Pt 79 – The Skydeck, Modern Art & the Bean

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

We were a bit sleep deprived from all the sounds of the Windy City, but still managed to get up early so we could grab coffee and a cab back to Willis Tower. Surprising enough, there were a number of people there before us as we waited for the building to open their doors. We got in line, got our tickets, then took the elevator up to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the 110-story building.

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The Willis Tower is the tallest building in North America, and the 8th tallest in the world reaching 1,730 feet at the top of the antenna. On a clear day, you can see across 4 states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and it has some of the fastest elevators in the world traveling 1,600 feet a minute.

You couldn’t step outside once you reached the top of the building like the Empire State Building in New York City, but you could step out on the glass platforms hovering over nothing but the ground far below.

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It took a minute for Trevor to overcome his vertigo, but he managed to step out on the platform once he wrangled up the courage so we could get our picture taken. The camera lady told him to “look at the kitty,” (a stuffed animal she was holding), and yelled at him to, “Step back!” several time before he was in the frame of the camera. Her corralling technique was amusing! We got our picture and returned to the city streets below.

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We shot for some 80s nostalgia as we entered the Art Institute of Chicago as they opened their doors, but I would have to improvise my “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” moment since the painting was temporarily removed.

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We toured the Impressionism sections first, then checked out the Contemporary and European Modern art. We were starting to get hungry, so we rushed through a few sections and skipped over others. I really enjoyed the Monet and Van Gogh paintings, and as usual, I liked the Surrealism section the most.

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After leaving the museum, we walked through Millenium Park to see the notable Chicago landmark known as “The Bean,” then took the long walk back to the van, getting lost briefly, so we could try out some Chicago deep dish at one of the pizza joints we had previously walked by. We indulged in a deep dish cheese pizza stuffed with mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and broccoli at “Rocco Ranalli’s Café and Pizzeria.”

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Beyond stuffed ourselves, we waddled back to the van and made our way out of Chicago via I-55 South. We stopped for the night at a Walmart in Pontiac, IL. Chicago had so much more to offer, but we had to get out of there while we still had enough money to get back home!


Jump Back to Part 78: Sweet Home Chicago

Jump Ahead to Part 80: The Gateway Arch, Sumo & Rams

OR

Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening

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