This will be the final installation in my Chicago posts. I've been putting it off because it's been taking forever to load photos. :-P
Aaaaanyway, our final full day in the city started a little later than the last. We probably have many margs to thank for that. After we got going, we quickly found out that it was very cold, very wet, and very windy out. Boo. We sucked it up and headed to Navy Pier.
I kind of thought Navy Pier was like a boardwalk and everything would be outside. So we were pleasantly surprised when it was all inside. We even got a free coupon book for checking in on Facebook.
It was pretty awesome. There were tons of little souvenir shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. The first thing we did was, of course, get more Starbucks. We then did the Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze. I don't have any pictures because I was too busy hiding behind Marcy. It wasn't actually scary, but it had a haunted house vibe, and I kept expecting someone to jump out at me. It was loads of fun, and I would recommend it to anyone who happens to be on Navy Pier.
After the maze, we walked through the Stained Glass Museum, which I was pretty much enthralled with. My favorite piece was this one:
...which any Questionable Content fan will appreciate, because of this.
After wandering around the Pier for a couple of hours, we set off to find the original Pizzeria Uno. It was after the lunch rush, so we didn't even have to wait!
Instead of getting enough to feed an entire third world country again, we got individual-sized pizzas. I went with BBQ chicken deep dish pizza.
It was still way too much because it came with soup or salad and then, of course, we got dessert. It was as amazing as Giordano's, though!
After day two of way too much amazing Chicagoan food, we went to Sear's Tower... which is actually now Willis Tower. Apparently the name changes to whatever company is renting the most space in it. It was Sear's when they built it, now it's Willis - some financial company, and the guy said it would soon be United Tower, for United Airlines.
We got there (after only asking directions once), got our tickets, watched the little informative video, and went to the top - 103 stories high. It was rainy and windy and foggy, so the views weren't great, but it was still amazing.
There's also the Ledge - these little glass boxes that jut out from the side of the building, so when you step out into them, it feels like you're floating 103 stories up in the air.
It was an amazing experience... until we were almost ready to leave. Apparently the wind was so strong, they had to evacuate the top floors of the building. You could feel the whole structure swaying. There was so much movement, that we couldn't even use the regular elevator. The cables were swinging around and we probably would have plummeted to our deaths. Instead, they had to take everyone down in groups of about 35 in the freight elevator in the middle of the building. Let's just say it took forever, and no one was happy.
After escaping an untimely death, we headed back to the hostel before our show that night. I had been planning on going to the Lincoln Park Zoo, but it was way too cold and wet. We went back to the room to recover and dry off a little before heading to Trick or Teets. It was a Halloween burlesque-parody. So there was no actual stripping, just lots of sex jokes and crude songs. It was hilarious! I would totally go back to see it again.
After the show, we hit a bar on the way back to the train. It was a sports bar, and they were doing airline trivia. Not really my cup of tea, but it was warm and they had alcohol. We also passed this place...
It was very confusing. It says it's a watch and clock repair place... but there were a bunch of neon beer signs in the windows. I still don't know if it was actually a bar, or what....
After getting back to the hostel area, we found a nice warm, homey Irish pub with $2 drinks. We had more than enough to warm us up, then went in search of a Chicago-style hot dog. I'm glad we drank first because I don't think I could have eaten one sober. A Chicago-style hot dog is a char-grilled hot dog on a poppy seed bun, topped with relish, mustard, onion, pickled peppers, celery salt, tomato slices, and a dill pickle spear.
I was so far gone, it was actually pretty good. I had to have one while I was in Chicago!
The next day, we headed home around 10AM. The car even started on the first try. Leaving the city, we drove along Lake Michigan for awhile and it looked like the ocean. The waves were huge from the storms the day before.
Overall, I'm kind of in love with Chicago. I think it's earned 3rd place on my favorite cities list... behind New York and London, of course. While I am not a fan of the 10 to 11-hour drive, I will definitely go back someday, hopefully fairly soon!