Chicago Recap

Bean Sculpture in Chicago

I just got back from a trip to Chicago last week, page so I thought I’d do a quick recap of what all I did, hospital mostly as a log of the trip for myself. It was my first time to Chicago and I had a great time seeing some of what the city has to offer. I didn’t shoot a ton of photos, order but got a few I thought I’d share here.

These are two of the fellas who I went to visit and who showed me around while I was there! Lots of crazy fun, so thanks, guys! I started out the trip by arriving at Midway airport (smart move) in the evening. We went right over the the Green Mill for some great gypsy jazz by Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan. I guess it was Al Capone’s hang for a while, so the vibe inside was straight out of the 30s.

waving cat

The next day we ate lunch at Cosy Noodles and Rice which was amazing! Then we headed over to see the Chicago Lyric Opera perform Carmen. Tragic stuff, but beautifully done and the set design was incredible! Sadly, I didn’t get a photo, but it was like watching a moving painting.

staircase and sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute

From there, I headed over to the Chicago Art Institute since it was free admission that day! Anyone who’s been there knows what an amazing place it is and I could go on all day, so I’ll just say, if you can only make it to one place in Chicago, go there!

After that, I went and saw the Chicago Symphony perform Petrushka (1911 version). There’s a reason it’s known as one of the best orchestras in the world and they completely nailed it.

chicago navy pier

The next day was spent downtown being a little more touristy. We started off at the Field Museum where we spent a lot of time at the Jade collection, Tibet and Pacific Island exhibits, and of course, the dinosaurs! Then we walked up Michigan Ave. and checked out Millennium Park complete with the crazy mirrored “bean” which really is an amazing thing to see in person. Right across the street was the Chicago Cultural Museum where we saw Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer, an exhibition of New York and Chicago street photos taken by a self-taught nanny, Vivian Maier, over the course of her life. It’s an amazing story and the photos are the real deal. I thought they were some of the best street photos I’ve ever seen!

View from the top of the Chicago Hancock tower

We then walked up further and checked out some of the amazing architecture of downtown Chicago, ending up at the Hancock Tower. With NO line and a quick elevator trip up, we were able to see 360 degrees of Chicago from 94 floors up! Very impressive.

We watched the KU game that night at a bar with a $10 all-you-can-drink special. Enough said about that . . .

Fern from the Garfield Park Conservatory

The next day we were gearing up for a big taco party that night, so we only had time for one destination, but it was one of my favorites of the trip. We drove out to Garfield Park Conservatory which is an enormous greenhouse that has several different rooms that mirror various climates from tropical to desert. The conservatory is run by the city and has free admission. It was a real feast for the senses with lots of warm, moist air, lots of oxygen and as many colors as you can imagine! I couldn’t help but shoot some photos there:

Plant from the Garfield Park Conservatory

Flower from the Garfield Park Conservatory

Cactus from the Garfield Park Conservatory

Plant from the Garfield Park Conservatory

Fern from the Garfield Park Conservatory

The morning that I left, we had an incredible brunch at The Chicago Diner, which is an all vegetarian/vegan place that had about the best brunch I’ve ever had. Even if you’re a carnivore, I highly recommend it. We also stopped by the Robot City Workshop, which is an all toy robot store! You can even build your own there and they have a great collection of vintage robots from the 1980s, too.

I can now add Chicago to my list of great cities that I’ve visited. It’s a very cool place with easy mass transit, big city attractions with a more laid-back, Midwestern feel to it. I definitely hope to head back soon!


  • Blovin2s

    Upon my second read through of this post I discovered something that I must take issue with: vintage robots from the 1980s. 1980s qualify as vintage? Really? This has given me a new perspective.
    Loved the rest of the well written, informative, travel log post.
    Signed,
    Your, born in 1958, loving aunt.

  • Ha! Well, I guess in terms of the robotic age, it’s “vintage”, but compared to, say, the industrial revolution, I suppose it’s all pretty new 🙂