Skydeck, Chicago, Illinois
As one of my first moment's of adulting, I got the opportunity to have my first work trip sponsored by San Jose State to attend the National Career Development Association Conference! Of course, I had to take advantage of such a great opportunity to travel, so off to Chicago we went!
As cliche and touristy as it sounds, we wanted to hit up the SkyDeck because I found an awesome photo of it on Instagram. So we took the elevator up 103 floors and watched the city fall beneath us as we gazed out the windows. What a view. Downside of visiting tourist stops - it took us quite a few tries (and a lot of patience) to wait out the crowds until we could get one of the windows to take our shot. And it was worth it!
Another one of our first few stops was to go on a treasure hunt to find another photo spot we saw on Instagram. We finally found it at the subway station near Lake Shore East Dog Park.
No Chicago trip is complete without a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's works of art, so we made sure to check out the Rookery. While we couldn't get in for a tour, it was a beautiful sight to see. Don't miss out on the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio either! Though we didn't opt to buy a photo pass, it's definitely worth a visit.
And yes, of course we had to check out Cloud Gate, or the Bean. 3rd time's the charm, as we stopped by the sculpture each and every time to find too many people around to take the photo we wanted. So we woke up at 6 in the morning, walked over, and got to truly enjoy it's magnificent mirrored view of the city.
Now our all time favorite meal was by far Little Goat, a cute diner by Stephanie Izard. I had This Little Piggy Went to China - which was sesame cheddar biscuit with sunny side eggs, Szechuan pork sausage, chili garlic chive sauce, and blackberries, while he had the Pork Belly Pancake, with house hoisin, bok choy salad, and ginger maple dressing. Both dishes were absolutely amazing - topping our favorite restaurant list! Top off dinner with a $2 gelato at Mariano's - one of the best hidden gems we found. Ferrero Rocher...hazelnut...cappuchino...(tart flavors for him of course)...so good we found ourselves there 3 times in our 5 day trip.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago was a fun one - though we did visit the famed Art Institute of Chicago, we quickly found that modern art was more our taste. We couldn't keep our eyes off a time-lapse video of a motorcycle being taken apart by thieves overnight as part of an art installation and waited for the ending of the chilling story of photojournalist Kevin Carter.
Though the Navy Pier fireworks were disappointing, we found a hidden treasure at the fountains nearby. With light and smoke choreographed to the everchanging fountain, he had some fun trying not to get wet as he weaved through the dancing water display.
We ended our trip with the Shedd Aquarium - but word to the wise: be prepared to spend 2+ hours in line. And since we didn't plan on buying the extra tickets to see the beluga whales and sharks, we did find it a bit disappointing. But dang that monster turtle was terrifying.
And that wraps up our city adventure!
Tips to Traveling Chicago:
SF BAY AREA BASED PHOTOGRAPHERS.
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