October 4 – 6, 2019 Chicago–The Second City

We boarded a train in Michigan City and headed to Chicago, also known as The Second City. This name came from the fact that most of Chicago was burned to the ground in the fire of 1871 and had to be rebuilt.  

Headed first to “The Bean,” properly known as Cloud Gate.  It’s a reflective sculpture in Millennium Park — a “must see” on a Chicago Trip.  Checked in to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, then headed to lunch. What to have?  Chicago pizza, or course.  Went to a Giordano’s around the corner from our hotel. The meal did NOT disappoint.

Next stop was Navy Pier.  There were pumpkin displays for Halloween, a ferris wheel, and a view of another lighthouse. During the summer this place must be a hub of activity.

Met up with Patty and Todd from Alcyone.  We went back to Millennium Park and took some time to see more of what was in the park.  Such a beautiful area. Found the Pritzker Music Pavilion, beautiful flowers and lots of people just enjoying a cool, but sunny day.

The Chicago Cultural Center, originally the central library building, was converted in 1977 to an arts and culture center.  The building details on the inside are incredible.  It’s so beautiful, that weddings are held there. Since it was a Saturday, we saw more than one “soon to be married” couple getting their pictures taken in various locations in the building.  What a gem in the middle of the city!

We attempted to go to the Aquarium, but discovered that Saturday was NOT a good day to do that. The line was way out the building and down the stairs.  So we opted for the more scientific Field Museum.  WOW- I thought it would be kind of boring, but not at all. We got to see an exhibit on Bugs, another on Water and one of the main exhibits: Sue – the T. Rex – in her very own gallery.  

Dinner that night was in a wonderful Italian place called Volare.  There could not have been more tables put in this restaurant. We were back to back with tables all around us.  How the waiters get around is a mystery.  The food was fabulous and we thoroughly enjoyed the meal with Patty and Todd from Alcyone.  After dinner, we hopped on the Red Line to go up to one of the theaters and enjoyed the play “Holy Ghost Bingo.”  If you are familiar with “Midnight Confessions,” this play was in the same format.  It’s a one woman play with LOTS of audience participation in an intimate setting.  Lots of laughs.

We got to Church on Sunday morning and then we meeting up with several other Loopers for an Architectural Tour–on a boat–in downtown Chicago.  Unfortunately, there was a mix up of times and we couldn’t get on the same boat as others, so along with Patty and Todd, we had our own “group.” Oh WOW – can’t say enough about this tour.  There was a very knowledgeable guide on board who gave us SO much info about many of the downtown buildings.  Since the city was almost entirely rebuilt after the fire, it became a magnet for architects. There are examples of so many styles of architecture and so much creativity.  We only regretted that we didn’t take a second tour at night, which would have looked so different with all of the building lights.

We did get together with the other Loopers for an early dinner.  Had a lot of fun catching up with what everyone was doing. Then we headed back to our respective marinas and boats.

Chicago was a fabulous place to see.  It would have been nice to take our own boat thru downtown, but there is a 17’ fixed bridge in town that might have presented a problem.  We considered taking down the radar dome and antennas, but we still weren’t sure we would make it.  So we were content in taking the architectural tour on the river and letting someone else do the driving for us!