Chicago for New Years

January 6, 2018

We are back from Chicago! Well we've been back since Tuesday. We landed in Houston at 11PM but didn't hit the sheets til about 1AM. 
I was going to type 5 posts (the duration of our stay), each telling our activities of that day but some days were pretty laid back so it wasn't worth a post. Let me start of saying that Chicago is so beautiful! It's expensive, the food was great, it really is known as the windiest city and it had a lot to offer. Luckily Carlos has family there, so it's a possibility that we will go back- yay!

First thing first: The Parking Spot. I definitely recommend using it when you don't want to bother anyone for a ride to and from the airport, it also costs about the same or perhaps even cheaper than Uber! Uber estimated to about $50 to just drop us off at the airport. Uh, that's not even picking up! No thanks. So, we reserved with The Parking Spot, got covered parking btw, for 5 nights and the total was $53! I would've spent twice that amount with Uber. You could request your car to be washed for an additional fee, you keep your own car keys and they have a shuttle bus that picks you up literally right from your car/the airport and drop you off. I'll definitely be signing up to be a member so I can score some free rides!

The flight going to Chicago was horrible. I had a little girl kicking my seat and I was on 2 hours of sleep. I don't recommend flying with Spirit. I flew with them once before and warned Carlos bc I had a horrible experience. But at the time of booking, it was the cheapest so he didn't care to listen. Needless to say, he experienced it himself and refuses to fly with them for future trips- lol.

We finally arrived Friday morning, settled into the Hotel and walked around Downtown/Loop where we stayed. After settling in, we decided to walk around and ended up in Grant Park. It was a 15 minute walk from Giordano's so 30 mins from the Hotel. We were pretty excited to see the entire park covered in SNOW! We took tons of pictures and it even starting snowing during our stay and on our walk back. It only snowed once sadly but the snow was sure to stay throughout the duration of our week (: The remainder of our first day, we slept and ate dinner at the Hotel, and slept the entire night. Boy, did we need that sleep!

Saturday morning, we had breakfast at the Hotel and walked (15 mins) to the first attraction, Skydeck at Willis Tower. One of the highest observation decks in the U.S! There's an all glass ledge that you walk into and take awesome photos of yourself with the City in the background. It's on the 103rd floor and the elevator went so fast, we got there within 1 minute! I recommend coming here during the day and early in the morning to avoid long lines. We got there at 9AM, left about 11AM and the line was looong on the way out! If you want to see the City at night, you can go to 360 Chicago (they have a bar there).

We ate at Shake Shack across from Millennium Park, where the Bean (aka Cloud Gate) is known to be at. Just your typical burger joint except that this place offers doggie bags for your little fur friends! Now to think of it, I should've gotten Togepi a bag ): 
The Bean is a very crowded attraction so I recommend coming in early in the morning to avoid people in the background if you want it all to yourself. It'll be busy throughout the entire day/night. I tried. This was on New Years day, it was between 1-3 degrees that day. There was even a guy that took his coat/shirt off to take a picture! WHAT?!

On Tuesday, our last day, We went to Navy Pier, it wasn't much to do there so avoid that if you go during Winter. There are tons of gift shops, they have a food court, a movie theater, and a cool ship you can eat in.We'll definitely try again in the Summer if we're in Chicago again. So here's a snap of a Tavern they have inside Navy Pier and us outside with the City in the background.

 Now introducing 360 Chicago at John Hancock Center. It's a floor that has windows all around viewing the City at every angle, hence the name. They even have a tilt experience where you step onto the ledge, grab the handles and the ledge actually moves forward separating from the building and slowly tilts over giving you that thrill of seeing the streets below you! AHH! It's only $11 per person and it lasts no more than a 1.5 minutes. I recommend coming here at night, like I mentioned before, they have a bar. So enjoy a cocktail while overlooking the City. Isn't it beautiful?

On Sunday, we also went to the Shedd Aquarium, which I also recommend going early in the morning. It's so huge, prepare to spend 3-4 hours there! They have small presentation shows with Dolphins, Seals and Penguins that are free too! Houston's Aquarium has nothing on Chicago.

Went went to the Art Institute and Field Museum which was OK, I'm not a fan of 'learning' in that field but we did it bc it came with the City Pass and I wanted to get our moneys worth. We did however got tickets for the Jurassic World Exhibition at the Museum, which were an additional $25 each (worth it). So if you see one coming to your City, definitely grab your Dino obsessed kiddos and take them.

And of course we went shopping at Magnificent Mile. So if you love the Mall and the Outlets, you'll love shopping there. But I dare you to try and shop in -1 degree weather- yikes.

For food, go to my Where to eat in Chicago post!

Note that these activities are in no particular order during the duration of our stay and that some activities and restaurants have not been mentioned. Everything mentioned here are just things that I enjoyed and recommend/wanted to share. We stayed in the Downtown/Loop area where all of the attractions are nearby and were about a 15-30 minute walk all in the exception of Magnificent Mile, 360 Chicago, Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.

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