9:20AM Be at my house (Soon after we will pick Patty up at her house)
9:40 Drive to train station (find parking spot, pay for parking, buy train tickets, get coffee (if desired)
10:04 Get on train
11:00 Arrive Union Station
11:05 Go to the Bathroom
11:10 Walk a block to Willis Tower stepping over assorted bums on the way
11:20 Buy tickets to Ledge - $17.50 ea. Up we go! Take a ton of pictures
12:10 Walk to lunch at Elephant and Castle
1:22 Take cab to Art Institute Hopefully we will get one that doesn't stink!
1:30 Get to Art Institute $18.00 admission 1:35 Get all "artsy fartsy"
4:00 approx. Get cab to train station. At that time the trains run about every 20 min.
Therese's first train ride!
Kim and myself - friends since the fourth grade! That's, um, let's just say too many years to count!
Arrive at Union Station - Chicago!
How to feel small - look up!
We found out that there was an HOUR wait to get up to the top of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower). I have a hard time calling it Willis Tower as I grew up calling it the SEARS Tower! We had to go through a security check like in an airport - remove coats, sweaters, etc, put all bags and clothing through the x-ray machine, and we walk through a metal detector. The lines moved fairly quick.
Of course, once we got past security there were more lines to endure. Here's a shot of the Skydeck elevators to take us to the top. (Elevators on either side)
Thankfully they didn't shove us in like cattle in the elevator - there was room to breathe. A video screen at the top of the elevator flashed every few seconds as to what floor we were passing.
I didn't time it myself, but I read that it takes 3 minutes, 30 seconds to reach the top. It didn't even seem that long.... Before I show you some embarrassing photos, let me give you some interesting facts about the building. Willis Tower (still called the Sears Tower by many, including MOI) was the tallest building in the world, when it was completed in 1973. It held that record for 25 years! It IS the tallest building in the United States, AND the SEVENTH tallest standing structure in the WORLD. (Wikipedia) In 2009 the Skydeck was refurbished. The owners installed three glass-bottomed retractable balconies on the 103rd floor, that extend 4 feet out and and are 1,353 feet above Wacker Drive.
|photo from internet|
Looking straight down
Okay, have you wiped your tears away to go on and see the rest of the photos? Here are some of the views from the Sky Deck. The tall black building in the distance is the John Hancock. (remember I'm taking pictures through a dirty window!)
Many, many boats
More Chicago skyline
That domed building protruding out into Lake Michigan is the Adler Planetarium
This interesting looking building with the boats underneath is called "River City". Ah to be rich and famous! Or at least rich!
So! That's just part of our fun day! Next post will cover the Art Institute of Chicago. Stay tuned!