Let me tell you! I absolutely love Chicago. When I finally scheduled my days off, and could FINALLY plan for my State Side Tour this year. I defiantly had to visit Chi-Town.
It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago—she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time. -Mark Twain
Honey I’m Home!
I can’t believe it has been more than 5 years that I haven’t touched American soil. It is a very surreal feeling as the USA is my home, but I have been living in Spain for so long that I constantly feel torn between both places. This comes from a place of pride and prejudice, since I feel like I’m part of both places, but at the same time isolated from both cultures. Yet this mix of emotions has helped to develop me into the woman, who is presently in front of you today.
In this year’s trip to the states, I was finally able to re-visit one of my favourite cities in the Mid-West…Chicago. The last time I got to enjoy the windy city I was at the tender age of sixteen in H.S. and (to say the least) visiting the city wasn’t my top priority. So this time around, I wanted to really enjoy and explore a more mature side of Chicago.
After stepping off the plane the city was already buzzing with life and energy, and we caught the Blue Line to downtown just like the Chicago natives. After enjoying the sun setting in the distant city skyline from the train view, we dumped our luggage in our apartment suite. Let the exploring begin!
What is a trip to Chicago without visiting the beautiful Millennium Park? I was so excited to see Cloud Gate and Crown Fountain for the first time, that in between arriving to downtown, leaving luggage, catching a meal, etc. I could careless that it was almost 2:00 a.m. damp, cold and cloudy.
A part from the famous deep dish style pizza, Chicago has many other tasty ventures in their gastronomy from Polish, Greek, Pakistani cuisine to a local fried chicken and fried shrimp chain and burger bars. I was interested in testing out all food (Italian beef, Chicken Vesuvio, Polish perogies just to name a few). However Javier’s interest was more guided towards Chicago’s craft brewing as well as pigging into each other’s dishes.
One funky spot that we found very close to our loft and offered a section of great eats was the Burger Bar in South Loop. Everything was more than delicious, known for their big-flavor, build your own burgers and great starters like fried pickles, mac n cheese bar and bratwurst corn dogs! We were in food heaven. Please try their sweet potato tater totes and the Vander Mill ginger peach cider… you’ll thank me later.
You don’t have to run to the city’s many museums to enjoy contemporary art. As I mentioned before Millennium Park is gorgeous but I was more than impressed with the local street art. Anyone who knows me knows I am addicted to street art. I love graffiti, big bold statement paintings on abandoned buildings… EVERYTHING, and Chicago did not disappoint. Around every corner you will find beautifully illustrated works of art that left me more than speechless and with my camera in hand. I´ll leave a few of my personal favourites.
Of course I could not leave Chicago without doing the touristy thing like visiting the Shedds Aquarium, The Field Museum and Adler Planetarium. Our favourite sites hands down were the Sky Deck Willis Tower (also known as the Sears Tower), the 360 Chicago and the Riverwalk.
We decided to check out the Sky Deck during the early evening to see the sunset while in the observation deck, and even though there were a ton of people and very long lines, it was a very beautiful experience and worth the visit.
I personally enjoyed the 360 a lot more than the Sky Deck since we went first thing in the morning and we were about 5 people total viewing the sights. The sun was out and you could really appreciate all of the Chicago skyline and architecture, without the hassle of fighting for window space.
For years I have wanted to tour the river walk and I was not going to leave Chi-town without walking it. We started our river walk on Wabash to Lake St and between the clash of modern architecture and the Chicago river I was in complete awe. The Riverwalk connects the lake front with the heart of downtown and is a MUST when going to Chicago.
BYE BYE BABY
As, we conclude our trip here we will try to explore a few more sites, but this trip has to be one of my favourites to date. Even though the weather started off with clouds, rain and gloomy grey days, but to the contrary our last few days in Chicago were nothing short of amazing. I’m talking clear blue skies and enough sun to make any summer day jealous!
Next Stop: The big apple!! Excited to share all the details with you all but until then. Stay safe and stay tuned! Check out my Great Escape through NYC!