We spent three full days in Chicago. We arrived just in time for dinner and to catch some NFL action in ‘The Anthem’ – a nearby sports bar before heading to bed. As our bodies were still adjusting to the time difference after our flight, we were wide awake at 5am on the first full day. So we headed out early to find breakfast nearby in Wicker Park before heading to the Loop (downtown Chicago). Milk and Honey was less than a 5 minute walk away, and I enjoyed a bowl of housemade granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit (Apologies now, I’m a rubbish blogger and hardly took any photos of food during the whole trip!) Mr B enjoyed his breakfast burrito containing scrambled egg, black beans, cheese, lettuce, chipotle crema and salsa. I have to say that I love Mexican food, but just not at 7am!
After a bit of confusion at the subway station over what ticket we were best off buying for our short stay, we were on our way downtown. The subway system is known as the ‘El’ and didn’t seem too crowded, even though we had headed in during the morning commuter times.
We had a rough plan for what we wanted to see and do – visiting Millennium Park and its various art installations and a boat tour which had been recommended to us, being at the top of the list. As we had flown into Chicago the previous day we had seen that the colours of fall (autumn) were already out in force, and this was no different in the city parks which we wandered through after exiting the subway station.
Millennium Park holds a whole wealth of art installations and outdoor galleries, and in the summer, free concerts and guided tours. On the day we visited, it was cloudy and threatening rain, so we didn’t spend as long here as we had intended to, weaving our way round the various exhibits. We loved Cloud Gate (or ‘The Bean’ by Anish Kapoor as it is otherwise known) and we should have returned on another day to get the blue sky reflections, but alas, it will have to be on the list for a future trip!
There were also some other sights nearby… A eye-catching statue recouting the American-Indian history, the start of historic ‘Route 66’, and the famous Chicago Theatre sign!
We booked our boat tour through the Chicago Architecture Foundation, which had been recommended to us. It lasted 90 minutes and our guide gave us a detailed explanation of the towers along the riverside that create the famous Chicago skyline. Neither of us had a keen interest of architecture before, but the tour really explained the history of the city through this perspective. We’d definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Chicago.