Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Winstorm arrives in Chi City!!

Chi City, the cool way of saying Chicago! So runners took over the big canyon on LaSalle Street last weekend for the big marathon, and I guess you are correct to assume I was part of the marathon madness! Okay "big" is a bit of an understatement considering the race took most of 6 lanes of roadway, but anyways.... ;)

Willis got no punch on Winstorm!

So we got the Go Chicago Card, which basically had given us VIP entry to all of the big attractions. Despite feeling somewhat guilty, with the pass we also at times got to skip the long lines to get in as well!! What a steal of a deal! The only catch was that we could only go on one cruise ride a day (I know ONLY!!), and the pass expires after 5:30pm (but once inside, we could stay as long as we want until the late closure - insert evil laff).

Part 1: Revelling in the Architecture, Structures, and other Attractions

1.  John Hancock Tower

Both Bryan and I couldn't sneak in the ladies washroom near the observer deck because apparently the rumour in town is that the best view can be viewed there.

Zee View up on Top
Zee View from Bottom
Zee elevetor inside
2. Willis Sears Tower (but the locals prefer Sears).
It wasn't as quick to get up the Willis as the weekend creep in and the lines were long. Still we can say been there, done that. Ear popping experience. Check.
Zee View from Willis
Pretty badass 9-square grid pattern
Zee elevator
Awesome view inside Elevator too.
3. Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium is apparently one of the biggest indoor aquariums for some time. According to one of the architecture tours word of month, apparently so big, they had to use custom designs to use rail cars to ship in sea water. Also apparently this had cost so much that the initial opening years had no fishes in the tanks of seawater. Tourists back then got to see big tanks of sea water, with no living creatures...joy! It wasn't long until revenue collected could be use to fill some living creatures like these ones below thankfully.
and Penguins!
4. Alder Planetarium
A smarty pants astronomer was there to answer our questions. Luckily Bryan and his engineering physics background was able to do most of the asking, and I keep my ill-informed dumb questions to a minimum.
Me next to land rover (psst not the car version).

Me in infra-red light!
5. Garmin Store
Okay the reviews online were correct. Sales staff had unnecessarily strong sales pitch and I was a bit disappointed by the experience. We met up with Bryan's friend Nick here and left before they served cake for one of their Garmin riders doing some talk. Christian Vande Velde. Ah too bad.
6. Cloud Gate "The Bean" and Crown Fountain
Gotta admit the famous giant bean is pretty neat!
 Cloud Gate
Side Shot
And just nearby the Crown fountain would light up with an interactive face and eventually start shooting water out of its mouth.
Crown Fountain

Johnson and I taking in the art 
7. Cruises & Wheels 
Day 1 we went on the river cruise which took us straight under the drawbridges along the Chicago River.
Cutting it a little close for comfort. Very little headroom.
Day 2 we got on the Tall Ship "Windy" vessel! Arrr mighty!

They knew the marathon was here so they even fired some "Kenyans" for show! ;)
How badaasss are these wheeeelz?
8. Navy Pier
 Having some fun at the park.
Bryan hangin' on during the big Winstorm
9. 7am Sun Rise
Got to see the sun rising from the lake. Just a gorgeous pink glow lighting the city up.
10. Cray Cray Architecture everywhere. OtotheMtotheGoodness too much structural eye-candy. Shanghai big if not bigger! Everything is as big as you imagined America but probably even bigger.
"Great" Lawn
Trump Tower - It's kind of cool that each step represents the same height as another famous Chicago Landmark.
Boeing Tower - the design faced some challenges as it is built actually on a sub station and the loads on the smaller building is taken by cantilevered from the tower. However "fake" columns were still placed for the smaller building above the sub-station to appease the public that the building still looks like a normal building and safe to walk around.

House of Blues - corny and flowery design with cars parked with rear facing outside of building to prevent exhaust being transmitted inside.

Soo, it was 5 short days of shear fun and Bryan and I luckily managed to enjoy more than what we bargained for. And we were able to tack on a marathon too! More to come. :)