I was there on training for my new job, but luckily for me and my new colleagues, we had a couple of days to ourselves to explore the city!
Our first stop was this:
See it yet?
That's Cloud Gate, a 110-tonne lump of steel!
I have to say, I'm quite a fan! There's room to walk beneath it, and from it's shiny underbelly, take a moment to gaze up at your own distorted reflection in it's smooth curves.
Our second destination was somewhere which I'm sure was more fun in the summer, but for us was just an eerie and very cold experience- we went for a wander down Navy Pier. The day had become dreary. Lake Michigan was nearly totally frozen over and a seemingly abandoned fairground haunted the shore. By the end of our walk, it wasn't just the cold that was giving me shivers!
However, sooner or later we escaped the cold and decided that the only way to prepare ourselves for the weather outside would be to fuel up. So, we simply had to try a Chicago classic: deep dish pizza!
Just look at this monster slice! It was more like a cheesy, pepperoni filled pie!
For me, it was all a little too much and before long I was in a cheese induced coma!
Another absolutely freezing experience but rather beautiful experience was walking through the Millennium Park, where we spotted an entire flock of these little fellas!
And we met this rather famous man:
One thing I'd really recommend doing if you ever visit Chicago is going up the Hancock Tower. It's one of the tallest buildings in the city and the view from the top is simply amazing! Although one handy hint is not to pay to go up to the very top level, but rather to visit the bar one floor down- the view is equally stunning, you can stay as long as you like and who wouldn't rather enjoy the view with a cocktail in hand?! (Ladies, visit the loos- you can enjoy the view without there being any tables in the way.)
One of my favourite Chicago experiences however had to be visiting Buddy Guy's Legends which is a well renowned blues bar. We went along for a lunchtime set (which was free!) and an amazing musician sang while we ate. I wish I could remember his name, but here's a very short clip of what he sounded like:
Chicago was a really interesting city- I wish we'd had more time to actually explore and see more as I felt the weather held us back a little this time (to put it in perspective, 'instant frostbite to exposed skin' kicks in at temperatures around -15!), but I think I'll be very keen to come back and see it in summer!
So let me know if you've visited Chicago before! What were your favourite bits and where should I be visiting next time? I'd love to hear from you!