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The Windy City {day 7}

by allison on July 6th, 2011

To catch up on our road trip:
Route 66
St Louis

Our next stop after St Louis was Chicago!

We only had one day so we tried to hurry around and make the best of it. Did you know Chicago sits right on the base of Lake Michigan? It made for a beautiful beach, but with fresh water!

The first thing we did was drive to see the beach on Lake Michigan, then we headed straight for Wrigley Field. There was a game the day we were there so we were trying to beat the rush.

After that we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This zoo was 100% FREE! And honestly, it was one of the best zoos I’ve ever been to. There were no gates or ticket booths. You just walk right up and you are looking at the lions. It was very cool.

There aren’t any walruses in this picture, but I think the tank is really cool. It’s built like an infinity pool, so the water flows over the top of the tank continuously. It was very pretty.

And how cute is this water fountain?

I don’t want to bore you with zoo pictures, so I’ll just leave it at that. Overall, we were very pleased with the Chicago Lincoln Park zoo. I highly recommend it to anyone with or without kids traveling to Chicago.

Next up, the streets of downtown Chicago! We tried to hit up as many tourist traps as possible. A little cold front blew in the day we were there and it got down in the 50’s! It was really cold! But most of the day it was a pleasant 80 or so.

No clue the significance of this cow, but the kids wanted a photo on top of it. 🙂

We wanted some real for real “Chicago style pizza” so we asked an employee at Starbucks where she recommended that was within walking distance.

Travel Tip: Ask the locals! If you ask an employee at a store, they are {obviously} a local and will tell you all the best places to go!

So we asked the Starbucks girl and she said Lou Malnati’s. this girl knows her pizza!

When we travel we always try to eat local and order the “popular” item on the menu so we can fully experience what each city has to offer. So at Lou’s we got their deep dish with sausage on it. We are NOT sausage on our pizza fans, but we tried it anyway and OMG, it was delish! The sausage was not greasy at all and actually went down quite well.

Travel Tip: Order whatever each restaurant is known for, whether you think you’ll like it or not, just so you can taste what foods are favorites in each city.

Can you tell we really enjoyed our pizza?!

After lunch it was time to hit the city. On our way to the Sears Willis Tower, I came across several of these old-skool mailboxes. I’ve never seen mailboxes like this so obviously it just had to be photographed.

We finally made it to Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, and still called the Sears Tower by almost everyone in the city as they are all boycotting the name change. 😉

I’m going to do a separate post about the Sears Willis Tower, but here’s a quick pic for this post.

While in line to go to the top of the Willis Tower the kids entertained themselves with some quarters.


After the Willis Tower we made a beeline over to Garrett Popcorn. Garrett Popcorn was recommended to us by several people, and the line outside just to buy a bag of popcorn was a testimony to us that this place must be the bomb-diggidy-bomb.

Um, ya. This popcorn rocked. our. world. You could get cheese or caramel popcorn, but the specialty they are known for is a mixture of the two types of popcorn. Personally, I think mixing cheese popcorn and caramel popcorn into the same bag sounds about as gross as you can get, but we stuck to our travel rule of eating it the way they are famous for, and bought ourselves a huge bag of mixed popcorn.

I do not know how Garrett can mix cheese and caramel and have it taste good, but my hat is off to Garrett! This mixture was fabulous! The cheese was great, and the caramel was great. But putting the two together in a big handful and stuffing your face?! I honestly believe there will be Garrett popcorn in heaven when I die. It was that good.

After stuffing our faces with popcorn we quickly made our way to Buckingham Fountain. This fountain is huge, and amazeballz, and the coolest thing ever.

I recognized the fountain right off because it’s been in several movies and TV shows. My favorite was that it sits near Lake Michigan, so you can watch sail boats in the background.

From the fountain we raced to Cloud Gate in Millennium park, aka the huge “bean” as everyone calls it.

I’ve got a separate post for the awesomeness that is the bean, but here’s a quick snapshot for you guys.

Also in Millennium Park is a huge amphitheater that we thought was really cool looking.

There weren’t any concerts going on while we were there. We just took photos of it, because honestly, look at it! It was pretty dang awesome.

On the way back to our car the kids had a great time with their best Marilyn Monroe impressions.


We left Chicago after dark and made it to the hotel with enough time to crash on the beds. We were all poop’d!

The next day we left Chicago for our next stop. And here’s a random pic for ya… Have you ever seen a trolly driving down the interstate? If so, just ignore the photo. We thought it was the funniest thing ever.

Next up, the bean and Willis Tower, then through Detroit and into Toronto, Ontario, Canada!

From → Family

  1. We have those old-school mailboxes! It took me ages but I finally figured out what they’re for. When the mail carrier has to walk through the whole neighborhood (instead of drive) they store the mail there so they don’t have to carry all of it at once. There’s a whole bunch of them by our old house.

    Looks like you guys are having so much fun. I would love to do something like this one day. I love road trips and I always want to stop at all the little places along the way. (I swear there’s a place between TX and UT that is the Raisin Capital of the World. SERIOUSLY??)

  2. We are in Chicago right now..thanks for the Pizza sugestion

  3. What a fun trip! You made the very best of a quick trip. We’re Chicago natives and haven’t even enjoyed all of those spots with the kids in awhile. Truly, it is an awesome city! We are going to LP Zoo next week though. Yes and Garrett’s popcorn is unbelievable!

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