Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Our Day in Chicago

We got back from our Mid-West trip on Monday night. Last Thursday we headed out to Chicago for my cousin’s wedding. We landed at Midway Airport and checked into our hotel in the town of Cicero (near the airport). Since it was about dinner time, we walked across the parking lot to TGI Friday’s. They have their “3 Course Meal for $12.99” deal again…so we all go that. Cuong ordered the Fried Green Beans as his appetizer. Surprisingly, they were actually pretty good!

We didn’t get too great of sleep that night. Our hotel room had a nice view of the parking lot and was located right by one of the exits…plenty of noise…not conducive for sleep!

The next morning we got up and drove into the city of Chicago. My parents dropped us off at the Chicago Architecture Foundation for our tour…in the rain! We had booked the 3 ½ hour city bus tour through Ticket Master and we were excited to see where the tour would take us.
We boarded the bus with about 40 other passengers. Our bus driver was James, and our tour guide was Cima. Cima has her Master degree and was a teacher for many years and is now a volunteer docent for the Architecture Foundation.
Our first stop was down their “Wall Street”. It was amazing to see the very old and massive buildings. We went into one of the buildings and were amazed by the gold leaf decorations on the courtyard plaza area. After the building was originally built, Frank Lloyd Wright came in to help with the stairways and to brighten up the building. He did a fabulous job.

Next we went into another financial building that had enormous cathedral ceilings that were covered in gold leaf. If you looked up, you could see the tiny squares of gold leaf that had to be hand applied.
On the University of Chicago campus is the Robie House that Frank Lloyd Wright designed. We were given a tour by the docent there. His open and airy vision was very different than your typical architecture. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the inside of the building, so the only picture we have is from the outside.

Nearing the end of our tour, we stopped at the Illinois Institute of Technology. We went into their School of Architecture, which happened to be in a building designed by Meis van der Rohe. I had personally never head of him, but Cuong quickly told me that he is one of the most famous architects.

Our last stop was along the Museum Campus. It gave a great view of the city skyline. Our tour guide said that the tours don’t normally stop there, but she was feeling extra nice that day!
….then our camera battery died!
After the tour we were starving for lunch! We found a place called Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta. It’s famous for their Chicago style thin crust pizza. It was really yummy!

From there we headed further up Michigan Ave towards where the new Trump Tower is going up. We headed downstairs to the river to catch our River Tour. It wasn’t as informative as our bus tour, but it definitely gave us a different perspective of the city.

1 comment:

Superwoman Scrapper said...

I want those fried green beans from TGIF's. I bet the kids would love them! Of course you guys took an architectural tour of Chicago . . . all Cuong! Hey, I stayed in a hotel right across the river from the new Trump Tower. It's very beautiful. Loved Chicago.