Chicago: Part 2

Yeesh, let's wrap up this trip recap, shall we?!

Day 2: By the second (and last) day, this suburbanite could hail a cab like a pro. We spent most of the day at The Art Institute of Chicago. It was inspiring, enormous, impressive, all wrapped in a distinct aura of history.
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I was such a tourist--I even took pictures inside the museum. I'm not going to pretend I'm some art connoisseur so I won't bore you with tons of blurry museum pics. Here are just my favorites......

When I studied this masterpiece in college, Friends was huge, and I thought the farmer's wife resembled Jennifer Aniston's frumpy aunt. Imagine what you could learn if I was your art history professor. It would be awesome.

(I don't know why Mr. FC chose to be in this photo. Weirdo.)
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Utterly amazing what skilled hands can do with marble:
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Hello Messieurs Renoir, Seurat, & Monet!
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::shrugging:: This reminded me of the Hairy Bastard. (The dog, obviously, not the slightly creepy adorable child.) Photobucket

I geeked out on the chair gallery that was being worked on; might have pissed the curator off but damnit, I couldn't help myself. They were just brilliant in their original woodwork & repro upholstery.Photobucket
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Then a peaceful walk in the misty rain through Millennium & Grant Park to Buckingham Fountain.
Are flared jeans still in style???? Damn.
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From there, we stopped by Navy Pier just to see what it was all about. The exterior was impressive but I was surprised by how commercial the inside was. By this point it was cold, rainy, and the inside was crowded with kitchsy kiosks selling overpriced merchandise. Call us naive but is this typical of Navy Pier? We decided to skip off to our hotel room to rest up for dinner instead.

We debated seeing the city skyline from the Sears Tower (now named the Willis Tower--that's just weird) but instead opted for the John Hancock building since it was literally 20 steps from our hotel. So we rode the elevator up to the 96th floor lounge with a panaramic view of Chicago. That bionic elevator took us from 1st to 96th in about 5 seconds, no joke. My ears even popped.
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We dined on the 95th floor (The Signature Room). Our dinner probably cost more than our plane tickets, but it was worth every penny. The surf 'n' turf was delectable; the filet mignon melted in our mouths and the lobster tail? Scrumptious & succulent. Also, the view was insane.
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We squeezed in a quick visit to the Field Museum before heading to the airport (we're science nerds). Honestly? We probably could have skipped it. Perhaps it was the massive crowds who were there on school field trips (cheeky little boogers) which made navigating the museum horrendous or standing in line for 25 minutes just to get in? Or that Mr. FC's a science snob and expected more? Seeing Sue was definitely worth it though!

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Up bright and early for our departure. Oy, look at those scrunchy, puffy, tired eyes.
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A Potbelly's for my belly, before the flight . Delicious gluttony wrapped in a sandwhich.Photobucket

Due to our time crunch and hotel locale, we tried our best to savor the heart of the city. Next time, I'd love to roam the more "Bohemian" side of Chicago.......the little boutiques, quaint eateries, and historic buildings/homes off the beaten path.

Sidenote: Though Michigan Avenue is a shopper's paradise, I'm not much of a clothes shopper (I usually only shop if I have something specific in mind), so I didn't bother. On the flip side, I did not dare set my grubby foot inside the higher-end stores (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Escada, Prada, oh my). That scene from Pretty Woman, where she's scorned by the snobby sales ladies, was stuck on repeat in my head. It would have helped if I wasn't wearing my hooker dress and tall, shiny boots, but we were too far away from the hotel for me to change. (Just checking to see if you're still reading.)

Thank you, Chicago!!

17 comments:

  1. Whatchoo talkin' 'bout--Willis? Why'd they name it that?

    I read the whole thing. It sounds like a good time, and now I am dying to eat dinner from looking at all of that food. YUM.

    jbhat

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  2. Illinois is significantly cooler recently, pretty much since have been here. Just saying.

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  3. Did you go in the women's restroom on that floor of the John Hancock tower? Best views of the city, I swear! The men's restroom, I'm told, is nothing special. We've always been too cheap to eat in that restaurant, might have to splurge next time!

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  4. All my fav places to go in Chicago. It's about time for a mini vaca.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

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  5. OOOH, I'm so happy to see part 2. Have I ever told you that Mr. FC looks like a reality star? Everytime I see him I think he looks like CJ off of the Real World Cancun--google him if you don't know who I'm talking about!

    Oh, and your dinner looks scrumptious and fancy. David loves him some surf and turf!

    Someday we will all get together!

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  6. Mmmmmm... That martini looks refreshing! I'd like to see those tall, shiny boots.

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  7. Just had dinner yet those pics made my stomach growl! Looks like you guys had a great time!

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  8. Ok so I read somewhere that Navy Pier is a tourist trap and I also read that the best views of chicago are from the John Hancock building..:) I have a recap of my trip to Chicago if you'd like to read about it here http://decoriadore.blogspot.com/2010/02/birthday-getaway-recap.html

    so glad you had fun!

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  9. I live here and I never go in those stores (hooker dress or not). Thanks for sharing - and yes Navy Pier is always like that - we do not go! I think I used to like it in high school though - thanks for sharing!

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  10. you go girl...love this post and glad yall had a nice time...cross your fingers for us a chicago trip one day!

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  11. Hey. Glad you got to do some touristy things here in Chicago. I think the neighborshoods away from the Ave have way more to offer for normal people : ).
    I work in the Gucci building and haven't stepped foot in there either, so I know how you feel.

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  12. Great photos, FC!

    Awww, I remember taking my 1ast graders to see Sue on field trips. They got a good giggle that Sue and I shared a name. :)

    You are making me so hungry.

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  13. You said hooker dress! Chicago looks amazing, I've never been....YET.

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  14. Glad you loved your trip to Chicago! Eating at the top of the Hancock simply is the best; every meal I've had there has been perfect. Yes, Navy Pier is tacky and loud, but that's the vibe. Hope you can come back someday for a longer visit!

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  15. As a Chicago resident, I will second the notion that Navy Pier is a tourist trap. It is the number one tourist destination in Illinois and for the life of me I just can't figure out why.

    I would definitely blame the crowds for your feelings about the Field Museum, but also you had the wrong expectations. It isn't a science museum at all. It is a museum of natural history, or ethnography. If it was SCIENCE you desired, it would have been further south at the Museum of Science and Industry. Both are wonderful- I go at least once a year.

    If you ever need more advice, hit a girl up! :)

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  16. I've never been to Chicago...You look so cute in the last pic infront of the hotel! :)))
    I would love to visit someday...

    www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

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Let's get weird up in here.
xoxo
~Freckles Chick~