I spent 48 hours in Chicago Memorial Day weekend with my husband. I never thought that Chicago was my kind of town, but I am now enamored.
We went to a conference that was held in Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. We attended meetings on Sunday but since we arrived Saturday morning, there was plenty of time to explore, so that’s exactly what we did!
I’ve been through Chicago more times than I can count, mostly on my way to other vacation destinations. This was the first time that I actually stayed in Chicago to explore it up close and personal.
We stayed on the thirtieth floor of the hotel with a spectacular view of Lake Michigan. We didn’t close the curtains once, day or night because of the amazing view!
While we were waiting to check-in, however, we decided to find a place to eat. After walking a few blocks in the wrong direction (I am map-reading challenged) we found Burger Point (I’m sort of a burger junkie), a place in a up and coming trendy part of town. The place was cheerfully decorated and the food was good, with large portions.
We received the text that our room was ready while dining on burgers and fries, so we walked back, with no extra blocks this time, to the hotel. The staff at The Hyatt Regency was helpful, friendly and efficient, and the rooms were well decorated, comfy and clean.
We took a driving tour after we had lugged our stuff to the 30th floor, my husband driving and me
navigating gawking at the sights on Mag Mile, the skyscrapers, and of course, people watching.
The best part was yet to come for this day, a sunset cruise on Lake Michigan with the Wendella Boat Company.
We boarded the boat that was docked in the heart of downtown Chicago, after a lively taxi ride with a colorful driver full of conversation and stories. Taxi drivers use their horns as much as their breaks, weaving in and out of traffic (A LOT) while navigating the streets of Chicago, especially Michigan Avenue, which runs through the hub of the city.
There just so happened to be a Beyonce concert at Solider Field and traffic was a nightmare. It was a good thing we allowed plenty of time to get to our destination on a Saturday, a holiday weekend evening.
There are 7,000 taxi drivers in Chicago. That sounds like a lot but it seriously looks like one out of every three cars is a taxi so I totally get it. And, because of the numerous events going on over the 3-day weekend, parking was non-existent and at a premium, so it was a good thing taxis were plentiful.
But back to the boat tour…
There is an architecture cruise offered by Wendella . We opted for the sunset cruise against Chicago’s skyline, however, there is also a fireworks cruise every Saturday and the barge went through the locks right before we boarded. This meant that we actually went upstream on the Chicago River for about thirty minutes worth of Chicago architecture and history. That was a bonus for sure and our tour guide, a Chicago native was great!
This building is the Marina Towers condo building and it blew me away! Crazy to see those cars in the garage part of the building. Occasionally we glimpsed a car wending around the levels of parked cars.
This cannon water shooter blasts water from one side of the Chicago River to the other. We got really close but the captain stopped just short of getting his passengers soaked!
We actually missed the sunset due to lock issues, however, the skyline was stunning. The man who proposed to his girlfriend added to the ambiance of the night as did the couple with amazing dance moves, and the group of drunk college girls singing loudly along with the tunes being played for our enjoyment.
It was a memorable night for sure, that we didn’t want to end, so we found a quaint cafe and sat outside for a bit longer before we hailed a cab to take us back to the hotel.