Sometimes I forget how cool a place the US is – not only for its most obvious reasons like the American Dream or the diversity that is the melting pot we call home, but also because there are some amazing places to visit in our own country. When I think vacation, I think somewhere really far away that I’ve never been before, with different cultures and histories – but I forget that there is a plethora (I’m patting myself on that back for using that bad boy) of cities in the US that offer just that.
Frozen tundra that is the Midwest right now
Chicago, a place I have never been before, is awesome. I have a soft spot for cities (Paris being my main squeeze) and I love how different they all are from each other, all unique with fascinating histories and stories to tell.
Not the most pleasant sign to pass on the sidewalk
The Chicago that exists today, rose from the ashes of the 1871 fire (that wiped out three square miles of the city) and refused to give up. To this day, it has maintained its status as one of the largest and most successful cities in America.
I was visiting for work – but I got to squeeze in a little sight-seeing and my first stop was the Skydeck at the top of Willis Tower. It’s the 8th tallest building in the world and the tallest in the western hemisphere and at the top you get to take in the 360 degree views of the city skyline.
The main reason for visiting the Willis Tower is to step out onto the Skydeck. Which is a glass box that you stand in that extends 4 feet over the edge of the building. It’s like you are standing on air, and the views are incredible.
After floating on air for a bit, I returned to Earth and walked down to Millenium Park – to The Bean. Probably my favorite thing in Chicago (well my favorite of the 8 square blocks I visited), The Bean – or the Cloud Gate – is a giant kidney bean shaped mirror sculpture that is said to have been inspired by liquid mercury. It’s placed perfectly to create distorted reflections of the Chicago skyline. And while the sunshine reflections are pretty the reference to mercury makes a lot of sense at night.
For dinner I checked off stuffed pizza from my wish-list of things to do and went to Giordanos (more on that to come) after my stop at Topshop. My room was at the Intercontinental and while I have no pictures it was lovely. Classy but still modern, with a comfy bed and good water pressure – what more could a girl ask for?
The next morning I had my meeting at Chicago Tribune and then I strolled the city again (this time in the daylight) before I flew home. The architecture is picturesque, it’s as beautiful as it is in the movies and if it hadn’t been 20 degrees I would have stayed longer. It would be great to go back, in warmer months, because I know that once all the snow melts the city will shine like the gem it is.