We woke up ready for another day in the city. It was a little bit hazy this morning, but it mostly burned off and we had another gorgeous, sunny day here in Chicago.
We set off from our hotel around 9:00 a.m. and headed down to the Willis Tower (or, if you refuse to conform, like me, you can continue calling it the Sears Tower).
One thing I forgot to mention about yesterday was that we picked up two $14 3-day CTA passes which give us unlimited rides on the trains (the “L”), as well as buses. It’s really come in handy so far and we know that we’ll get our money’s worth. It’s a great deal, so I highly recommend the multi-day passes if you visit. You can’t get them at the train stations, though. (This was confusing to me, as I always buy multi-day subway passes on my trips to NYC, and I’ve always purchased them right in the subway stations.) We had to go to a CVS to buy them, but that was fine as it wasn’t too far out of the way.
Anyway, so we left our hotel and hopped on the Red Line for a few stops, then walked several blocks over to the Sears Tower. Once we got there, the woman in the lobby told us that visibility was pretty poor up there this morning (only 0-5 miles), but that it was expected to get better later in the day. We quickly decided to postpone our trip up to the top and come back later.
Instead, we did some more walking, and hopped back on the train up toward Michigan Avenue. Our other plans for the day included an architecture boat tour, so we figured we’d check that out while we were waiting for the fog to clear from the top of Sears Tower. There are several companies that do these architecture boat tours, but we went with Wendella. Tickets were $22.
Once we started moving, our tour guide immediately launched into her explanation of all of the amazing buildings located along the Chicago River, and even some of the ones set further back. I was immediately impressed with her memorization skills, as her delivery of this information was flawless. All of the architects, the timelines for construction, the square feet or the heights of the buildings… whoa.
Anyway, the sights were rather impressive, too.
At this point, it was noon, and we wanted to head back down to the Sears Tower. But not before making a crucial pit stop (more on that in a second).
Once over the river, we quickly made our way to our non-negotiable pit stop. Where’s that, you ask?
It was a little place called Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique.
Just look at them! They’re GLORIOUS!
As cute as the bakery was, they didn’t offer much in the way of seating, so we decided to get our cupcakes to go. Which ended up being awesome, since they put them in that sweet little box for us. We walked them over to Millenium Park and sat in the shade to enjoy every single morsel.
After the cupcakes (the Black & White was my favorite, by the way), we headed back down to the Sears Tower.
Before we knew it, our ears were popping as we rode the elevator all the way to the top–to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor. We immediately walked around to the other side of the building to the Skydeck Ledge, since we knew they were a big attraction. After waiting for a few minutes in the crowd, we made our way out onto the Ledge.
We moved out of the box to give other people a chance, and wandered around the Skydeck, just checking out the view.
From there, we went back to the hotel for a little bit to relax and figure out where to head to dinner. After looking at various restaurants, we decided to go to a little Irish pub called Timothy O’Toole’s.
After dinner, we cut back over to Michigan Avenue, which was only a few blocks away. On the way over there, we unfortunately saw this: Man Dies in Plunge from Building. We didn’t actually witness the incident (THANK GOD), but we came upon police cars and a taped off area of the street. And then we saw the white sheet. It was pretty shocking, and greatly disturbing. We paused for a few seconds, but ultimately kept moving. I am so grateful we only came upon the scene after it had already happened.
Switching gears back to “happy” and “fun”…
We wandered Michigan Avenue for a little bit, waiting for it to get dark. We browsed Crate and Barrel, and went to “visit” our dream computer at the Apple Store. From there, we walked down to the Hancock Building and once again, found ourselves in an elevator all the way up to the top.
It felt nice to be on ground level again. We seemingly spent a lot of time in elevators today! And we were all about the skyscrapers–looking up at them, traveling to the top of them, etc. It certainly gave us an appreciation for the architecture in Chicago.
Since we were blessed with another gorgeous late summer evening, we took our time walking back to our hotel.
And so the book closes on another wonderful day in Chicago. We get to enjoy the city for a few more hours in the morning before we have to head to the airport to go home! We’ll be sad to leave but it is always nice to get home.
AboutI'm Heather. I just turned 30. I'm happily married, and mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world (what, you're saying I could be biased?). Determined DIYer and homeowner. Sarcastic. A perfectionist. A bleeding-heart liberal. Frugal. Loves a little dog way more than many humans. Loves food, hates exercise (it's an ongoing battle). A loyal football fan. I love to laugh. Value family and friends above all else. Vie to be a world traveler.
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