Sunday, August 9, 2009

Road Trip Recap: Chicago, Day 2

Road Trip Recap: Chicago, Day 1

So we left off with the Yankees losing against the White Sox. We headed back to the hotel and spotted the bar, which looks amazing at night:

The "wall" is a sheet of glass, as are the shelves. It was called the "Big Bar", and with good reason. My $13 pineapple martini was HUGE. So huge, in fact, that I didn't even finish it (though it was delicious and I highly recommend it). After that, we went back up to our room for some much needed sleep.

The next morning we came down with a game plan: Millennium Park, lunch at the John Hancock Center, Michigan Ave, and then get back on the road to head to Urbana, IL. On the way out of the hotel I caught a shot of the Big Bar in the daylight:

While still quite impressive, it's just stunning at night.

We walked a few blocks down to Millennium Park and just enjoyed the scenery. The park was full of moms with strollers and babies, and I was instantly jealous of the fantastic childhoods these children were having. How great would it be to pack up a bag and go sit in Millennium Park with my kids? Then I remembered the insanely cold winters and everything evened out. We'll just have to visit with the kids. In the summer. A lot.

The first stop was the Bean. I don't know why, but the Bean is my favorite. I took about a dozen shots of it, but I'll leave you with just one:

The second stop in Millennium Park was the water feature. I have no idea what this is really called, but it's a magnet for every baby and toddler in the Windy City. There are two huge "wall" structures that leak water down to the brick ground. The bricks on the ground are specially designed to pool about an inch and a half of water on the ground for kids to splash in. The "walls" are designed with "bricks" that project images. Sometimes it's an image of water, similar to a babbling brook. Sometimes is this guy:

He also blinks. And spits water:

I took my shoes off and splashed around for a few minutes. It was so nice to just walk around, enjoy the weather, and people watch. We sat on the steps (lower left in the pic above) for a while and watched the moms chase their kids around.

After a while we took a walk down to the water:

We sat here for a while, too, just enjoying the sound of water lapping against the boats and the ringing of the little bells at the tops of the masts. It was so peaceful, which was funny, considering the hustle and bustle of the heart of the city was just blocks away.

We also took a walk by the Buckingham Fountain. It's situated in a huge open space:

I guess my favorite thing about Chicago is the fact that it is a huge city with so much green space. It's so clean. Everything is well maintained. There is so much history. Oh, and you can get lunch with amazing views of the city.

Lunch at the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center was fantastic! Here' the John Hancock (the black building):

And here's the view from our table:

Note the beach, directly below us:

Again, with a view like this, how do you not order Champagne with your lunch? Exactly. Along with my Champagne, I had lobster bisque to start, and the blackened salmon sandwich. Ryan also had the lobster bisque, and went with the Black Angus sirloin sandwich. Everything was amazing - the bisque was completely worth the $7 a bowl. God, I could really go for some of that lobster bisque right now.

After lunch, we walked around the restaurant to get shots of the view from the other sides:

The tall building to the right of the picture is the Sears Tower:

I could sit up there and just look out the window all day. I would love to have dinner there some day, though I imagine it's quite expensive (seeing as our lunch clocked in at $70, including tip). Some day.

Also some day? We're totally bringing our little girls to American Girl Place. Lucky me, this store happens to be located directly across the street from the John Hancock Center, so I dragged Ryan through it, grinning like an idiot and telling him the back stories on all of the dolls.

Actually, I should note that "all of the dolls" strictly includes Addy, Felicity, Molly, Samantha, and my own girl, Kirsten. Hmmm... upon further research, it would appear that AG retired Samantha. WTF, American Girl? Anyway, I'm 27 years old and I dragged Ryan through the store like a 10 year old. Whatever. How do you not love them:

Those are all Kirsten, in case you're not familiar with the AG collection. And no worries, it's actually not so secret that Ryan enjoyed every second of this.... he's going to be a great dad. Plus, I promised him we could go to the Lego Store, so how mad could he really be?

The Lego Store was very cool; there were tons of huge creations, including a pirate:

And a mini-John Hancock Center:
For reference, here's a pic of the real John Hancock Center (and Water Tower Place, which is where American Girl Place and the Lego Store are located):

We also took a quick walk through Tiffany's, because who doesn't love to see lots and lots of sparkly things? I also dropped lots of hints on this, which would make a fantastic "thanks for birthing my baby" gift :-)

Then we jumped in the car and headed south. We saw lots of this:

2.5 hours later we arrived in Urbana, IL, home of some of our best friends in the world. Recap to come!


Maggie Whitley said...

I have an American Girl doll. I did the "look like me" doll. That is cute you visited their store... :) I loved all those books. Oh Gussy ;)

Housewife Savant said...

You're a stellar tour guide.

Miss M said...

I had Kirsten too and think I have 2/3rd of all that stuff in those pictures my mom's basement! I was forever jealous that Samantha didn't have her hair cut to go into those braids though.

Molly said...

Okay, clearly I need to go back to Chicago. I missed alot. It was November and freezing, so I guess I need to go in the summer.

Carol said...

I've always wanted to go to Chicago and hopefully I'll make it there someday. I totally want to go to the AG store, I had Felicity and Samantha growing up and I know I would love the store.