I have a severe case of wanderlust, and my heart is always happiest when I travel. My dream job is something that allows me to travel whenever I want, wherever I want. For now, I’ll settle for trips whenever I can.
This weekend, I was asked to go to Chicago with a friend. He had a wedding to attend close to there, and didn’t want to drive alone (understandably; 6 hours is a long time to drive by yourself), so he asked me to join him. He was busy at the wedding all day Saturday (thank goodness for Harry Potter weekends when you need to kill a day by yourself!), but Sunday we decided to go into the Windy City.
I am a country girl at heart. Growing up in Kentucky, I’ve lived on a farm. I’ve ridden horses since I was 8. But man… I love big cities. Some people are happiest at the beach. I’m happiest among skyscrapers and lots of tourist attractions. And I will honestly be a shameless tourist.
I’ve been to Chicago a few times as an adult, and I like the city. One of the things I like most about it is that it’s an easy trip to enjoy for a few days, or just for one day. I love love love New York, but I feel like you need at least 3-5 days to cram in all there is to do and be able to stay at each location and enjoy it without feeling rushed. Chicago is a little easier. There is plenty to do, but it’s mostly all within walking distance.
We arrived in the city around 10 a.m., and left around 4 p.m. In that time, we were able to make it to the Bean, Buckingham Fountain, and Navy Pier. We also spent a little time enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Michigan. Seriously y’all, it’s gorgeous. I was a little disappointed in our ventures, because we had a little more planned, but we ran out of time. When we arrived at the pier (after about a 30 minute walk), the ferris wheel was closed for maintenance. That was one of the top items on my to-do list for the day. I love the ferris wheel, and the views of the city it provides are great. But we still got to enjoy the view of the skyline, and grabbed some Chicago-style pizza from Giordano’s. YUM.
Another disappointment was the weather. It was supposed to rain during the morning, and it did early. It cleared up before we got into the city, thankfully, but it stayed cloudy. This is the bad thing about skyscrapers: when it’s cloudy, the tops of the buildings are hidden. This includes buildings like the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). Going to the skydeck was also on our list for the day, but the clouds prevented us from going. We didn’t want to go all the way up to get to the top and not be able to enjoy the view. I’ve been to the skydeck, but it’s something I could do a hundred times. It’s seriously such a rush to be sitting on glass on top of a city.
We would’ve liked to have had time to do a museum or two, and visit the Shedd Aquarium, but we wanted to leave at a decent time to make it back home at a decent time. But we had a fun trip! I was happy with seeing a few landmarks in just a few hours. Spending some time in a big city with a good friend is always a win for me.
On our way out, we passed by Maggie Daley Park. I’m a big kid at heart, so we stopped for a few minutes to go across the bridge and slide down the slides. If you have kids, I’d highly suggest stopping by the playground for a little fun.
If you’re looking for a good, fun weekend trip and you’re close, I’d highly recommend Chicago. It’s great for families, and there are so many good food options. I can’t wait to go back!
If you’ve been, what’s your favorite spot in Chicago? If you haven’t been, what’s the #1 thing you’d want to do or see there?
Here are some fun photos from the trip (fun tip: if you’re alone in Chicago and want some fun pictures, go to the bean. Plenty of ways to get pictures without having to ask anyone to take any, but definitely enough people around that it’s easy to get somebody to take your picture if you want):