Chicago… why go there?

A few years ago my fellow traveling nurse and I decided that we wanted to travel back to the USA together. We had already been to New York (twice) and fancied somewhere else. Dawn had visited Chicago before as part of a tour with her family and really enjoyed it.

So the destination was decided and the trip was booked. Every time we told people where we were going the question came as to why we would go to Chicago for just 4 days as it’s so far away for such a short time.

Everyone from around where we live only seem to go to either Orlando (as in Walt Disney World) or New York City. Dawn and I had been to both these places and fancied somewhere a bit different – hence Chicago.

The next question would then be “what is there to see there?”

For me, prior to visiting Chicago, my only experience of this city was from the movies especially John Hughes movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Home Alone. As I said in a previous post I like to try the ‘famous’ things from a particular place.

In Chicago the things high on my list were the Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) and Wrigley Stadium both seen in Ferris Bueller. As a little bit of additional research I followed a few instagram Chicago posts and found a lot of photos of something called The Cloud Gate aka The Bean at Millennium Park. So that was added to the list.

Dawn and I try and find the more unusual touristy things in a place we visit. So when I watched a documentary with Stephen Fry visiting something called ‘The Second City’ it had to make the cut. For those who don’t know the Second City is a theatre where many Saturday Night Live alum started.

As an incidental finding whilst investigating where Second City was I discovered that it was just up the road (!) from the Steppenwolf Theatre. The Steppenwolf Theatre was started in 1974 by Gary Sinse with a few other actors. Gary Sinse has been one of my fav actors for many years, right from when he was in The Stand, so going to ‘his’ theatre became one of the places we needed to visit.

The final thing we added was the Magnificent Mile. This is Chicago’s main shopping area. It crosses over the river and houses not only the Chicago Tribune building but also the building formally known as John Hancock Centre where you can go up to the 94th floor and literally Tilt out over the city. (Dawn did, I didn’t).

For those shoppers amongst you the Water Tower Place shopping mall is home to many famous brand names.

As stated in other posts often the main things that Dawn and I look for in a holiday is good food but I feel that that is a topic for another day

What did you enjoy on a visit you had to Chicago?


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