After we arrived in the Windy City, I headed out with Brad and Teal to do a bit of sight seeing. We walked through Grant and Millennium Parks to the Buckingham Fountain and the Cloud Gate sculpture aka The Bean. I wanted to go up the Hancock Center Tower to watch the sunset, so we wandered up the magnificent mile to get there. Stupidly I'd thought we could just stroll in an hour before sunset on the Sunday of Labor day weekend, but it turns out everybody else had too and there was a 2 hour wait once we got there. We gave up on that idea and walked back to meet the rest of the tour group for deep dish pizza at the Exchequer restaurant. On the way down State street we passed a couple of bushes that were singing songs from Wicked! After dinner we went slightly out of the city centre to a blues bar called Kingston Mines for some live music which was fun.
The next day, after walking through the parks again, I made a second attempt at going up to 360 Chicago at the Hancock Center. It was blue skies when I went into the building but by the time I'd gone through all the queues it had clouded over a bit. The view was still worth it though. I do love going up tall things for a view!
After that, I walked north of the city up to Lincoln Park for a look around the free zoo, with the intention of casually walking back along the edge of Lake Michigan. It had been raining on and off on the way there and when I was leaving the zoo it started again. However, this time it didn't stop and a huge black cloud came over the city, bringing torrential rain and a thunder storm with it! Luckily I was able to duck into the Shore Club bar overlooking the lake, just as they were frantically closing up the doors to their marquee, to wait out the storm sitting next to a table celebrating a 21st birthday.
When the rain had stopped, I walked back to the city to meet Tami and Kylie to go to Navy Pier. Unfortunately the ferris wheel wasn't running because of the weather but we walked up and down the pier, then got dinner at Harry Caray's. Tami and I then walked back into to city and I went via Millennium park and the Buckingham Fountain again to see them lit up at night with the city sky line behind.
Before heading out to the airport the next morning, I took one final trip up to the Cloud Gate to catch it early in the morning with less people, which was definitely worth doing. I then had an awesome breakfast pancake at Yolk.
As I write, I'm on the way to the airport for the final part of the journey: meeting Kristin (a friend from a previous tour) in Detroit!