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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Mega Bus - Cincinnati to Chicago Trip Report

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Our family of 4 decided to take a very last minute trip to Chicago, a first for all of us.

Tue -
Mega Bus departed Cinci around 9 a.m. had a food/rest stop for about 20 minutes after the first 1.5 hour; made a stop in Indi to pick up &/or drop off passengers. We arrived Union Station in Chicago about 15 min early. We had a great driver with a good sense of humor, overall the bus ride was pleasant. Our tix were 82 roundtrip each.

After checking in @ the Chicago Hilton we met with our concierge & she arranged the architectural tour for us through Chicago Line Cruises which was close to the Navy Pier. I didn't realize there was more than one cruise line offering the arch. tour. Our docent was very informative & a sense of humor. We took the 6 pm cruise which also took us out to Lake Michigan, this was neat since we were able to experience the lochs. Prior to our departure we had dinner at Quay, which is in the same complex as Chicago Cruise Line (465 E. Illinois St.) This is a new restaurant being open less than 2 weeks. The service & food were great! Dinner for 4 came to just under 60. Since we were on the bus for 6 hrs. we decided to walk back to our hotel, a great walk & we were getting acclimated to the city and a chance to stop & pick up some wine.

Wed -
My daughter came across the Chicago Theater Tour. This was WONDERFUL! The tour started @ noon, we purchased tix @ the theater (box office opened @ 11:30, tix were 12 each, tour lasted aprox 60 min.). We had ~ 20 people in our group. If you enjoy the theater, I highly recommend this tour. From learning about the history of the theater to viewing the dressing rooms, green room, & being able to go on stage was exciting.

Next we headed to Elephants & Castles for dinner (this was recommended in a tour book I was reading), our meal was okay, dinner came to just under 60.

Willis Tower was next, this is were we purchased the city pass. We were reluctant to buy since we were not going to be able to see all of the attractions but the fact that you bypassed some of the lines was a great benefit in itself.

We were able to enjoy the hotel pool & layout on the roof top patio; this was very relaxing! After relaxing & catching our breath we headed out to Eleven City Diner which was about 4 blocks from the Chicago Hilton for dessert....YUM! Two thumbs up from all of us.

Thur-
Up early & in line for Shedd Aquarium by 8:20, they let us in @ 8:30. We all enjoyed the aquarium & dolphin show. After ~ 3 hours we walked Lakeshore Drive to the Art Institute. Another great museum! Since our morning was so busy & we walked SO much we took a cab to Lou Malnati's (Goldcoast). Our meal was delicious! Wonderful pizza, atmosphere, and service, our dinner came to about 55. Next we walked to the Magnificent Mile....I wasn't that impressed, I tried explaining to my girls that many of the stores are ones that are local to us but there was no way in convincing them otherwise. This walk led us back to the Navy Pier were we rode the Ferris Wheel, we got some great shots of the skyline. We quickly found a cab and went back to relax our aching legs in the pool.

Fri-
Again up early, packed & ready to head home; instead of having breakfast at our hotel (executive level) we opted for Eleven City Diner again, this time for real food . Again, we were all happy with our meal, the atmosphere, and service!

We were all prepared to board the Mega Bus with a long sleeve shirts since our ride to Chicago was chilly (thanks to a great a/c system). Unfortunately that was not the case for our return trip, the a/c on the top level was not working and we roasted! There was no use in complaining, the driver was very apologetic and sympathized with us.

Overall we LOVED our trip to Chicago and can't wait to go back!

Thanks for all of the recommendations and help from Fodor's!

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