Thursday, September 17, 2015

Out and About: Chicago, Day 1

My brother had two tickets for the Chicago Bears' season opener against the Green Bay Packers and so, after discussing it for a few months, we decided that I would join him for the game. However, it seemed like a waste of money to fly out there for just one day, so I decided to make a long weekend of it, and perhaps see a couple of friends in the process. I'll be making four posts about this trip, one for each day that I was there.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and took the train to downtown Chicago, a very easy process. Here are the first few pictures I took once I got downtown:

Chicago River.

Pretty skyscrapers.

After checking into my hotel on the Magnificent Mile, I headed back out to grab some food and explore Millennium Park, a walk of just over a mile. It will perhaps surprise you to learn that the last time I spent any significant amount of time in Chicago, this park didn't even exist yet (hint: that was a long time ago).

First, before I get onto the park pictures, here's one of the cute little chocolate mousse I had after my ravioli dinner:

After dinner, it was over to the park, which was just across the street from where I ate. A stranger obligingly posed under this cool fountain, to give me an even better shot (he was posing for his wife/girlfriend). Fortunately, it was raining off and on that afternoon, so he already had an umbrella.

One of the things I really enjoyed about Chicago is how much it looks and feels like a city. In fact, having now lived in multiple cities, and visited a few others, it has the most "city-like" feel of them all. I mean that in a good way. You don't see sights like this in most of LA, or Dallas, or Austin, for example:

Here's the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Later in the evening, I would see a free opera concert here, which I didn't take any pictures of:

South of the pavilion is the Lurie Garden, a lovely oasis in the city:

Loved, loved, loved these pavers.

East, across the street, the park went on. On this side, there was a mini golf course, a rock climbing wall, and what looked like the coolest playground on the planet. Here are some shots I took on my way back through:

Further east, across another street, was Lake Michigan. 


Later, after a little bit of rain, a rainbow.

I walked further south along the lake and finally crossed back west, where I stumbled across that famous fountain:

And saw some more of Lurie Garden as I moved north once more:

I managed to catch the sunset over the city:

After the concert, I walked back to my hotel. I actually paid for a metro day pass but left it in my hotel on accident, but it was only a mile, and I felt safe. Along the way, I snapped a couple of cool shots. I really enjoyed how, everywhere I went in the city, I stumbled across interesting architecture, fountains, and sculptures:

I ended my first day in the city as it began, with a shot of the Chicago River:

After I got back to my hotel, I briefly got to see a friend before crashing out and sleeping like a rock, looking forward to a trip to the Art Institute in the morning.


Patricia said...

I so, so, so want to go to Chicago. Did you know there is a Chicago Poetry Tour? Someday soon, I hope, I will visit. It seems very much like a city I would like.

balyien said...

Never heard of the Chicago Poetry tour! As someone who was never keen on Chicago in the past, I have to say I've now developed a love affair with it. You should definitely go some time. I think you'd love it too.