I’m a Chicago guy. I’ve lived in or within 45 minutes of the city for about 28 years of my life, but I never really got to enjoy the city during this time. Restaurants and bars, I’ve visited plenty, but it takes coming back from Turkey to get me to visit museums and tourist attractions.
After looking at the Agora sculpture in Grant Park, I met Pete at Yolk on South Michigan Ave. for a quick breakfast. I had a combo – eggs, pancakes, bacon, and sausage, and washed it down with mint lemonade. Everything was great. We left and headed up Michigan Ave. when it started raining.
We popped into the Hilton for some shelter and took a seat in the lobby. I’ve stayed there before for conferences and been to banquets. If you have a chance, try to wander around and see the ballrooms. It’s a historic building that opened in 1927.
Our main attraction for the day was the Art Institute of Chicago. I had only visited once, and it was way back in 2003. It’s one of the best art museums in the world, containing some very important works. It’s also the 2nd biggest museum in the USA. In front of the building are the famous lions that guard the museum, and a popular photo spot for tourists. Inside, you can find paintings, sculpture, antiquities, photography, and more. My personal favorites are the European galleries before 1900. I got to see works by Monet, El Greco, and Renoir. The other galleries have Picasso, Dali, and O’Keefe, along with “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. I only had 90 minutes before closing, but I’ll be back again to spend more time admiring the paintings and to see some highlights that I missed.
Next was Millennium Park, which opened in 2004. I’m shocked I had only been once, and that was to ice skate in the winter! In the summer, it’s a completely different place, with open-air concerts, the Crown Fountain, and Cloud Gate (The Bean) – the most photographed landmark in Chicago.
We finished with a walk up to the Blackhawks Store to see if there was any 2013 Stanley Cup Champions memorabilia. I’ve been a Blackhawks season ticket holder since 2002-03 (even since leaving the USA and living in Turkey!), and pop in once in a while to take advantage of my discount.