Sid did the driving. I thought he might want a break part way through, but he drove the whole way down (and the whole way back). Since we left fairly late in the day we decided to stop at the Best Western Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan. We would continue on to Chicago the following morning.
We left the hotel at around 8:30 the next morning. The remaining drive to Chicago would take about three hours. The plan was to drop me off in the city while Sid and Pauline attended the show at McCormick Place convention centre. We would meet up later...Well things didn't quite work out that way...
When we got to the convention center it was surprisingly empty. The only people there were a couple of security guards. Sid pulled up and asked them about the trade show. The one fellow said it started on Sunday. Oops... Sid got the dates wrong.
Our original plan was for them to attend the show on Friday and maybe Saturday while I would wander the city on my own. We would leave Chicago on Sunday morning, stop at an outlet mall in Michigan to do some shopping on the way back and arrive with plenty of time to spare. That would be thrown out the window. Instead they dropped me off in the city and drove off. They didn't know exactly what they were going to do yet. We just agreed to meet later for dinner.
My first stop was at Marina City. It's a mixed us residential/commercial complex on State Street just north of Wacker Drive (just north of the Chicago River leading out to Lake Michigan. Designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg the complex was completed in 1964. I think they look like two giant corn cobs. Very unique.
I wandered along the river between State Street and Michigan Avenue for awhile. Not far from Marina City was the Trump International Hotel and Tower (hotel and condos), the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower (Chicago Tribune newspaper). All beautiful landmarks.
Next I wandered down State Street a bit. I took some shots of the Chicago Theatre there (just south of Lake Street). I also tried to get a few shots of the El (elevated subway) trains as they passed by.
After a bathroom break at the Macy's (on State Street) between Randolph and Washington Streets, I headed due east to Millennium Park where I took shots of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) and the Jay Priztker Pavilion designed by famed Canadian architect Frank Gehry.
Next I headed south to Grant Park to take photos of Buckingham Fountain (as seen in the opening credits of 90's TV show Married With Children). It was empty. I guess that's what you get for coming in late October.
Since it was sunny out I decided I'd better continue my tour of the Chicago outdoors (instead of following my original plan of going to a bunch of buildings in the downtown area). I headed to Navy Pier next.
When I arrived at Navy Pier the first thing I saw was a temporary children's petting farm with camel for rides. It was set up outside the grounds. Cute animals.
I didn't really know what to expect at Navy Pier. I thought it would be more of an amusement park with a bunch of rides. They only had about three rides there - a ferris wheel, a merry-go-round and "Wave Swinger". There was also an 18-hole mini putt course. I believe there are also restaurants and theatres there. Not anything that really caught my attention though.
I headed back into the Loop (downtown) area after. It was already 5:00 p.m. and getting dark.
Eventually I wandered back to Millennium Park, took a bunch of evening shots then BBM'd (Blackberry Messenger) Sid (with Pauline's Blackberry which she lent me) to arrange a pick up at our arranged time of 6:30 p.m.
We had Chicago-style deep dish pizza for dinner at the Giordano's (pizzeria) near our hotel (another Best Western) close to Midway Airport, about 1/2 hour outside downtown Chicago. It was pretty good.