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Aug 6, 2021

Chicago in July

In early July we decided to take an overnight trip to Chicago and I am finally getting around to sharing a few pictures!! I know I mentioned before that my husband had been on vacation and I cut back a lot with blogging during that time, then I was sick with a summer cold and once again didn't feel like blogging much. But he's back at work now and I am over my cold so I finally managed to get the post done!

I had an Amtrak ticket voucher from a cancelled trip to Chicago in January and when I read that American Ballet Theatre (America's National Ballet Company) was coming to downtown Chicago for one of their "ABT on Tour" stops, I thought this was the perfect time to visit. 

Unfortunately my original hotel choice is way too expensive in the Summer, (the Kimpton Monaco - I love this boutique hotel on the Chicago River with its large window seats!) so instead I decided to to book a room in the Chicago Theatre District, at the Hampton Inn Majestic. While this hotel lacked the beautiful view, it does come with free breakfast and the location is just as good as the Kimpton Monaco with only a 7 minute walk to Millennium Park where the ABT was performing. Highly recommend if you don't necessarily care about the view but are looking for a good night's sleep. (It was definitely one of the most quiet hotels I ever stayed in!)

The train arrived mid-morning so we had plenty of time for sightseeing before we were able to check into the hotel and until our legs felt like they'd fall of :-). I don't know what it is about these big cities, but everything appears to be so close and by the time you reach your destination you have walked many miles! 

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After stopping at the Pittsfield Cafe for lunch, our first stop was at the Millennium Park where the dancers would be performing at Pritzker Pavilion. 

(Below is a photo of my lunch at the Pittsfield Café, I chose the California Dreams, which was a grilled Chicken  sandwich with sliced Avocado, Swiss cheese and caramelized onions. Yum!! I discovered this café through TripAdvisor and it was our first time eating here but definitely not our last! My husband wasn't so sure about the building it was in (it's an old art deco building that's looks a bit abandoned when you first enter) but he too loved his food. And honestly I personally loved the building.

I'm sure most of you will recognize part of this Chicago landmark, the Bean a.k.a Cloud Gate ... you can see the flash of my camera with the four of us. This is the side of the bean. 


And another view. 

DuSable bridge is below, crossing over the Chicago River onto the Magnificant Mile. We hadn't really planned on going onto Michigan Avenue this time but we had plenty of time before check-in at the hotel, so we decided to go. 

Outfit details for those of you interested:

I would have loved to wear a more summery outfit, but this was an unseasonably chilly July week (around 65 degrees Fahrenheit) and so we had to dress in layers. I'm not sure I ever needed a jacket in July before! I love the casual style of a utility jacket and I probably reach for it more than any other jackets in my closet.

Below is another view at the Chicago River, this time with Lake Michigan in the background. There are so many boat tour options in Chicago and I can't believe the only one we've ever taken was in 1999, which was a Lake Michigan Boat tour. I really want to take the Architectural Tour on the Chicago River, and will be sure to plan this next time when we visit the city. 

After checking out a few stores at Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue, we crossed over Lakeshore drive and onto Lakeshore Trail where we came upon one of Chicago's beaches.

This is Ohio Street Beach, I'm sure usually packed in the Summer but on this day it was cold and windy so not too many people here. But if you look closely on the right side, there were still some brave souls who got into the water.

Something else we hadn't planned was going to Navy Pier. Honestly we end up here almost ever time we visit downtown Chicago for an overnight stay, and every time we regret going because I find this area to be just a tourist trap. 

There is a Ferris wheel here with beautiful views at the city skyline but we went on it a few years ago and skipped it this time.  This is also where you can purchase a Lake Michigan Boat Tour (although I think this summer you have to purchase tickets ahead online) and buy an ice cream cone for about $8 a waffle cone LOL. We spent almost $40 for 4 waffle cones. Don't do that!! Most expensive ice cream ever!!

There is a Children's Museum at Navy Pier which we visited many many years ago, and back then there used to a Theatre there as well, but I don't know if it's still there. And of course plenty of souvenir shops.

Pretty view of the city in the photo below.

You can see Chicago's River Walk below. I love the mix of old and new buildings!

After we checked into our hotel, we made our way back to Millennium Park to get seats for the American Ballet Theatre presentation. Seating was first come first serve with a few they offered online for free reservation, but I wasn't able to get any of those, so we made sure to arrive in plenty of time. 

This was held on an outdoor stage, at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavillion. They performed some modern dances as well as traditional ballet, my favorites were an excerpt of The Swan Lake ballet and a beautiful piece performed to music sung by Tony Bennet. 

The bean at sunset as we made our way back to the hotel. 

After a good night's sleep we decided to walk to the Shedd Aquarium (instead of a taxi) because I wanted to take in more of the sights. It's really only a 30 minutes walk from the hotel to the Aquarium through Grant Park. 

