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View Full Version : Windy City, Smoky Mountains ~ Day 3 - John Hancock Observatory & Navy Pier


wickesy
08-07-2009, 06:44 AM
Having got used to the time difference all ready I didnít wake up until 6:30 today and we were up at 7:40. First stop of the day was the John Hancock Observatory, which was just across the road from the hotel and didnít open until 9:00 so we werenít out until 8:45.

We were soon at the top of the tower and the views are much better by day.

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This little unit was for the audio tour that gave information (voiced by David Schwimmer) about what we were looking at.
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Continued

wickesy
08-07-2009, 06:44 AM
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After looking around again we stopped off in the cafť at the top for a cappuccino each which we drank whilst enjoying the view. We then made our way back down and strolled down Michigan Avenue, which is the main shopping street in Chicago, making our way towards Navy Pier. Have you ever been going somewhere and can see where you need to get to but canít see how to get there from where you are? Well thatís what happened to us. Somehow I missed the side street I had intended to go down and just taking a side-street at random wasnít such a good idea because we ended up going down roads that were dead ends. In the end we found our way to Navy Pier but walked about twice the distance we needed to.

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First stop was the food court where we grabbed a Chicago style hot dog and root beer each. Chicago hot dogs donít have mustard or ketchup but they do have mustard pickles and celery salt and they are absolutely delicious.

After our hot dogs we had a wander along the pier which was a strange experience. With the sound of the seagulls, the breeze from the water and water as far as the eye can see all of your senses are telling you that you are at the seaside when in fact you are just on the edge of a very large lake - Lake Michigan. We walked to the end of the pier and then made our way back, this time going through the Museum of Stained Glass Windows, which had some very nice pieces.

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It wasnít a museum in the traditional sense but more of a gallery that you walked through on your way to somewhere else. When we came out of the other end we stopped off at a stall where we bought a couple of 1lb bags of mixed cinnamon roasted nuts (almonds, pecan and cashew).

By now it was after 1:00 so we started making our way back along the lake shore and returned to the hotel around 1:40 (this time without getting lost) to have a rest before going out for a Chicago style pizza later in the evening.

After a couple of hours break we went out for another wander and had a look around Borders and Williams-Sonoma where we bought a couple of jars of mixed peppercorns before going back to the suite. At 5:00 we went back out and made our way round to Ginos East, a couple of blocks from the hotel and one of the original Chicago style pizza restaurants. Although it was still relatively early the queue was out the door and it was 10 minutes before we got into the building and another 10 before we had a table. We were told that a small deep dish would do for the two of us to share so we ordered a meaty legend (Pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon and bacon) with added jalapenos and a beer each. The deep dish pizzas take 45 minutes to cook so itís not the sort of thing to order if you are in a hurry but it was well worth the wait and we were completely full after eating. Ginos is probably one of the only restaurants that positively encourages you to write on the walls which are covered with the names of people that have eaten there in the past.

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Not my picture, just a random one I found on the net.

We were back in the suite just after 7:00 where we spent the evening watching TV before going to bed at 10:00 ready for check-out in the morning.

Todayís Disney reference:

http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t120/wickesy/Chicago%20and%20Smokies%202009/SANY0066.jpg
At the John Hancock Observatory you can buy ĎFastpass Admissioní which gives you access to this lift to avoid the queues (although there werenít any when we were there)

Day 4 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2251853)

Pegasus928
08-07-2009, 07:07 AM
Some great pics of the views there - and I love Chicago style pizza though have never had a chance to try one actually in Chicago - so I am seriously jealous now.

Snowy-girls
08-07-2009, 07:22 AM
David i can't see the piccy of the peoples names on the wall in the restaurant-just a red cross :confused3.

I see what you mean now about the day shots-they are excellent.Are they swimming pools on top of the buildings?.
I love the holograms of the trainers that they project onto the buildings ;) :laughing:.
That pizza sounded very yummy+that comes from someone who is not a pizza lover.x.

wickesy
08-07-2009, 07:42 AM
David i can't see the piccy of the peoples names on the wall in the restaurant-just a red cross :confused3.

