Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last day in Chicago

Our flight didn't leave until 8pm so we had a full day of fun ahead of us. Our first stop was the Willis (formerly Sears) building. We had attempted to go the day before, but there was a power surge in the building and the elevators stopped working. We were waiting in line for the elevators when it happened :) kinda glad we weren't on those elevators when they stopped working. I think the people were only stuck for about 20 minutes. So we woke up early to miss the lines, and were able to walk through and go up the elevator to the 103rd floor to see the views, and the famous "ledge". The view was a little hazy but still very beautiful.

Here we are ... the ledge... where the little girls and grown women are separated.... who will have the balls to stand out in the glass box that is suspended 1353 feet in the air :) I didn't have any issues walking out to see, but once I was out there and started to look around, my stomach did a little flip. However, the Jersey girl inside of me took control and reminded me that 1.3 million people stand in these glass boxes each year and they are perfectly fine.

There were plenty of people waiting to get inside of the box, so we were a little limited on the time we had in the box. It was a fantastic experience.

After the Willis Building we walked towards Lake Michigan, where we came across the Buckingham Fountain. It is located in Grant Park and is one of the largest fountains in the world. Remember the TV show, Married with Children? This is the fountain in the opening of the show.

We found a little Italian place for lunch called Volare. I found this gem through yelp.com, it was located a block off of Michigan Ave (where all of the shopping is) and is slightly tucked away. I saw the glowing reviews for the gnocchi so that is what I ordered. I ordered it with their vodka sauce and it was perfection in a bowl. The gnocchi was so tender and the sauce was flavorful without being overpowering. Jim ordered the special which was chicken breast with spinach, ricotta in a white wine sauce. His was good, but lacked the wow factor that my dish had :)

Saturday crowds walking along Michigan Ave. I was really glad that our vacation started in the middle of the week, since there was WAY less crowds than the weekend.

After lunch and doing a little window shopping, we headed over to Navy Pier. I didn't have high hopes since I have heard it is a big tourist trap but we still wanted to check it out. The pier had plenty of restaurants and ice cream and Italian ice stands along with rides. We chose to ride the Ferris wheel and the other ride that I have no clue what the name is. Did you know that the Ferris wheel was invented in Chicago? George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. designed and constructed for the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition.

We saved the best for last, one of my favorite rides. I never knew the rides name until I just looked it up,,,, Wave Swinger-an Old Fashioned Swing. I used to LOVE this ride as a kid (I can only remember going on it during the fair in Arizona) and I was so damn happy to see this ride on the pier. Jim hasn't been on this ride before so it was a first time for him.

I even got a self picture while on the ride :)

I took this picture from the hotel bar right before we hopped on the train to the airport. I love the Indian busts on the corners of the buildings.

Chicago, you rock. We can't wait to come back and see more of the city. What an excellent vacation!

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