Chicago

We made our 3rd visit to Chicago. The last time we were there was 9 years ago with sis. This time, one of us attended a workshop in downtown Chicago and another one of us worked remotely from the hotel. We didn’t plan much sightseeing activities since we covered most of the major attractions in the past. Nevertheless, being the 3rd largest city after New York and Los Angeles, there was still a plethora of things to see and do in Chicago.

Unlike our previous trips, we flew to Chicago this time. Everyday, we got up very early in the morning to avoid the hot breakfast feeding frenzy at the hotel atrium. Our lunches were usually very rushed since the workshop had just an hour of lunch break. Most eateries we chose took 20 minutes to reach by foot.

The Windy City failed to live up to its name this time. There was no wind most of the time. Instead, we experienced sweltering heat on the last few days of the trip with the heat index hovering above 100F. The last 100F in Chicago was in July 6, 2012. It was so hot that the trains were required to operate 10 miles per hour below their normal speeds due to possible track problems caused by expanded steel. Still, we walked between 14K to 19K steps everyday, mostly in the evenings. There was one evening where we took the train to Lincoln Park for dinner and then strolled 4 miles back to our hotel in 3.5 hours.

On the departing day, we left our luggage at the hotel luggage storage and spent several hours wandering around the city. We realized the single ride train ticket could be used up to 3 rides within 2 hours. So, for a single $3 ticket, we visited the Wrigley Field in Wrigleyville, ate super delicious Korean fried chicken wings in Lincoln Park and finally headed back to downtown. To escape the excessive afternoon heat, we visited the Art Institute of Chicago and apparently most tourists had the same idea too. Due to our limited time, we spent just 2 hours wandering around this massive art museum looking for famous masterpiece paintings, such as “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, “Nighthawks”, “The Old Guitarist”, “American Gothic”and many more. By 4 PM, we took the half hour cab ride to the airport only to realize we had 2 hours of flight delay due to bad weather.

The Chicago skyline.
The “Lou” deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s. It took a 15-minute wait outside and another 45-minute wait while seated to get this pizza. All worth it.
The legendary Chicago Theatre built in 1921.
Celebrating the big 4-0 by watching the Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, at Cadillac Palace Theatre.
Ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
Upscale houses in Lincoln Park.
Cloud Gate, or more commonly known as “The Bean” in Grant Park.
The 105 years old Wrigley Field.
“The Old Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso. This is the most iconic painting of Picasso’s “Blue Period” (1901-1904) when he was living in poverty and emotional turmoil. Recent x-rays reveal there are at least 2 different paintings found beneath “The Old Guitarist”.
The iconic “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. While visiting the small town of Eldon in his native Iowa, Wood spotted a little wood farmhouse made in a style called Carpenter Gothic and said, “I imagined American Gothic people with their faces stretched out long to go with this American Gothic house”.
Places we covered in this album.

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