Below is the city view as seen from Shedd Aquarium.

While we loved the Shedd Aquarium in the past, it kind of left us a bit underwhelmed this time and probably won't visit it again. We probably have just seen it and other aquariums too many times.... 

We did spend several hours there to get our money's worth (I think it was around $180 for the four of us), then made our way back, again along Lake Michigan and through Grant Park. 

Buckingham Fountain is below. It was still chilly, but at least the sun came out on this second day.

Some impressive statues at the corner of Ida B. Wells and Michigan Avenue right across from the Congress Plaza Hotel, which (as a side note) was declared as the most haunted place in Illinois. No, I never did stay here so I can't confirm this :-) 

Sears Willis Tower in front of Chicago's Union Station. 

These seagulls liked to hang out with us here along the river in front of the Union Station as well, as we were waiting on our train to arrive.

Thanks so much for visiting!

I'm linking up here:

Saturday: Dare to Share

Sunday: Style Splash linkup // Sunday Showcase (first Sunday) //  You're the Star Blog Hop Link Up @ Stonecottage Adventures

Wednesday: What's Up Wednesday? (last wed. of month) // The Queen in Between Style Six // Straight A Style // Jersey Girl, Texan Heart // Fashion Frenzy at Seeking Sunshine and Rosy Outlook // Is This Mutton? Wow on Wednesday // Effortlessly Sophisticated // Wonderful Wednesday //  Welcome Wednesdays //  Classy Flamingos // ,My Corner Of The World,

Thursday: Fashion Files at Doused in Pink and Curly Crafty Mom // Your Own Twist Linkup with Shelbee and Monica (3rd Thursday/month) // Elegance and Mommyhood // High Latitude Style // Mummabstylish // Thirty Minus One // Mutton Style // Thursday Favorite Things //  Little Things Thursday // Traffic Jam Weekend @Being a Wordsmith // Slices of Life (Encouraging Hearts and Home) 


the 4 M's said...

We have never been to Chicago and it looks like a cool city to visit. And kind of nice and cool in the summer!

Jayne said...

I would love to visit Chicago at some point, what an awesome place. You took some amazing photos. I love the angle of the Willis Tower shot.
Thanks so much for sharing with #MMBC. :)

Jennifer said...

Looks like fun! I was hoping to visit Chicago this summer!

Curated By Jennifer

Mica said...

It looks like such a fun trip, even if it was cold and you had to wear a jacket, you managed to see a lot of good things! It's nice you were able to get away :)

Hope you are having a nice weekend :) Quiet one here, with lockdown!

Away From The Blue

kiwimeskreations said...

What a great and busy visit you had to a stunning city. Thanks for sharing your photos
Stay safe

Joanne said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip despite the weather. We have been having unusually cold weather too and I spent many days in July dressed in layers or coats; which is pretty odd for us too.

Anne said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful tour of Chicago. I think you managed to pack a lot in. The Bean looks amazing, and I love the fountain too. I think 68F is a good temperature, we were on holiday last week in the UK and the highest temperature we had was about 70...the beaches were packed.

Donna Reidland said...

Thank you for sharing! I have flown into Chicago a number of times but never had time to really "visit." I really need to make time on my next trip!

Jenna H. said...

What a fun trip! I haven't been to Chicago in awhile, but it is one of my favorite cities. Definitely have to go back soon!
Jenna ♥
Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin

Sandi Magle said...

Lovely photos of our beautiful city. You have a wonderful the seagull photo!!!Sandi

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Fun trip! I've been to Chicago a few times and I still haven't gone to see the bean. I need to do that next time. I have been to Navy Pier though, and the last time I went, my sister and I stayed at the Congress Hotel. We learned it was haunted the night before we went LOL


Shelbee on the Edge said...

What a great little getaway! You did so much fun stuff. Thanks for sharing your photos and fun trip with us, Ellie!


Lillian "sognafaret" said...

wow that was amazing!

Veronica Lee said...

Looks like a fun trip. I'd love to visit Chicago someday.

Fabulous photos!

Yvonne said...

Wonderful photos of your trip. This part of Chicago is amazing.

Aletha Oglesby, M.D. said...

Beautiful photos, so many familiar sites; my son lives there so I feel like it's my "second city".

Linby said...

Wonderful photos. The bean was not there when I visited and the Trump building was just foundations so nice to see how it turned out!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous trip! I’ve never been to Chicago, so it was wonderful to see glimpses of it through your post.


Amy Johnson said...

Oh how fun. Chicago is one of my most favorite cities in the US. You did so much fun stuff!

betty-NZ said...

Goodness, that was a lot to see in two days! Such a wonderful treat.

Thanks for sharing your link at My Corner of the World this week!

Einari Sinappi said...

I really like the first picture and the last ain´t bad either.