“Cabin Crew prepare the cabin for landing.” These are exciting words we will never get tired of hearing. Words confirming we have arrived safe and sound, but more importantly announcing that another adventure awaits. Chicago we have arrived!
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel. Check-in complete. Nothing unusual, until Moosh and FT were given a note from behind the desk. “Welcome to Chicago, Hope your stay is full of fun and surprises why not start now by joining us for a drink in the bar. Love The Captain and Tennille.”
It didn’t take long to figure out from whom this kind invite came and after a quick freshen up the elevator headed down to an awaiting Captain and Tennille. There they were, Vade and Sherri with beers in hand, surprising us 2 days early in Chicago (not NYC as planned!!). It felt like long lost lovers reunited, we gave each other enormous hugs and started “catching up”.
And so the journey of the Four Friends One World Begins.
Now surprisingly Moosh and FT did not actually have much planned for Chicago just the usual touristy things, with number one being the Michael Jordan statue that stands majestically outside the United Centre.
SO THE FIRST FOUR FRIENDS ONE WORLD TOUR BEGINS WITH CHICAGO
We had a quick chat about the non-plans of Moosh and FT, but first things first we needed to decide what to do for dinner. The Vades had heard about Gino’s East deep dish pizzas from Adam Richman on Man v. Food, a TV show like no other. Problem solved. But apparently there is always a massive line up. New problem. After a chat with the Concierge about Gino’s he handed us a ‘quick pass’ to get in without lining up, celebrity style. Problem solved, and solved indeed – because there was a lineup, a big one! We had no idea what was in store for us, the delightful smell and atmosphere suggested great things. Gino’s was already exuding awesomeness and we had literally just been seated, surrounded by the approving scribbles of celebrities and fellow diners all over the walls, tables, in fact on everything…..except the staff (although maybe it’s not out of the question if the Tip is large enough?) Our waiter was exceptional and helped us Newbies choose the best pizzas. As we drank beer and chatted about what to do in Chicago (we didn’t have much time) our ‘Pizza Pies’ arrived and they looked and smelt incredible. As any respectable tourist would do we took photos of us all eating, what is still to this day, the best pizza we have ever had. Thank you, Adam Richman for guiding us to Gino’s East. Before heading off to the sack we took in “one for the road” at a Jazz club not far from the hotel.
The excitement of waking up in a strange city will never get old. With the day somewhat planned we set off to explore the Windy City, visiting all the usual touristy spots.
- Buckingham Fountain – one of the largest fountains in the world
- Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) – its reflective surface provided great fun taking pics of an ever changing warped skyline and of our warped selves!
- Navy Pier – plenty to see and do, has a great view back of the Chicago Skyline
- Willis Tower – Skydeck 103rd Floor, whilst 3 of us were standing on the glass balcony Vade thought it a funny idea to take a running jump and thump himself onto the balcony! We gasped in sheer horror whilst Vade laughed (as did many of the people watching), knowing it was more than safe to do so!
- The ‘L’ (Elevated Train) – as seen in many movie car chase scenes…..Blues Brothers, anyone?
With a full day of sightseeing done, it was time to spitball ideas on what to do that night. Whilst taking a well-earnt seat in the hotel lobby Vade mentioned that the Stanley Cup Playoffs were in town. After searching for available tickets it was unanimous – Ice Hockey, Quarterfinals, Chicago Blackhawks v. Vancouver Canucks. Vade and Sherri – Canucks fans, in for a treat. Moosh and FT – ice hockey virgins, not sure what to expect. The atmosphere was intense (….in fact intense is almost an understated word), the Americans sure know how to support their teams with passion! We loved every second of this experience and the Canucks won that game to our excitement, but admittedly we sat there in quiet obscurity – not wanting to rattle anyone of the 20,000 or so Blackhawks fans (#self-preservation).
With only half a day left we took in the sights of Lincoln Park and briefly strolled through the city for a little more look-see. Chicago amazed us and we wished for more time, but we made the most of what time was available – we will definitely be visiting again……one day.
Airport, onward – NYC.
Tips For Chicago
- Give this Windy city a good 3-4 days to really enjoy all it has to offer
- Bring warm clothes, it is the windy city after all
- United Center if you are a fan of NBA
- Wrigley Field if you are a fan baseball
- If you love Architecture this city has it with one of the world’s best skylines
- Lincoln Park – visit the Lincoln Park zoo and see how the Conservation & Science Department is dedicated to improving animal management and wildlife conservation
- Best time to visit – between May and October
- Get around using the ‘L’ Train
Read our suggested travel itinerary here