My brother Randy came to town for a week-long visit to help with a variety of house-moving and RV projects. So wonderful to have a “Handy Randy” in the family! He had the major item from my “Randy-Do” list completed within 24 hours of his arrival—installing swivels for my new View’s front seats! They are soooo comfortable now!
After another work day on house stuff, we decided to take Wednesday off and be tourists in downtown Chicago (this was his vacation, after all!). It was a delightfully warm and sunny day in the 70’s. Perfect for walking around the city. We first stopped at the giant Chicago theatre sign on State Street--
Then we passed the famous Picasso statue at Daley Plaza where this little kid decided to add himself as a “photo bomb” to the picture Randy was taking of me—too funny!
Randy posed in front of Daley Plaza’s fountain (dyed bright orange for Halloween)!
We then continued walking west in the Loop past Chicago’s City Hall
But, today, we were destined for Willis Tower (previously known as Sears Tower, which had been the tallest building in the world for 25 years until Malaysia’s Petronas Towers surpassed it in 1998).
In all these years, neither one of us had ever been to the Tower’s skydeck observatory so this clear autumn day was finally THE day to rectify that! We purchased our tickets and were soon whooshed up to the 103rd floor. The views were absolutely amazing from up there! Randy took a great pano shot with his iPhone--
and of course, we had to pose in front of the buildings as well:
As we headed over to the west side of the observation deck, we found the newest novelty to lure tourists – the Ledge! There are actually 4 floor-to-ceiling windows that have been replaced with giant Plexiglas “boxes” that jut out over Wacker Drive a few thousand feet below! I made the mistake of looking down before stepping onto one of the ledges and could barely muster the courage to walk a few steps out (and certainly did not look down again while I did!). But they made for fun photos! The last one was taken by the official photo vendor and the scene behind us is real (and not superimposed!).
Before riding the elevators up to the top, the photo vendor had also taken our picture in front of a green screen. Randy laughed that his bright green t-shirt might make for a very interesting result seeing as it matched the screen almost perfectly. When we returned back down to ground level to buy our photos, yes indeed, these photos were a riot! Me and my half-invisible brother!!!
After the Tower, we headed back over to Wabash street to look for a good deli for lunch. When I used to work downtown in the 1980’s, there were a bunch of them. Unfortunately, now, the only “old familiar places” still remaining seemed to be The Palmer House hotel and my favorite funky camera shop, Central Camera--
Just about all the old delis have sold out to big retail & fast food names like TJ Maxx, McDonald’s, and the like. We did manage to find one kinda yuppie deli/wine/cheese place called Pastoral that turned out to be pretty good—they didn’t have any seating, so we took our sack lunches to-go and ate our sandwiches beneath the colonnade at Millennium Park. Not a bad picnic spot!
and marveled at the new powder blue rental bikes that have sprouted up throughout the Loop (what a great idea!):
and a quick skyline shot from Planetarium Point--
At the end of our glorious day of sightseeing, we hit a monster traffic jam on the drive home, which wisely slapped us back into reality—Chicago is a magical place to visit (especially when the weather is agreeable!), but not always a perfect place to live full-time. I’m still glad my new full-time RV home has wheels!