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

American Adventures: Part 5 (day 2)



Part 5: The Windy City (day 2)

Our Tuesday was spent finding as many things to do before we had to catch our evening train. It was a full and fantastic day. We were blessed with beautiful sunshine from the get-go and it really made for a great day.

Stop one: The Skydeck. Regardless of "naming rights" and name changes, this building will always be The Sears Tower to me (even if it's officially The Willis Tower these days). I hadn't been up to the 103rd floor in a long time. I think since high school. So this was a fun trip. It is, of course, completely overpriced. But places like this know they have a captive audience and that we'll pay whatever they ask. And we did. Alas...

chicago!

I enjoyed some more Ferris Bueller moments while checking out the city from on high.
aaaargh!

sky high scrapers


The Scot was brave and stepped into the newish addition to the building: The Ledge. They have a few of these boxes that are completely glass and see-through and completely 103 stories up. Have I mentioned I'm afraid of heights?

boy in a box!


While the views of the city and Lake Michigan were fabulous, my favorite part of the excursion took place just beyond the main gift shop. We rounded a corner and my nose perked up to a particular smell and my eyes lit up at a mid-century bit of styling. Is that? Could it be? Maybe? YES!

MOLD-A-RAMA!!!!!
mold-a-rama!

Injection Molded Abe Lincoln and I enjoyed some time together. Though he later became a gift for my sister (and both she and her husband did the same thing I did upon touching him - sniffed. Because nothing says Mold-a-Rama quite as much as that perfect smell. It's the smell of childhood).

The other plan for the day was a boat tour. This trip really had a lot of boats involved (and there are more to come!). If you're ever in Chicago, I can't recommend this enough. Led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the boat tour is 90 minutes of cruising along the Chicago River (all branches) and learning about the city's buildings from a really unique perspective.

The views were amazing.
architecture tour highlights

As far as tours go, this one was a bit pricey. And if I were to go again in a dead-of-summer heatwave, I would've brought a hat and perhaps a little fan. But it was totally worth it. I hope to do it again at some point in the future!

a long way up

bzzzzz

iris and the tower

After an afternoon in direct sunshine on the water, we headed for shade. And found it in a sweet little riverside park. While we relaxed, the boy snapped what may be one of my favorite photos of the trip:

up there


And we got in the obligatory self-portrait. (They always make me smile).

obligatory self-portrait on a tuesday


After a nice rest in the park, we ate dinner at the historic Berghoff Restaurant (Berghoff's beers have long since been brewed in Wisconsin - just in the back of my last American apartment, actually). I forgot to snap pics, though.

The adventures shall continue with tales of rails. Nearly a whole day on them...





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