In 2013 i had a wonderful time visiting The Windy City. This is the first time I had been to a big city, before I had been to smaller towns in the states but never a city as big as Chicago. Technically I had been to Chicago before but only to the train station twice and neither time did i get to see the city this was just a transition city. The biggest advantage to this trip was that I was able to stay 6 days and take the train both ways because my train cost were low i could afford both a hotel and bed & breakfast for my stay. This way i was able to see both the city and the popular neighborhood of Lincoln Park.
Most of the time I walked wherever I needed to go instead of relying on taxi’s or the bus, I only took the bus when I needed to get somewhere that was out of walking distance. There were several things I liked about the city but also a few things that I did not like and that i thought was odd from my small town prescriptive.
I was not at all impressed by the Sheds Aquarium, its like the city folk must love fish because it seemed the whole first floor was devoted to them and the only animals of interest were the penguins and dolphins in the basement. I had high hopes for this place especially after my great experience in Charleston Aquarium. I loved seeing the dolphins but it was overrated and I would not recommend going there. Another thing I was not thrilled with was the John Hancock building, sure I got some amazing city views but you get crammed into an elevator with a bunch of strangers then you walk around on your own seeing the views that become pretty much similar after awhile and within like 5-10 minutes your done and ready to leave. The gift shop is basically the check in desk where you pay for your tickets I felt it could have been a better experience. They could have had a tour guide that would walk you around to the different exhibits or have a representatives at each of the window views to answer questions but no it was just a open plan layout with no structure. One thing that struck me as strange was seeing stores like CVS and Target crammed into a city block, in Michigan the stores have their own parking lots and there a big store.
I loved the fact that coffee was available wherever I went, in fact there was a Starbucks like a block from my bed & breakfast. Lincoln park is such a classy neighborhood with its upscale stores and just this quaint neighborhood feel I would want to live there. My Bed & Breakfast the Villa D Citta, was an ideal place to stay. I liked how you could walk anywhere you wanted to downtown and how there’s a stretch of waterfront beach area right near the navy pier, hidden away from view. Another attraction I took part in was the Architecture tour, i do have to say be prepared to walk its a two hour tour and I was the only one in the group with a camera. I found out lots of facts about the history of Chicago and its buildings that I did not know and I loved it.
Chicago was a great city to visit and I feel as far as big cities go it was pretty easy to navigate and worth the visit, although the lodging was higher than my other trips. Hope you get to travel and enjoy a new experience.