Our third day in Chicago ( Friday, Nov. 11th), wasn’t quite as jam-packed as the previous day, but it still kept us on our feet (literally).
We started our day off with a short walk to Willis Tower.
Now, most people have no idea what the Willis Tower is, but when you say Sears Tower, that’s a different story. Sears’ naming rights expired on the building (the tallest building in the United States and seventh tallest in the world) in 2003, however, most people still refer to the building as the Sears Tower.
Willis Tower is one of the most famous and most visited attractions in the city. On a clear day, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin can all be seen from its windows.
The elevators at Willis weren’t quite as fast as Hancock’s, and I noticed a definite pressure change a few times on the way up.
The tower’s Skydeck is found on the 103rd floor of the 108 story, 1,451 foot building. The Skydeck’s claim to fame are its glass balconies suspended 1,353 feet over the Chicago sidewalk. The glass ledges extend 4 feet outside the building and (luckily) can hold 5 tons each.
I am not the hugest fan of heights, so I made a quick trip out onto the ledge for some photos before running back to the safety of the non-glass floor!
On our way out of the tower, they had an exhibit up honoring President Lincoln. I had to snap a photo of his and his wife’s hair. I thought it was pretty cool!
By now it was time for lunch and we were in the mood for an authentic Chicago-style hot dog so we made our way over to Portillo’s, one of Chicago’s most famous hot dog joints, and one of the restaurants featured on one of my favorite PBS specials, A Hot Dog Program.
After lunch we hopped into a cab for a drive over to Millennium Park. After seeing the park in the dark the night before, we wanted to go back to see it in the day time.
The Bean was as cool as ever, although unlike the night before when we had the place pretty much to ourselves (and only left after we saw a drug deal go down), this day it was packed.
After Millennium Park we were off to our second hotel, the Hilton Chicago.
After the Palmer House, I didn’t think this hotel would have much in the way of history, but I was wrong! The Hilton Chicago has housed every U.S. president since its opening in 1927. At the time of its opening, it was the largest hotel in the world. Today, its the third largest hotel in Chicago. The hotel went bankrupt during the Great Depression and was purchased by the U.S. Army during WWII to use as barracks. The building was purchased by Hilton in 1945.
Our room was great! Not only did we have an amazing view of Grant Park and Lake Michigan, but we each got out own marblelicious bathroom!
Thanks again to A. for the hotel hookup. I love friends with connections!
Whew. Day three done!
Fourth and final day coming up soon.