Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chicago: City of Iron and Ivy

View from the Sears/Willis Tower

This is my first time visiting Chicago, but Jon has been here several times before. We're staying with his uncles who are kind enough to let us sleep in their spare bedroom, and have a lovely condo with excellent views (with three balconies and a roof deck!) Their condo is a mixture of warm woods and sleek modern furnishings, with the best part being a skyway from the living room that gives you a view of their library from the above floor.

Sky light view library

After breakfast our first stop was the Wrigley field to see the second oldest baseball stadium in the country. Coming from Boston and whose father is a big baseball fan, I was excited to see this historic landmark. The inside of the field is lined with ivy, which turns out to be a trademark of Chicago architecture. We didn't get to take a tour inside, but we peaked in for a moment to scope it out!

Iconic sign of the stadium

We then headed to the Willis tower, formerly known as the Sears tower, which once held the title of the tallest building in the world. We climbed to the top in a quick elevator up to the 103rd floor, and my ears popped the whole way up! There we were given a unique view of the city and the surrounding states. Lake Michigan seems to stretch on forever up there, and it resembles more of an ocean than a lake.

Never-ending lake

At the top

We then headed to the Chicago Art Institute where they currently have a Fashion, Modernism, and Impression exhibit, which if you're in the area, you must check it out. A lot of excellent Monets, Manets, Renoirs, and their contemporaries are juxtaposed with stunning gowns from the late 19th century. Impressionism is one of my favorite art movements, and I'm obsessed with large gowns in costume dramas, so this was the perfect exhibit for me! We then checked out a few other exhibits, one being a show on a man who does camera obscura photographs. I can't remember his name, but his pieces were fascinating. I don't take pictures of pictures in museums, so I have no photos to share there.

We then headed to Navy Pier to check out the ferris wheel which also gives you a great view of the city. I'm a sucker for all things carnival, so I couldn't pass this opportunity up! 

From the ground

From the sky

We then crashed for a bit at Lily Pond Park and are now waiting to head out to dinner with Jon's uncles and a few other family members. So glad we got to see this city and spend a whole day exploring it! I'll definitely be sad leaving it.

The astutely named park

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