I’m finding it’s a good thing I’m writing this all down! Just a week after my trip, I can tell that the details are getting hazy in my mind! This may seem strange you, but while I was actually in Chicago I kept a notebook entry on my phone of what we did each day. It’s coming in handy right now as I try to recollect the details!
Tuesday was our 4th day in the Windy City and just like all the rest before it, we had it filled to the brim with things to do and places to go! As usual we had breakfast at the hotel and then headed off to another Starbucks. We rarely hit the same Starbucks more than once. There were just so many to choose from that we stopped by a new one each time. We wondered from Starbucks to the Magnificent Mile. Our plan was to stop by the Water Works. I know that sounds weird, but the Water Works building is one of the few building in Chicago to survived the great fire. It’s also built like a castle and now in the heart of the Magnificent Mile. The Water Works building housed a visitor center and a theater. You can enter part of the building and look in on the water works in action. It is still in use today. Across the street from the Water Works is the Water Tower which now houses a gallery of city photos. It was very interesting to see many shots of Chicago in the past and what it looks like now. The gallery isn’t very large, but it was worth seeing the history inside of it.
From the Water Works, we headed over to 4th Street Presbyterian Church. The church had it’s first services just before the great fire. They only met together once before their new building was damaged by the fire. The church rebuilt and reopened it’s doors in 1914. At the time it wasn’t in a very busy part of town and now it’s in the middle of commercial and retail shopping! Parts of the original structure did survive the fire and along with the Water Works, it’s one of the oldest buildings in all of Chicago. The stain glass in the sanctuary is beautiful. The church had a very sacred and reverent feel to it. It was a lovely stop. We spent some time in their beautiful, green courtyard as well. Even though it was off of busy Michigan Avenue, the courtyard is tranquil and secluded. There is a fountain that offers the calming sound of water flowing and the courtyard is shaded by trees and the church structure.
The major stop of the morning was the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). When we arrived at the museum, we were surprised to see a farmer’s market in front of it. It was fun to look around the different booths before heading into the MCA. Many of you who read this blog know that I am not an arty person. My mom and sister got that gene, but I didn’t really… I would love to explain to you in accurate detail what I saw at the MCA, but I know that is not possible! Sorry! My favorite piece at the museum was one that looked like waves and the ocean. In fact, it was called “Waves”, so I’m fairly confident that I interpreted it somewhat correctly! I may not have and that’s okay, because isn’t it really about what the art says to you!
Our lunch stop was at the coolest and most upscale Chick-Fil-A that I’d ever been it. It was a huge restaurant and it was completely full! The only reason we got a seat was because a man offered us his table when he got up. They had staff waiting around the dining area to wipe down tables and reset them after guests. Very classy for fast food in my opinion! April and Andrew had never been to Chick-Fill-A so it was fun to see them enjoy it for the first time. The ketchup packets where the highlight of our stop there! I know that might sound strange but they were shaped like ketchup bottles and you could open them two ways. One way opened it like a dipping sauce and the other way opened it so you can squirt out the ketchup. We were all impressed! Of course, I have to mention the waffle fries! They were awesome! I’m a fan!
We hopped onto the L and rode to the library. That might not sound like a must see stop, but trust me it was! The Harold Washington Library is the largest public library in the United States! We rode by 8 floors of books! The 9th floor was what they call the Winter Garden. It’s a huge open space with a glass roof. It was beautiful! I could just imagine reading a good book there or being a student and studying for a test! After the library was got an afternoon snack at Dunkin Donuts. They are everywhere in Chicago, so it seemed fitting. Most of us got caramel apple spice donuts. Seemed like a nice choice for a fall afternoon! We took off to explore Millennium Park with donuts in hand! Our first stop was Buckingham Fountain which is actually in Grant Park. From there we wondered through gardens and green spaces. We saw some funky art sculptures and Crown Fountain. You can play in Crown Fountain and there were families splashing around it. The fountain looks like glass blocks and it creates an image of a face. The face changes from time to time and they smile and blink. Pretty crazy stuff! The last stop in Millennium Park was the Cloud Gate. It’s a big, shiny object that looks like a giant bean. You can get close up for some fun photo opportunities. Also the many reflections you see when walking under the Cloud Gate is pretty crazy!
This blog is getting longer then I like, so for the conclusion of day four tune in tomorrow! Trust me – it will be worth it! I will share how my family and I becoming movie stars… well, sort of! It’s a fun story, so come back tomorrow!