I see what you mean now about the day shots-they are excellent.Are they swimming pools on top of the buildings?.
I love the holograms of the trainers that they project onto the buildings ;) :laughing:.
That pizza sounded very yummy+that comes from someone who is not a pizza lover.x.

Oops, thanks Michelle. :goodvibes Should be fixed now. Yes they are swimming pools on tops of the buildings, I think most of them are probably hotels.

Ok, Ok, so I'm no David Bailey but I do my best. :rotfl:

The pizza was great and definitely worth waiting all that time for. I can see why that restaurant is so popular.

Snowy-girls
08-07-2009, 07:48 AM
That's it,i can see it now :thumbsup2.x.

Ok, Ok, so I'm no David Bailey but I do my best. :rotfl:

You know i am only joking :goodvibes.x.

wickesy
08-07-2009, 07:52 AM
You know i am only joking :goodvibes.x.

Yes I do. :hug:

Pinky166
08-07-2009, 08:53 AM
Great pics. :thumbsup2 I love stained glass windows so would love to see that museum/display.

That pizza sounds yummy!!!

irongirlof12
08-07-2009, 09:45 AM
I am so afraid of heights, so your piccies scared the ebe-je-be's out of me! (only kidding the views look amazing). I would not be able to swim in any of those pools- ground level for me only!

Chi-Car-gi - as Doris Day would say has a great skyline:thumbsup2

love the glass windows how cool are they. - you pick some fab places to visit :thumbsup2

natalielongstaff
08-07-2009, 10:30 AM
great day David, we had a similar navigating experience in New York ;)

Goofysmate
08-07-2009, 11:27 AM
Great pictures David :thumbsup2 ,
Did you write on the wall

tennisfan
08-07-2009, 04:49 PM
Awesome views of the skyline:goodvibes

florida sun
08-08-2009, 05:31 AM
Brilliant pictures David, I also noticed the swimming pools on the roofs,:thumbsup2

wickesy
08-08-2009, 07:57 AM
Did you write on the wall

No we didn't. I think just about every inch is covered now and a lot of it is double-covered. Even the benches you sit on are covered in names!

Chilly
08-08-2009, 12:43 PM
The stained glass window place sounds lovely.

PudseyChancer
08-09-2009, 01:33 AM
You must have nerves of steel taking those photos from the Observatory David, I've had to have a good sit down after just looking at them, ha ha!

suzycute
08-09-2009, 02:43 PM
I agree with a couple of the other posters - the views look amazing but just the thought of the height makes me go weak at the knees (yet I'm fine at 36,000 feet!).:)

wickesy
08-09-2009, 02:52 PM
You must have nerves of steel taking those photos from the Observatory David, I've had to have a good sit down after just looking at them, ha ha!

I agree with a couple of the other posters - the views look amazing but just the thought of the height makes me go weak at the knees (yet I'm fine at 36,000 feet!).:)

I'm OK as long as it's enclosed. We went up the Space Needle in Gatlinburg which has an open platform and I would only go so close to the edge before I had to stop.

SusanEllen
08-15-2009, 04:38 PM
Gino's!! Hooray, David. That restaurant is the very definition of a "hole in the wall," but I remember their pizza as the best I've ever had anywhere, anytime.

Again you've come up with a winning itinerary and again done a great job reporting how those plans worked out.

arieljasmine
08-16-2009, 03:09 PM
What a lovely day. We often have similar navigating issues - usually thinking something doesn't look too far away to walk to only to get there hours later!

The stained glass windows look really pretty.

Both the hotdogs and the pizza sound excellent and I like the idea of being able to write on the walls and having something to read whilst you wait!

Great Disney reference again :thumbsup2

Laur's xx

Lizzybear
08-20-2009, 10:10 AM
OK I think your description of real Chicago pizza has convinced me to go... Never mind sightseeing etc pizza is all I need! :rotfl: Great pics of the Chicago skyline :goodvibes

wickesy
08-20-2009, 11:17 AM
:rotfl2: Pizza before sightseeing sounds good to me. :thumbsup2

ariel75
08-23-2009, 07:11 AM
wow what great photos. The pizza sounds delicious!