Last week we spent five days in downtown Chicago. It was a lot of fun to explore, and the city is so great with lots of green spaces. Here's what we got up to.
We arrived in Chicago mid afternoon. After checking into the historic hotel, now the Hilton Chicago, we went for a walk down to the water. We ended up staying at this hotel because Jeff's conference was located in here and his work payed for it, added bonus! All the way from Michigan Ave., which the hotel is on, down to the water is all park area. It is quite beautiful and fun to walk around.
We followed the lake front path all the way around to the Navy Pier, which we thought might be neat to see, but we were disappointed. Maybe it was partly because they were under construction, but it really was just a tourist trap of overpriced restaurants. We couldn't understand why it was so busy! We had the worst restaurant experience of my entire life. We picked a place farther along the pier away from the crowds, maybe that was our mistake. The place was kind of dirty, and the service was terrible. First off the hostess took awhile to pick a drink menu for us that wasn't dirty or crumbled, and then once we were seated forgot to give it to us. Then our waitress didn't know what was on the drink menu, and didn't seem to have to sense to go grab one for us. Once we got the drinks sorted out, we wanted to order food (it didn't help that I was starving by this time), and it took us, literally, 45 minutes to get her attention! The food took forever, and was so expensive for what we got. However, it was surprisingly pretty tasty (or was it because we were starving). Once we finally got our bill, she tried our credit card and told us it didn't work (however we used it through out the rest of trip just fine). And she forgot to give us our receipt. So basically we had the ditziest waitress of all time! Luckily the rest of the trip was great!
Today we visited the Art Institute of Chicago. They have a great modern art collection, with a huge section on cubism. A great place to visit, and the building it's self has really interesting architecture. In the evening we tried the famous Chicago deep dish pizza. After reading lots of reviews we decided to try Lou Malnati Restaurant's pizza. It was really gooey and great! Not quite what I think of as pizza, but yummy as it's own new type of food.
After lunch we visited the Shedd Aquarium on the so called museum campus. Lots to explore as it is a fairly large aquarium. I enjoyed how they created atmosphere in the different areas by using objects to make you feel like you are in that location. Lots of different species from around the world to view. Overall, a pretty fun experience, it was just so crowded! For dinner we went to Weber Grill Restaurant. Yes, the same company as the BBQs and they actually make everything on the BBQ too. The kitchen is open and you can see all the different types of BBQs they cook on. The food was fabulous, cooked to perfection!
Today we just did some shopping/window shopping up at the Magnificent Mile, which is basically a long stretch of a street with every shop imaginable on it. Later on in the afternoon we went for a walk to see the famous bean in Millennium Park. It's actually a lot of fun to stand beside and look up into it. Amazing how a simple object can be so interesting!
Today I went for a long walk and visited the Adler Planetarium, which is the oldest planetarium in the USA. I was actually more fascinated with the building it's self and it's location, than the actual exhibits inside. It's neat inside as well, although I didn't have time to go to one of the shows which might have been better, but still worth a look. However, if you find yourself down there walk around the building and the area. The planetarium sits out on a peninsula with amazing views, and there is a large beach to explore as well. Chicago was a fun city to visit and (except for our first waitress) everyone was super kind and friendly.