I decide to head for the first tourist attraction on my list, backpack in tow, after-all, I cannot check into my airbnb until 5pm. Who cares tho? $18 a night, how can I complain? Airbnb has really changed my life! Goodbye tents, and hello wifi, electricity, shower, and a real bed!
The John Hancock building, where I have read that you can see all of Chicago from the signature lounge bypassing the $20 fee for the 360 deck. I set off. Walking in circles looking for the red line. The map shows its location, but my gps seems confused and the street names don’t indicate which direction in which to go. This certainly isn’t New York. I feel the wind bellowing down the avenue towards me, and I decide that that must be where Lake Michigan is. I proceed to walk in the North with this assumed directional sense. Three lefts later, I am going the right way.
Tall buildings leaving my head forever tilted towards the sky. But as my eyes come in for a landing to quickly ensure my safety they find new wonders upon which to gaze.
Old castle like buildings intertwined with the new skyscraper structures. Beige monuments, standing short against the backdrop of the glass windows. The contrast taking me quite off guard. “You never know what you don’t know, and who knew?” Holy churches and fire stations.
Bricks carefully laid one by one, the pride completely evident. The tourist leaps out of me, pulling the real camera out and snapping, spinning, snapping some more. Photo after photo, eager to share my discovery with the world. I can see Willis Tower ahead of me. The Sears Tower I should say, or else my local chitown friends will be sure to correct me. I look at my GPS, which is now cooperating, and continue to walk around the block, looking for the John Hancock Building. Around and around I walk, skipping a block, “maybe it’s behind the Willis Tower?” I stop to read about the water tower, that now houses and Chicago Tourism center and art gallery.
The water tower was built to draw water from Lake Michigan, and was the only public building to survive the Great Fire of Chicago. It’s beautiful. I continue walking, until I have come full circle, and another block before I realize that the Willis Tower is in fact the John Hancock Building. #tourist
It turns out that the signature lounge has overly priced drinks, and while it may still be cheaper to purchase a $15 mixed drink than pay the $20 to get into the 360 deck, there’s s special for $21 where you cons visit the deck twice within 48 hours. As a photographer, the chance to see the skyline during the day and at night is totally worth the extra dollars!
Breathtaking… This is one of those moments that I wish you weren’t reason my blog and looking at my photos.. It’s a moment that if you can get to Chicago and experience this, I totally recommend it, and I’m writing this blog to prove it doesn’t cost as much as you’ve probably assumed..
This is probably a good spot to get a financial breakdown of the cost of this trip so far.
Parking car in New Orleans – FREE (thank you Gloria!)
Flight from New Orleans to Chicago via Southwest Airlines – $44
Bottle of water in the airport (because my waters were more than 3oz I had to pour them out) – $3 (lesson learned)
Orange line train from the airport to the city $3
Dublin Donuts Coolata (don’t judge, we don’t have Dunkin Donuts near where I live) $4
John Hancock 360 – $21
AirBnB reservation $20/night
3 nights booked ($60)
Total so far = $135 and that’s including the next two nights lodging!
As heavy as this tall backpack is, it’s totally worth it!
Can’t beat that! Well, maybe I should tell the next story about my airbnb 😉
To be continued