A business trip recently took us to the ‘windy-city’ of Chicago. It was an interesting few days but I must admit that my love of the prairies here in Saskatchewan outshines the city of Chicago more than a visit to the “Michigan Golden Mile”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love mini-getaways, even if it’s work-related and this was no exception. I’ll fill you in a bit on the experience.
Chicago is a huge city and from the onset landing at O’Hara International Airport, it became apparent that walking was the order of the day. We walked more than a half-an-hour from the landing terminal to the luggage claim area.
We then heralded a cab to get us to the hotel suite close to the convention centre where we were going to spend the next few days. That took about an hour-and-a-half during early evening rush hour traffic, not to mention the exorbitant cost for the cab in American dollars to get us to where we needed to go.
Our accommodation was great, but because it was downtown close to the convention centre, the area was sort of sketchy and walking after dark wasn’t recommended.
The first evening we thought it would be great to visit the rooftop restaurant/lounge on the 22nd floor for our evening dining. We had to take a separate elevator up and before we even got on we were scanned for weapons, probably a good thing considering the location. The restaurant was lovely but I must admit the view of the high-rise across the street wasn’t exactly the scenery I was expecting.
Chicago is located on Lake Michigan and the lake itself from one side across to the opposite shore is 59 miles. It’s a huge deal!
Another positive about the hotel is that it is linked to the convention centre by a sky-walk and that was very well received the following day when we woke up to rain.
Two days of continuous walking was apparently good for us, with a sit-down rest now and then.
We did have a little over a day to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city, but we couldn’t get anywhere notable without using expensive transportation. Uber was our choice and we both were very impressed with the vehicles, their cleanliness, and the friendliness of the drivers. I would recommend it to anyone. The good thing about using Uber is that you can track the vehicle upon booking, know exactly how far it is from your location of pick-up and then be able to track your trip in progress to the destination.
We walked about half of the Michigan Golden Mile, visiting shops and street-side stops for a break. We went to Neiman Marcus but you needed to have a bag full of money to shop there. A jean-top with a little bit of jewelling on the shoulders was a mere $1320 and a golf shirt was $800 American, a little outside our shopping budget. Macy’s was well-worth the trip with all kinds of price points, although the 7-storey water tower shopping mall was another extravagant experience.
We took an interesting architectural boat tour up the river late one afternoon that was well-received because we could just relax and enjoy, followed by dinner on the Navy Pier.
Next day was homeward bound and now I can say, ‘Been there; done that!’
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.