Memorial Day Weekend was only 3 days long, but I seized the moment and flew to Chicago to explore a different city. If you can navigate New York City, then it is a piece of cake figuring out Chicago. It was meant to be though, because upon arrival were signs that read "Make Life one Long Weekend" and I knew that this was the right decision.
Sometimes in life, you just have to go with the flow and travel where the wind blows-- figuratively speaking. But, because it was my first time in the "Windy City," I had to visit the touristy parts including the Bean and Millennium Park, the Navy Pier and the Willis Tower. However, I didn't make it up to the top of the Willis Tower because of the 2 hour long wait. I honestly hate crowded areas and touristy activities, but it felt like everyone and their mothers were visiting Chicago. Of course that is to be expected when one decides to go Memorial Weekend when everyone else in the country is also off.
By nightfall, the city breeze cooled and I hopped on a boat down the Chicago River that introduced the beautiful architecture that filled the Chicago skyline. And, at the very end of the boat ride was a 15 minute firework show that kicked off the summer season.
This was probably my favorite part of the entire weekend. The boat had the best view of the fireworks blasting off of the Navy Pier and all was tranquil on the river waters.
AND what is Chicago without a little deep dish pizza?? Lou Malnati's Pizzeria does the job.
Walk anywhere from Oak Street Beach to buildings and storefronts, you'll see talented artwork.
And where there are trains and buses, you must travel away from the populated downtown area. I spent one afternoon going up north where I found West Town. It reminded me of hipster Williamsburg in Brooklyn, filled with coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and thrift shops...and oh, a RECORD STORE.
Chicago was perfect for a weekend getaway. There was a lot more I could have seen and done, but I'm extremely content with all that I was able to see. Staying in the downtown area of Chicago felt like walking around Midtown in Manhattan. It was safe, peaceful, filled with walkers like me and plentiful cabs.
For more photos, check out the entire gallery under the "PLACES" tab, or peruse through it down below: