Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Weekending | Chicago's Cloud Gate + Willis Tower

If you haven't already, be sure to check out this post which is essentally Part I of our Chicago Trip.   

One thing I was really excited to see in person was Cloud Gate aka the Chicago Bean.   I feel like I have seen a million photos of this thing. But, nothing does it justice like seeing it in person.  First of all, it's way bigger than I thought it was. It's ginormous. I really wanted to get there at 6 am so we could take photos without anyone else, but alas we were on vacation and the point is to SLEEP IN and not wake up earlier than you usually would. Haha.

I love this shot below because of the red trees. We visited in mid-October and the leaves were just starting to really change -- it was beautiful and warmer than I thought it would be. I was expecting it to be freezing, because, you know, Chicago. Well, you know how they call it the windy city? Well, when we first arrived, we noticed people were really bundled up and the weather said it was in the 60's so we were kind of confused, until the wind started to pick up.  I swear it seemed 10-15 degrees colder with the wind chill. The good news is that we did pack accordingly and I had my big winter coat.  

Another area we walked around a lot was Millennium Mile.  Uniqlo had just opened the day before we were there so it was madness, but of course we had to go check it out. The store had at least 5 floors and was it was insanely packed. We decided to pass on buying anything since, well... Charlotte. Essentially it doesn't snow or get super cold here very much. Once in a while (hello polar vortex), it'll get down to the single digits but for the most part, we don't really need to bundle up much here.  

We bought Willis (formerly Sears) Tower tickets on Travelzoo for $15 so I was pretty proud of myself that I saved us a little bit of money.  I was even prouder when I realized that we got to skip part of the line since we had said vouchers. When we arrived, they said it would be a 2 hour wait to the top (which sounded crazy to me, but when in Rome)... it ended up to be closer to an hour and a half-ish. 

Jake and I both stepped out on The Ledge which is 103 floors up, overlooking the city of Chicago with a GLASS FLOOR. It is not for the faint of heart as Jake and I both are afraid of heights. Confession: sometimes I am scared to go on the escalator when its 3+ floors up. But, I went out on the ledge long enough to take a few quick pics and that was it. I had to hold onto the glass at all times. My face looks pretty terrified in some of the photos. There is one picture of us kneeling down on Facebook, but it makes me scared just to look at it.  Not sure if I would ever do it again... but... I survived to tell about it.  

I love how the water really looks blue/green in these photos.  

All of the lights. 

I leave you with one more shot of the skyline because it's just so gorgeous.

Well, that's it folks. It was a pretty quick short and sweet trip. We came, we saw, we ate Pequoids deep dish pizza and a Chicago Dog so I think we should be set for a while. 

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