We kept postponing the trip due to either weather or my back/hip issues, but FINALLY all was right with the world, the planets were all aligned, etc, and we went last week.
Since our campground is really in the boondocks, we had to DRIVE 20 miles to the nearest Metra train station. It took us just about AN HOUR due to construction and traffic and we made it with about two minutes two spare. I just about caught my breath when we heard the whistle of the approaching train.
One hour 45 minutes later (I TOLD you we were in the boondocks!) we arrived at Ogilvie Station in Chicago. A short bus ride later and we were at Navy Pier.
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day; sunny, warm with temperatures in the low 80's, and a slight breeze. Chicago public schools were back in session and since we were there on a weekday, there was hardly anyone around.
When Navy Pier first opened, there was only one or two ships available for touring. Things have changed immensely. Now ships were lined up all along the pier. We had to walk about 3/4's the way down before we saw the tall masts of Windy.
I was a little nervous because, you may remember, I am afraid of water. I was hoping that it wouldn't be a rough ride and I'd be puking over the side of the ship. I ran down to use the "head" as they call it on a ship. Here's the bartender at the ready, although it was only 10:30 am! I guess it's 5 o'clock SOMEWHERE, right?
Here is our guide. I got a kick out of his belt buckle!
He offered to take a photo of me. Not the greatest one of me with the wind blowing my hair, but I love the background with the Chicago skyline.
You may wonder if I was flying solo. Uh, no. Unbeknownst to me (while I was in the bathroom!), Jim volunteered to hoist the sails! He was in his glory! (Jim in his hat and suspenders, as usual!)
|Sails catching the wind|
|Mural on the ship|
|Yikes! Our crazy guide hanging on the ropes while telling us a story!|
|O'Captain(s), my Captain(s)|
Some of the views from the ship.
|End of Navy Pier|
|Navy Pier from the ship|
|Another tour boat passing by|
|Tallest building on the right - the new Trump Tower|
It hardly seems worth it to take this fast boat out on the water with such few passengers!
This is a close-up as we are approaching the pier. That tall black structure with the white trim is the John Hancock building. You can see the 150-foot Ferris wheel. Tickets are $6 to ride. You only go around once, but the ride takes 7 minutes! There are 40 gondolas that hold up to 6 people each. The views are spectacular of the Chicago Skyline and Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, we didn't take a ride this day, as we have done so a couple times before.
More sights from Chicago to come! Stay tuned!