Friday, 21 June 2013

Chicago Day 2

25th August 2012

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Apart from the fact that it isn't centred, I love this shot. Though the OCD in me is frustrated that the swans weren't evenly spaced out.

I had plans on waking up early to watch the sunrise from Lake Michigan. However my plans of sleeping went out the window and stayed up all night; the first all-nighter in my entire existence. Though, it was truly beautiful watching the sun rise from Lake Michigan, the sky changing from pinks to violets and to orange and yellow.

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Finger prints galore!
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I also found the Bean/ Cloud Gate which was mainly the only thing that I had wanted to see in Chicago. It was amazing and so much larger than I imagined. As it was 6am in the morning, there was no one around and I took many photos of the bean,  reflecting the skyline of Chicago. In hindsight, it was rare to be able to take a photo without any tourists milling around.

The streets were quiet as I headed back to the hostel for the complimentary breakfast. After breakfast, I headed out and just wandered. I headed down the Magnificent Mile until I was so tired and stopped at Maccas for a large coffee and a breakfast burrito. Officially the most disgusting thing I have ever tried. I headed back down to the park and tried to nap for an hour before meeting my Chicago Greeter.

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I am not entirely sure how I discovered the program but I am very glad that I did. The idea is that a local Chicago-an would hold a free tour for a few individuals/ small group. I was lucky and I was the only person in the group so it turned into a private tour. The woman was very lovely and she took me around the highlights; Millennium Park, Art Institute of Chicago, into Macy's to sign me up for a free discount as I was a visitor and I also got to try Frango Mints for free. There were many more places that she also showed me (and I never got around to jotting it down and I have completely forgotten now. D'oh). Oh, she also showed me the place the Barack Obama and Michelle Obama used to work at (Sidley Austin). It was also the first time that someone (Macy employee) asked me this question: what is your heritage? Which is actually a brilliant way of asking someone their background without sounding like an utter idiot (should probably educate the Belgium/ Indian on this). I didn't take any photos because I was worried I would slow her down and I would look like a total retard. It was mainly because I was the only person so she was always looking at me and I didn't want to great a hassle. At the end of our 5 hour tour, she brought me down to Greek town (which was very interesting) and there we parted.

In addition to teaching me about Chicago, she also taught me a trick for conversions from F to C. Subtract 30 and divide by 2 (not exact and does not work for numbers lower than 32 {below freezing}).
Chicago Hot Dog

I didn't try the deep dish pizza because the idea was a little nauseating. However, I couldn't leave the city without trying at least one of their famous food items: Chicago Style Hot Dog.

My Overall Thoughts
I loved Chicago downtown and 1.5 days was definitely not enough time. Chicago was so vibrant and diverse and I wanted to visit outside of downtown and the Loop. This page explains it all; there is just so much to see.

Would I re-visit?
Yes! Without a doubt.

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