Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chicago, Chicago...

I recently fell in love.

With Chicago!

My husband and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Chicago withOUT our three boys. Just us. Thank you, Mom and Dad!

Our first stop? Pizza, of course! We just had to check out the original...

Not only was the pizza good, but the people of Chicago were very friendly. I truly felt at home. The last large city I visited was New York City, so that was on my mind as I accidently bumped into a passerby. "Oh, I'm sorry, excuse me" came out of their mouth before it could come out of mine. I was relieved to not have offended/annoyed her. :)

Our walk down Michigan Avenue later that evening showed us a little history of the city. These pics turned out blurry (long exposure time), but I still think they turned out kinda cool. We saw one of the only intact buildings from the famous Chicago fire of 1871, the water tower (on the left).
I think I fell asleep during this part of my American history class because I knew nothing about it! If you were sleeping too, here's a brief lesson.

Rumor has it that Mrs. O'Leary's cow started the fire by kicking over a lantern in the barn. However, someone later admitted to have started that rumor. So who knows? Unfortunately everything in Chicago at that time was made of wood (including the streets!), so there wasn't much left. What resulted, though, was a stronger and more unified city. Architects from around the globe volunteered to help rebuild the city, resulting in a beautiful and eclectic skyline. We took a boat tour to look at the architecture of that skyline.

See the flying buttresses at the top?

A bit more modern...

The leaders of Chicago at that time wanted the city to resemble a European city, so you see influences of Europe in the buildings, bridges, and parks. In fact, Michigan Avenue was meant to be like the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Do you know which is which?

The Champs Elysees is on the left! The picture of Michigan Ave. on the right was taken in the 60's I believe.

Next stop... Navy Pier! The Tall Ships were in Chicago the weekend we were there, so we got to take an up-close look at these beauties, and even boarded a few of them! One of the ships called the Bounty was in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Tight quarters down below! (I was fine, however, being only 5'2"!)

Some other cool pics:

Do you see what's in the window?

The Tall Ships sail through all the great lakes, docking in major cities along the way. I would highly recommend visiting them, it was a lot of fun!!

The only frustrating thing about this trip was the Sinatra song running through my head ALL WEEKEND LONG!

"Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town. Chicago, Chicago, I'll show you around...".

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