December 13, 2016
I didn’t want to inundate you with too much information all in one go, my Guide To Chicago Pt.1 was almost 1500 words long so I decided to split my travel blog into two parts. Pt.1 took you through my activities from Day 1-3 and today I’m going to tell you what I got up to from Day 4-6!
Day 4 was Sunday 30th of October and that morning we had a reservation at The Signature Room on the 95th Floor of The John Hancock Building for brunch. This too came recommended to me on the Aer Lingus website. It’s really upscale and the dress code is smart casual i.e. no ripped jeans or trainers.
It’s here you will get the best views of the city – it’s absolutely breathtaking! Check out my video below to give yourself a better idea! You’re not going to believe me when I tell you how much it cost though… $50 for adults or $25 for children and that includes an UNLIMITED amount of food!
Considering how exclusive the restaurant is (bear in mind you’ll need to make a reservation for The Signature Room WELL in advance) and how spectacular the views are, I was completely taken aback by how reasonable the price was, aren’t you? You’ll also get a better feel for how much of a bargain that is when you see what was on offer in the video below!
For starters there was an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring chilled seafood, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola parfaits, seasonal market salads, gourmet soups, artisan cheeses, assorted charcuterie and a chef on hand to prepare made-to-order omelettes!
Once you were finished with your starter you could then order any amount of the following entrees:
Between my mom, aunty and I we went for the Banana Pancakes, Belgian Waffles & Eggs Benedict!
After brunch we made a trip to Navy Pier
, the #1 leisure destination in the Midwest, welcoming nearly nine million visitors annually!
Navy Pier features entertainment, amusement park rides, shopping, dining, lake front cruises, and more than 50 acres of gardens and parks!
The three of us decided to take a little boat trip around the pier called the Classic Lake Tour
, a 40 minute trip that gave us uninterrupted views of the skyline!
The trip was $23 + $2.76 tax so it came to $25.76 in total for 1 adult!
Considered one of Chicago’s most important historical landmarks, Navy Pier
is definitely worth a little visit!
After our visit to Navy Pier we went to The Drake Hotel for a tipple before getting ready for dinner!
Conceptualised by famed architect Benjamin Howard Marshall, The Drake Hotel came to fruition when John B. Drake and Tracy Corey Drake financed the project in 1919. The doors of The Drake Hotel opened on New Year’s Eve the following year to 2,000 of Chicago’s most distinguished citizens.
Throughout the twenties The Drake became high-society’s first choice in opulence. The Fountain Court, now known as the Palm Court, hosted Chicago’s social elite daily for tea, a continuing tradition at The Drake!
That evening we went to a restaurant/bar called House of Blues, which came recommended on the Aer Lingus
website, for dinner. The House of Blues grew out of founder Isaac Tigrett’s love for the unique American art form known as the “the Blues”. Weaned on this music during his early childhood in Tennessee, one of Isaac’s goals was to introduce the world to the music of the rural south, including the Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Jazz and Roots-based Rock & Roll.
The House of Blues is dedicated to educating and celebrating the history of Southern Culture and African American artistic contributions to music and art.
Not to mention the food is out of this world too – for starters my mom, aunty and I shared Chicken Wings and Shrimp with Corn bread…
Followed by Southern Fried Chicken with Mac & Cheese for main course!
The following day was Halloween, Monday October 31st, and I started my morning by taking a stroll through Millennium Park, home of Cloud Gate!
Cloud Gate is British artist Anish Kapoor’s first public outdoor work installed in the United States.
The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above.
A 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives. Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66-feet long by 33-feet high!
I then continued on a little walk along the lake to visit the Shedd Aquarium
Before going in though, I had to get a hotdog from Kim and Carlo’s Chicago Style Hotdog Store! This is just a Hot Dog Wagon but they serve the best food for the least amount of money on the museum campus and they have been a fixture here for over a decade! It also came highly recommended to me by the tour guide on the open top bus – she said they serve the best Chicago Style Hotdogs in the city!
A Chicago Style Hotdog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. I wouldn’t usually be one for eating anything other than ketchup and onions on a hotdog but I have to say, it was actually delicious!
My ticket at the Aquarium cost $39.95 but that was for a full access ticket that allowed you access to see an Aquatic Show + access to the 4D experience! I spent about 2 hours walking around the Aquarium and then I went to meet my mom and aunty for lunch!
We ate at a little belgian restaurant called Le Pain Quotidien which simply means ‘the daily bread’. Their breads and pastries are baked fresh every day and serve as the canvas for a myriad of organic and seasonal ingredients!
I went for the The Botanistquinoa taboulé, hummus, avocado mash and a selection of fresh baked breads!
That afternoon I made a quick pitstop in Dunkin’ Donuts for a Halloween Donut, it would have been a crime not to given the day that was in it!
That evening we went back to the Signature Room on the 95th Floor of The John Hancock Building for a pre-dinner cocktail!
We had already experienced the Signature Room during the day but we wanted to experience the views at nighttime before we left and needless to say they were spectacular!
After our little tipple we went to an Italian restaurant called Giordano’s, famous for its Chicago Deep Dish Pizza!
Going to Chicago and not having Deep Dish Pizza would be like going to Ireland and not having Guinness – it’s a sin!
The next morning I took it handy and just strolled around the shops until I had to leave for the airport! My mom and aunty flew with a different airline so they had to leave the city about 3 hours before me!
I couldn’t help but notice the clouds resembled the shape of a pumpkin as we were taking off! I flew direct with Aer Lingus and despite leaving 3 hours after my mom and aunty, I still managed to arrive into Dublin 2 hours ahead of them!
For more, check out my Guide To Chicago Day 4 – 6 Vlog over on YouTube:
I couldn’t recommend the city enough and if you’re thinking of visiting, I’d highly recommend flying with Aer Lingus as a start! I think it’s the perfect city to go to with your friends, partner or like me, family! The best way I can describe the city is like a mini New York so if you’ve ever been to New York, you’ll kind of know what I mean. I hope you enjoyed reading about what I got up to while I was there, I’m most definitely looking forward to returning!