Thanks to Calamity Jane, I have grown up with the Windy City holding a very firm place in my heart.
But after a couple day in the city, I realised Chicago had a whole lot more to offer than just being a set in my favourite childhood movie. It has skyscrapers, beaches, rivers, amazing food, parks, theatres, a creative scene and more.
Mr B and I spent our second day trying to explore, and eat, as much as possible. We started with a hearty breakfast of eggs, kwaafi and fruit smoothies, before jumping on to Chicago’s Divvy bikes to check out the lake front.
We headed to the tourist trap Navy Pier where we only stayed long enough to pose for a couple of photos and grab a drink.
After a good few hours of cycling around, we started to feel less full (I don’t think we ever actually got hungry during our visit) so we headed up the river and over to West Randolph Street; an area which we heard had a lot of great places to eat.
I was keen to try out a place called The Little Goat Diner, so we ditched the bikes and headed in.
Inside was just as you would imagine a modern American diner. We were greeted by friendly, smiling staff and we were pretty lucky to be able to get a seat without booking. We sat at a bar where we could see the chefs dance around each other, expertly plating up delicious looking food in seconds.
I paid tribute to my hero Calamity and ordered a Sarsaparilla, which I think only my Mum and sister will understand, and a great, big hulk of a burger.
Veggie for me, meaty for him.
The Little Goat Diner had so much on their menu I wanted to try, and I would definitely recommend popping in for a visit if you are ever in Chicago. Just look for the little horns on the roof!
After lunch, we popped in to see a hotel and collection of restaurants we had heard AMAZING things about, but I will tell you about that in another post.
For now, let me take you to the top of the world. Or the top of Chicago if I am going to be precise.
There are a number of high viewing points in Chicago, some with glass floors and gimmicks which sound great but cost a lot. But we had been given some great advice which I will happily share with you.
Skip the queues and the high entry prices and head to the John Hancock tower bar. Up there, on the 96th floor you can leisurely enjoy a perfectly served Cosmopolitan and a beer with breathtaking views, for the price of…well, a Cosmopolitan and a beer.
You can get pretty much a 360 view up there, and there is even a fancy restaurant if you would like to savour the views over dinner.
We watched the sun sink, and marveled at how flat this part of the world is. As a girl born in Scotland and raised in Wales, hills are my normal landscape and being able to see as far as the eye can actually see without it being interrupted with billowing mountains was something new to me.
We left a little dizzy – I am not sure it was because of the height or the drinks – and took ourselves back to the hotel to rest before dinner.