Chicago–May 7th 2016

First morning in the Windy city, looking at the online weather, it was 8 degree C! View from our window showed a cloudy morning with slight rain Sad smile.

Got our jackets on for the cold, and then had to take ‘em off just as quickly, the controlled temp in the hotel was making it too hot! Getting to the lobby, we noticed a couple of ladies outside fighting the wind! Oh my, this place is windy! Time to rug up again before entering the Chicago winds.

The Winds were strong, and not helping the cold temp! It was 11 degrees C, still a very fresh feel – I would take this cold over muggy hot weather any day!

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Exploring the city, on to Dearborn st, to State St. Wind was greater on the bridge, what a feel, and what a city!!

Tried to take the pic of the city from the same place I did from the prior night, got it close!

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my effort at comparing two pics of night & day – same location!

Walking about, we could see the massive use of STEEL in this city. All the train lines were built above ground over the road ways, with no attempt to hide the steel structures every where. It was quite amazing to see any entire train network build above ground functioning directly over the roads!

Found a StarBucks around the corner – time for our Chai Latte fix! Then onto State St to see the famous Chicago Theatre Sign! I reckon this would look so good at night!

Walking onwards from the Chicago theatre, Nita noticed Sephora! Disappointed smile Time for a stop over and another break for me from walking.

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On the road again, exploring more of State St, slowly making our way to the Millennium Park, all along passing buildings with a lot of historic architecture. Passed under a couple more of the raised rail tracks – these had me hooked!

Got to the Millennium Park, nice green space in the middle of the concrete city. Now to find the famous shiny BEAN that was on Nita’s to-do list! Was also referred to as Cloud Gate!

Did not take long to locate it, and WOW it was. Simply amazing sculpture made up of super shiny steel, almost like a mirror, just standing proud and reflecting the area around brightly – the clear sunny day was making the reflection PERFECT!

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We took a ton of pics here!

Spent a considerable time around the bean, now to explore a bit more of the park.
The park had an amazing open area pavilion for concerts and performing arts – “Jay Pritzker Pavilion”. This place was huge, the first thing I thought of was how the Brisbane Khatri community could use it for their annual mohatsav!

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Next on the list was a visit to Willis Tower (more famously know as Sears tower). This was the second highest tower in USA, and the viewing deck on the 103rd floor provided some amazing views on a clear day, sometimes able to view the 4 states around it.

Reaching the tower around 1:30pm, were informed the queue was over 1.5 hours Sad smile. Decided to have lunch first and come back here post that, hopefully the queue may be shorter.

Back on the street, made our first turn when we noticed a restaurant with a bright red sign – Giordano’s, famous stuffed Pizza – WHY NOT! US Pizza’s are known to be great and so far I had not had one. Also this brand was established in 1974 – my year, so that in itself was a sign Smile.

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Entering the venue, was surprised to find a number of people waiting for tables, oh oh, was not looking too good, more waiting. We were told the wait was over 15 mins, phew – not bad, we also got to order our pizza now, the famous deep pan pizza’s took over 45 minutes to cook – ordered a small BBQ Bacon & Chicken!
This earlier ordering is a great idea, we were seated after about 20 mins, and the pizza arrived around 25 mins later, and what I sight it was!
This was not a pizza, it was a PIE! Wow!!

This was a small Pizza with 6 slices, we could only manage to finish 4!! Was soooo filling. Got the two remaining slices packed up and handed it over to the first homeless guy we saw on the streets, which was just around the corner – that is another difference between US and AUS, there are homeless people on almost every street in the cities in US. A word of advise for all my fellow family and friends to US, the meals in US are massive so if you do have left overs, it is great idea to get it packed up and you will surely find someone who could do with some food around the corner.

Headed back to the Willis tower, and surprise surprise, the queue was still 1.5 hrs Sad smile. No options now, lined up and waited for over 45 minutes to BUY the tickets, then a further 1 hour to get to the LIFTS!!! Word of advise to others, buy these online, it will easily save you 30 – 45 minutes!

By the time we got up, the waiting had already left us very tired, went through the viewing process quickly. The view was great from the 103rd floor, I think it was the frustration of waiting that made the entire viewing experience not that great, was more a moment of ‘ok we have done it, now let’s move on’!

Experienced the walk on the glass panes suspended outside the building, it is amazing being out @ 103 floors.

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Back on the street, grabbed a taxi and headed to the Navy Pier. This place has a bunch of restaurants, theatres, kids play areas and more restaurants!

We did not really find much to our interest here, however it was a nice walk around the pier. Found a good spot with amazing views to the City.

Next stop was walking the Magnificent Mile, a section of Michigan Avenue hosting designer labels and good shopping spots.

They do know how to decorate the famous spots, the Mag mile had spring Tulips planted everywhere and they were in full bloom. A very pretty sight. The streets on both sides were filled with lots of people, I guess Mother’s day weekend rush may have been a factor.

By the time we finished the street, it was getting Windy and very Chilly, temps were at 13 degrees C Freezing.

Walking back to our hotel, came across a corner Italian restaurant that was very busy, decided to try that, “Rosebuds Italian” on Rush st. Were lucky to find a table after a short 5 min wait! The menu was nice, asking the wait staff on their recommendations, we were told the Fish Risotto was very good and big enough to share! Settled for that and ordered a cognac for Nita, a good drink in the cold weather!

Food arrived and wow it was a full FISH on a bed of risotto. The wait staff was super helpful and took the plate away to divide into two plates Smile.

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First bite and yumm, this was the best risotto we have had to–date. Had asked them to add chilli and garlic and did they add that, taste were so good, simply 5 star!

The shared meal was more than enough for us both, was an effort to finish it all. No space for dessert, headed back to the hotel for an early night.

It had been a good day, we had covered most of the sights, tomorrow will be a relaxed day to roam about.

About dharmeshkalyan

Have always loved travelling and will continue to pursue this love. Favourite Travel quotes: “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
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