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Trip Report Chicago trip report

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My family and I just got back from a fabulous trip to Chicago. We spent 4 nights at the Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk. We arrived on Sunday evening the 24th and valet parked our car and checked in. We were given a room that overlooked the river out to Navy Pier. We spent the first evening just walking around the Riverwalk area, and a little ways down Michigan Ave.
We came across a statue of Marilyn Monroe in her famous pose. My 4 year old daughter would comment every time we would see her as, the girl who liked to show her panties.
We walked down the stairs to lower Michigan and at Billy Goat's the first night. Just for the record, we are not foodies. We mostly ate at convenient places when we got hungry.
The next day we took the Double Decker bus tour, starting from Millenium park. It was a little foggy when we started the tour. It took longer than the 2 hours, estimated time. We had a great time, but our little one was ready to get off way before it ended. We wanted to ride the entire circuit since we had great seats and the weather was beautiful. Afterwards we walked to the Corner Bakery and had tasty panini's.
Next we went to the Art Institute. I was very worried that our daughter would be ready to leave way before we were, but she was a real trooper and was quiet and attentive the whole time. If you are planning a trip with little ones to the Art Institute, I highly recommend playing their online games on their website. My Katie was familiar with quite a few of the pictures and portraits from the games, and was excited every time she would find one.
I think we went back to the Hyatt for a quick nap and then headed downtown for deep dish pizza and then walked to Buckingham Fountain, and then all around Millenium Park. I have way too many pictures of "The Bean".
The next morning we took the water taxi down to Madison st. and then went up to the Skydeck in the Sears Tower. We were able to get through security and to the top in about 15 minutes. It was neat to see Chicago from all the different windows. We took our turn and stood out on the ledge and took a family picture. I would recommend going early because the crowds were building fast and it was already too cramped at the top when we left.
Afterwards we boarded the brown line on the L train and headed towards Wrigley. I know we should have taken the red line, but after reading lots of reviews, I felt more comfortable taking the brown. We walked a few blocks from the Belmont station up to Wrigley Field. It was cool to see it in person. The Cubs were away and they were offering tours. If it had just been me and my husband we would have taken one, but Katie was already getting tired.
I loved the Cubs back in the day (Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, Andre Dawson, Shawon Dunston) I haven't followed baseball very well lately, but the Cubs are still my favorite.
We ate at Wrigleyville Dogs and then walked back to Belmont. We waited for either brown or purple. Brown came first and we rode it down to the loop and got off near Millenium park and went and had ice cream from the Park Cafe.
We walked over to the Crown Fountain area and stripped my daughter down to her swimsuit that she had been wearing all day and let her play for about 20 minutes in the water. We then walked back via the Bean to our hotel and took naps.
Later that evening we took the 90 minute architectural cruise offered by Wendella. I know CAF is the premier cruise line, but our guide was great. I think his name was Andrew and he was a local high school history teacher. He teaches Chicago history and was very informative and fun to listen to.
We then walked to the Rainforest Cafe for our worst meal of the trip. Maybe I just ordered the wrong thing, but it wasn't that good. My daughter loved all the robotic animals in the place.
We leisurely headed back to our hotel and crashed for the night.
The next morning we walked to Navy Pier. We arrived at 10 AM and purchased ferris wheel tickets and additional ride tickets for Katie. The sky was turning dark and we thought our outing to Navy Pier would be ruined. We managed to board the ferris wheel for our rotation and as soon as we got off lightning struck and they closed the rides. It started to rain so we headed to the Children's museum. We were planning on going to the MSI, but since it started raining we changed plans. Katie enjoyed her museum immensely and when it quit raining we went back out and used her remaining ride tickets. We ate at Bubba Gumps and then walked back to our hotel. We took naps and rested our feet for a while.
This was our last evening in Chicago so we went and bought a few souvenirs and then ate at Corner Bakery one more time and boarded a Wendella boat for the Navy Pier fireworks cruise. It was pretty crowded and we were afraid it was going to rain us out. We enjoyed the skyline and the fireworks from Lake Michigan.
Later that night there was a tornado watch issued for the area. Around 11 pm a severe storm passed through with a lot of lightning. We enjoyed watching the storm from our 26th floor window. It was like 2 firework shows in the same night.
The next day we left in the morning and headed 10 hours back home.
We loved Chicago and can't wait to come back. We have to, since we missed out on the Museum of Science and Industry and the souvenir magnet my daughter picked out is pretty worthless to even hold a piece of paper. She wants a new one. Also all the postcards we bought are missing the Trump Int'l Tower and the Aqua building.
Thanks to all the Fodorites who helped me get ready for this trip.

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