Chicago was our last destination with my Mum and Dad before we continued our road trip. We left Des Moines in the morning for the 5 hour drive and stopped a couple of times as we went through corn fields in southern Iowa. Mike flew the drone over the fields and the patterns in the corn fields became clear.
We arrived at 2.30pm in Chicago after a bit of traffic and some confusing road layouts. We left the car for the valet, although expensive it was only slightly more than parking it ourselves at the city car parks so was worth. It having the hassle.
After relaxing in the afternoon we took a walk in the evening around the Magnificent Mile and down to Oak street beach; a fake beach built on the shore of Michigan lake. It was odd to see a beach in the middle of city but quite unique.
For dinner we wanted to try traditional deep pan Chicago pizza. We found a restaurant called Giordano’s famous for its pizza and waited for a table for about 45 minutes while having a beer. Luckily you could preorder your pizza while waiting so once we got our table it came straight away: three small deep pan pizza pies. Having thought it might not be enough we soon realised we had ordered too much. They were so deep that just once slice was enough on its own. An experience which was worth while but not something we’d order again.
The following morning we got a sightseeing bus from outside the John Hancock building. We sat upstairs in the sun for 3 hours as we toured Chicago. First we passed southeast corner of Delaware and Michigan with the Hard Rock Cafe and the replica of the first McDonalds. We entered the financial district passed the Tribune Tower, NBC tower and the Trump building. The buildings in Chicago are beautiful and it was clear why it is famous. The bus then took the Michigan Avenue Bridge and around to the Sears Tower or Wills Tower as it is now called. We then went down the side of Millennium Park passed the ‘Bean’ and other pieces of art towards the museum district. Here we stopped to get a picture of the city by the Adler Planetarium before passing the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.
After this the bus passed on the other side of Millennium park and we jumped of at Maggie Daley park. Here we saw the famous Chicago ‘Bean’ or Cloud Gate as it is officially know. Made by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, it is a giant bean shaped gate that has mirror surface.
Hundreds of people gathered around and underneath taking pictures in the convex surface. After doing the same we looked at the other art, the Crown fountain (giant digital faces appear on cuboid fountains), the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and crossed the BP bridge.
We rejoined the bus tour and got off a couple of stops later at Navy Pier for lunch. Again all the restaurants were busy and we had to wait for a table. After Mike went back to the hotel and the three of us walked down and around the pier which provided views of the lake and Chicago.
In the evening we ate at ‘Tavern on Rush’ a steak house with a large menu. Everyone enjoyed their food especially my Dad who ordered the special. Desserts were also good and we left very stuffed.
We had another full day in Chicago the following day and our last with my parents.