We had a short, whirlwind visit filled mostly with touristy things that I actually had never done. We stayed at the Congress Plaza hotel on Michigan Avenue. I stayed at the Congress Plaza last fall for the first time, and it's now my go to spot in Chicago. It's in a great location, has very reasonable prices, and I am just a fan of an old historic hotel. I also found out (inadvertently and much to my 7-year-old niece's worry) that the Congress Plaza is allegedly haunted. As a matter of fact it's supposed to be one of the most haunted hotels in the country. I have yet to have a paranormal experience, but there's always next time.
|Michigan Ave and our haunted(?) hotel|
|Enjoying a beautiful walk by Lake Michigan|
No trip to Chicago is complete without deep dish pizza. There was a Giordano's on the walk back to the hotel. There were lines out the door, but we put in our name and were seated after only ten minutes. The pizza was fantastic, as always. We stopped at my favorite Chicago spot, Millennium Park, on the way back to the hotel. I realize it was a holiday weekend, but there are always so many people out enjoying the park. We headed back to our (haunted?) hotel to get some rest after an exhausting few days.
|The Bean in Millennium Park|
|Crown Fountain at Millennium Park|
I had to force myself to get up and run on Sunday. Those three pieces of Giordano's deep dish weren't going to work themselves off. I ran toward the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower...how they could change the name is a tragedy). The streets were filled with cyclists at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. Even early, there were people everywhere.
|Willis Tower from the ground|
I ran a quick 30 minute loop around the Willis Tower and back to the hotel. Breakfast was at the eclectic Artist's Cafe near the hotel. The French Toast Napolean and Intelligentsia coffee were the perfect way to start a Sunday in Chicago. We then decided we'd go up to the Skydeck in the Willis Tower that morning. There was a line down the block, but it moved very quickly. In total the wait was around an hour and a half, but they shuttle you to various points in the building with some interactive exhibits, so it didn't seem like it was that long. When a 7-year-old isn't restless, you know you've done well.
|Incredible views from the Skydeck|
The views from the Skydeck were breathtaking. The tower is 103 stories, and the panoramic views of Chicago are just incredible. The most thrilling part was the ledge, a glass box that holds you 1,353 feet over the city. It was thrilling and gorgeous.
|On the ledge|