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Chicago Tuesday - My World
Continuing with the recap of last weeks Chicago holiday. We headed down the Magnificent Mile past the Water Tower, one of the few old buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire. This is the old Pumping Station facing it across the street. Past another unidentified old building, once again highlighting the contrasts between old and the new here. Our final destination was the Hancock Tower, to see Chicago from a 1000 ft above. And it was quite a sight, although a little hazy due to the heat. Across the bay towards Navy Pier stretching into the lake. It's easy to spot the hotel pools and swimmers at 1000 ft up! Navy Pier close-up, even from here the Ferris Wheel looks big! Looking out across the city, our hotel was somewhere down there. That tall building with 2 antenna is the Sears Tower. And the stunning view down the shoreline and beach area. A trip up the Hancock Tower is a must, as it's shoreline position is wonderful and we just loved it up there. Then onto one of the undoubted highlights of our whole visit! When you come across a joyous scene like this in the midst of a huge busy city, you can't help but smile. A hi-tech bustling water park, with a distinctly modern art edge! This adorable little girl was having a ball splashing in the water. And what a perfect photo opportunity she gave me. These glass block waterfalls are the reason for all the happiness and joy in this area. Water pours off the top of them, creating actual and visual waterfalls! They face each other and show the faces of Chicago residents. Everyone just sits, stands or plays whilst watching the expressions change, as they smile at each other across the space. And then this happens and everybody laughs, or runs into the plume of water shrieking. They are just wonderful pieces of interactive art. I have rarely seen any piece of art be the cause of this much happiness and fun, we both just adored them. 'Cloud Gate' is an amazingly stunning and fabulously positioned sculpture, by British artist Annish Kapoor. It has rapidly become the iconic symbol for Chicago and is lovingly referred to as 'The Bean' by the locals, much to the chagrin of the artist. It lends itself perfectly to the wacky photo opportunity of course! On the underside it acts like a kaleidoscope and stays cooler. Part of the fun is spotting yourself within it, but it also reflects the surrounding skyscrapers beautifully and is just stunning. The Bean is gorgeous from all angles, but I have to admit this one reminds me a little of a seated butt!! We strolled back down the Magnificent Mile, crossing the river with it's many tours and enjoying the cooling breeze off the lake. Past the famous 1940's Farmer and his Daughter statue that pays tribute to the original painting. The Hubster remembers these characters from his youth and so we had to have a picture. After a quick freshen up, we headed out to meet Expat Mum and her family, the Hubster by now is an old hand at meeting my blog buddies! She very bravely invited us to her home, much to the chagrin of her daughter, who worried we might be homicidal murderers! Do pop over to read her version. But we soon seemed to reassure her and had a delightful time with Toni, her husband and her highly entertaining children. Us grown-ups then headed over the road to a pub, where we enjoyed a lovely dinner and alot of chatter. It was great to meet up with a fellow expat blogger and once again find much in common. I do however have one bone to pick with them.... Knowing the Hubster is a big Chicago Cubs fan, they presented him with this pair of Harry Carrey spectacles, much to his glee. Needless to say they have been making a few appearances and he keeps threatening to wear them out in public. Toni my friend, you have no idea what you started, as he would just to embarress me! Tomorrow our tour will continue with the Field Museum, Planetarium, Pizza and fireworks over Navy Pier viewed from the top of the Hancock Tower.