Lisa and I spent the extended holiday weekend in Chicago. We left from St. Louis on Saturday morning, flying Southwest Airlines to Midway. Upon arrival, we purchased a three day visitor's pass for the CTA and hopped on the Orange Line toward our hotel. Some guy climbs on the train after we do and falls asleep in the seat directly behind Lisa. It was a great start to our trip to the city.
We dropped our bags at the hotel and road the bus up Michigan Avenue through the Magnificent Mile to the John Hancock Building. We entered the building, climbed aboard an elevator and were whisked to the Signature Room on the 95th floor in about 30 seconds. We had a wonderful buffet-style lunch with an amazing view of Chicago. Our seat was on the southeast corner of the building, overlooking Michigan Avenue. You could see everything from Navy Pier to the Sears Tower to the Aquarium. It was spectacular and delicious. It was a great way to get an overview (literally) of the city we would be traversing for the next few days.
We then walked to the Center of Modern Art, which was just a few blocks away. Upon entering the building, you are greeted by this wall. This stairwell was actually one of the highlights of the museum in my opinion. We left the museum and waved goodbye to the spaghetti men that stood as sentries to the door.
We then made our way back to Michigan Avenue and walked the Magnificent Mile, stopping in The Pottery Barn, Gap and Crate and Barrel. We also stopped and browsed in Border's for a while, where we both purchased books to read on the trip. Feeling quite tired, we hopped on the bus back to our hotel and checked in. We took a little nap, then made out way back to the southern end of the Magnificent Mile (the intersection of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River). We watched a fireworks show that was set to showtunes, along with a couple of hundred other people. It was quite the experience, with the explosion of each shell reverberating off the buildings around you, and their colors reflected in the windows. It was great fun to be downtown in the city, at night, with tons of other people. This is what I'd like to see take place in downtown St. Louis, but I know that a lot would have to happen to bring that anywhere near to reality.
Day One was a huge success and we were both thoroughly exhausted but very happy.