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Welcome to the Windy City!

- Alex

Chicago is famous for many things like deep-dish pizza, amazing architecture, museums, and more. While en route to my Dad’s family reunion in Wisconsin, we stopped to visit his sister in a suburb and played tourists for the day in Chicago.

After taking the train into Union Station, our first stop was one of Chicago’s main attractions: the Sears Tower (now renamed the Willis Tower). I don’t know about any of you, but I’m pretty terrified of heights. Nevertheless, I was grudgingly forced to go, and boy am I glad I did. The view from 108 stories up in the air is absolutely amazing (for those of you New Yorkers, think the Empire State Building plus six extra floors.) But the neatest and newest part of the Skydeck (viewing area) is the glass boxes extending four feet over the side of the building. Extending 1,353 feet over the street, it’s a very exciting but terrifying experience. For more information go to http://www.willistower.com/.

Our next stop was the Water Taxi which took us to famous Michigan Avenue. I highly recommend the water taxi for transportation in the spring and summer months. It’s a nice way to see the city without having to hear complaints about tired feet.
When we got to our destination — Michigan Avenue (also called the Magnificent Mile) — I realized the big difference between Chicago and New York City: Chicago is clean! Seriously though, I hardly saw any garbage on the streets. Also, the drivers were a little more sane than the New York crazy taxi drivers. It must be a Midwest thing…

After a little window shopping and a visit to the Apple Store (where we took loads of pictures in the Photobooth, see below), we were pretty hungry. Right off Michigan Avenue is the Grand Lux Café. I believe that is owned by the Cheesecake Factory and is the same type of restaurant. The inside is very gaudy—sort of reminded me of a cruise ship actually. The menu is vast and consists of anything from Spring Rolls to Fried Fish. I give the restaurant the “Alex Endorsement” and recommend it to anyone going to Chi-town in the near future. And hey, it’s not that expensive either! Hungry? Check out the website: http://www.grandluxcafe.com/.
While my brother, dad, and younger cousin paid a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo, my aunt, older cousin and I did what all the cool kids in Chicago would do: go to Urban Outfitters. If you’re rolling in dough, Chicago has a lot of cute boutiques as well as many designer stores.

Overall, my day trip to the Windy City was very enjoyable. Next time I venture out there I’d love to check out the music scene, explore the waterfront and parks, as well as try some of Chicago’s famous Deep Dish Pizza. For more touristy information you can check out http://www.choosechicago.com/Pages/default.aspx.

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