I had spent quite a lot of time working in Chicago and really enjoyed my time there. I was so impressed with it that I insisted that, after New Orleans, we should head up to Chicago before we flew back to the UK. My wife had never been there.
DAYS 24 - 27 … Wed 1 to Sat 4 May
We had a very early flight with American from NO … it was surprisingly good. The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was 'hell' … the driver was texting on his cell at speed! Still, we made it to the hotel and a great Marriott welcome. (Hotel review posted.) Thanks to fellow MRIs' recommendations, we tried the famous Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano's … fabulous and well worth the 20 minutes wait whilst it cooked. First day in Chicago was … shopping! Well, we were on the Magnificent Mile. We ate in the CL in the evening as we were both tired … the food on offer was not great.
Breakfast in the CL was way better than the canapés etc. in the evening. On our second day we walk over to Millennium Park and then visited the Art Gallery … both were excellent. We did, of course, do a bit more shopping! An old buddy of mine from my working life had recommended the Volare restaurant to me. We found that it was fairly close to our hotel so I booked a table for the evening … an excellent meal with great service.
On our final day of sightseeing, we woke up to the famous Chicago fog. However, rather than limit our sightseeing, it gave us some great photo opportunities. The fog creates an interesting atmosphere for camera work. One photo in the evening had the John Hancock building looking like it was on fire. During the day we decided that it would be a good idea to use the City-Sightseeing Bus … we managed to do 2 or the 3 available routes … Signature and South Neighbourhoods … great value for money and very informative. Our only negative for the day was that we found the worst coffee in the USA … in Caffe Baci - it tasted like they were reusing the beans for a second or third time!
In the evening, we checked out the food in the CL … still not great, so we went to the Harvest restaurant in the hotel and had a very good meal. Early night and then off to the UK on Saturday.
Chicago definitely warrants another visit. Perhaps we'll try and make it our final destination when we do our Northern States Road Trip, hopefully in 2015.
Thanks again to all of you for your advice and recommendations.
sounds like you guys really enjoyed yourselves. I remember that we had a discussion about having an MRI get together at one of your U.S. cities, and I seriously looked into Chicago, found good airline rates and good rates at the Ren there, even got my husband to agree to come with me (which is remarkable as he hates to travel), but in the end, just couldn't squeeze in the time, as it was a week day and my travel schedule for the year was already insanely full. The upshot of the investigation was that I fell in love with Chicago through my research and can't wait to visit, hoping it wont be too long of a wait. It's posts like these that open our eyes to places that mightn't otherwise be considered. Glad you had a good time, and thanks for the report and photos.
Yes, it would have been nice to have an MRI get together but we were pretty tired by Chicago, so weren't particularly stressed that it didn't happen … perhaps on one of our future trips … planned way in advance.
We originally had good rates at the Ren too but as I had stayed there before, I decided to try the Marriott on the Magnificent Mile … it's nice to cover as many different hotels as we can.
But definitely get Chicago on your list … we'll be back as I only took Ann Marie to a small number of the interesting locations. I love their aquarium. It would be nice to time it for the Venetian Night when all the boats parade on the lake. I think that happens in July each year and I was lucky to catch it once. It was a great event with family BBQs all along the harbour … everyone that I met was so friendly!