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...


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

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!


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


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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