Sunday, January 22, 2017

Giving Thanks in Chicago

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I'm more than a little late sharing this trip. We were in Chicago over Thanksgiving, nearly two months ago. Chicago was the second stop on the road trip after Cincinnati. We got into the city rather late and had somewhat of a parking ordeal, because big city.  So we were a bit cranky the next morning as we took the bus downtown. It was also Thanksgiving Day and we were expecting a lot of things to be closed. The plan was to watch the parade and do the touristy stuff.

Within a few blocks the city starting coming into view. The crankiness began to dissipate as excitement took over.  As we got out onto the streets the energy from the parade took was all we could feel. People were everywhere, celebrating the day. Drums and music filled the air. The parade was mostly high school bands and a lot of Cubs pride. It was only a few weeks after they'd won the World Series.

We stayed for a couple hours, watching and moving our way through the streets. Once it came to an end we walked to Millennium Park, since most of the other sites were closed for the holiday. Of course we had to go the Bean, or was it the Cloud? We debated, we googled. The iconic sculpture is named Cloud Gate and is called The Bean by many since it resembles one. We were both right!

The area around the sculpture has to be one of the best people-watching spots I've ever been. There's an infinite number of creative ways folks from around the world will get their snap with the famous metallic piece of art. It also overlooks an ice rink. We contemplated ice skating but I have notoriously bad balance. Instead we just took in the view.

The rest of the park wasn't as crowded. After finding an open Starbucks, which surprisingly wasn't difficult, we wandered around the Pavilion area and walked down the serpentine bridge. Both have some really good skyline perspectives, though almost anywhere in the park has a good view. Chicago is a beautiful city, even on a grey day. The clouds just gave it a moody feel.

By that time we were ready for our Thanksgiving meal. While my family was back home eating turkey and stuffing, we found a place around the park that was playing the football games and ordered a Chicago Dog. Which is basically all my favorite toppings, with a hot dog on a poppy seed bun.

Hanging out while watching the games gave us some time to plan the evening. Again, we were surprised that both of the observation towers were open that evening. We decided to do 360 Chicago, and even though it was still early evening we got night views since the sun set before 5pm. The fog had settled in over the city for the evening.

What meal do you choose to end Thanksgiving Day the right way? Chinese from Chinatown of course! A lot of people had the same idea as us, many of the restaurants were fairly crowded. We chose takeout and took it back to the apartment, so we could binge-watch The Crown on Netflix.

It was an unconventional Thanksgiving that I couldn't be more thankful for!

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