I happened across a blog article that pretty much sums up how I feel about travel. I am not married. I do not have any children. I've already graduated from college- twice. And while I do have professional and familial obligations (and vehicular restraints), none are so stringent that I can't make arrangements to somehow do and see what I want.
So yes, my blog looks a bit cheesy and perhaps even dated. I don't always get to post as frequently as I would like, and it DOES take me forever to caption photos on Facebook. But, that's kind of not the point (even though I AM improving!). The point is to go out and experience these places, my homeland!, in a new way.
C'mon my fellow wanderlusts! Let's GO!
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Pretty pissed that dozens of my pictures from my earliest adventures (DC, Puerto Rico, VA, etc) are just MISSING from Facebook! Not only are they pretty much gone forever, but I don't live in the DC area anymore to re-take them. I apologize if this has made my blog/page less likeable. I'm slowly going through and reconnecting what photos I do have within the previous blog posts and filling in with images from other travel sites when necessary.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
There are a TON of buildings in Chicago that are architectural and historical gems. As a history nerd (and a nut for cool or old architecture) I noticed awesome buildings everywhere we went. Too bad we were often just whizzing by on our way to an event or venue. One place I wish I has gotten a chance to see was the Chicago Water Tower- the second oldest water tower in the USA and one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. I only got to zip past on the way to the airport, so the picture I have kind of sucks.
|Not a bad picture...but not even close to how awesome this place looks in person|
So let's just get this out of the way, I have never heard of anyone refer to this building as anything other than the Sears Tower. No disrespect to the Willis Holding Group, but, yeah, it's going to be the Sears Tower to Americans over the age of 10 forever. Completed in 1973, this building was the tallest in the world until 1998, and is today the 7th tallest in the world. There's a bunch of history and nuances about the battle for tallest building you can read about on that link- but I wasn't so much interested in that as I was the fact that this building is by far the tallest I've ever been inside of and was another one of those American icons that I wanted to see for myself.
|Decorative wall showing how many stories up you are about to rise|
For $18 bucks (each), my friends and I entered Sky Deck (the touristy part of the building- people actually have to go to work here still, so gawking tourists would probably be a distraction) and walked through a meticulously managed maze of information and informative video clips about the building and Chicago history and influence. We didn't spend too much time in each area, but some highlights were bios of famous people tied to Chicago, and a glass display showing comparative building heights of some of the world's most famous structures.
|Does this mean 3.3 Million adults have been up here??|
We were herded into steel elevators and took and incredibly speedy ride to the top of the Tower while being entertained by a video further discussing the height of the building. There were observation binocular things at windows, and signs showing what part of the city you are looking at (on our overcast day we could only see out about 5 miles, but on a clear day you can see as far away as 50+ according to one employee), more Chicago history in a mini exhibit on the walls, and of course a gift shop. It was pretty interesting, and with the last few drops of battery power on my iPhone I recorded a video with my friends while up there. Then we went over to the west end of the building, where the actual Sky Deck is located- a slew of glass landings that stick out 4 feet from the building so that all that separates you from certain death is a few inches of (well engineered) glass. For whatever reason I wasn't afraid to step out on the ledge, but there were plenty of people who were. In any case, it made for great silly pictures and awesome memories!
|My friend Melanie taking a picture from the top of the Tower|
|Those are my leopard-clad feet...quite a journey back to the ground indeed!|
|The FLW Row Houses...people actually live there, so no inside tours :(|
This was a VERY brief stop in my time in Chicago- literally maybe 5 minutes there total. I especially wanted to see these houses in particular because they are the only row houses Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed. FLW set his studios up in Chicago, and there are 400+ of his 536 buildings still standing around the world. Chicago has a few of FLW focused tours available and while I didn't actually take one of the tours (my friends and I stopped here en route to President Obama's house) I'm glad I stopped through. Other than their unique look and color from the rest of the block (most of the other houses and the school across the street are red brick), the only other thing that let's you know this place is special is a small pillar with hard to read information on it to the far right of the buildings.
|Seriously, can YOU read this?|
Speaking of President Obama's house, we had a hilarious time trying to look at his Chicago home. Naturally being the President the place is heavily guarded, and hidden behind all sorts of barricades and trees. My silly sorority sister, after we had already caught the attention of the Secret Service Officer on duty, sticks her hand out of the car trying to get a picture-- at which time warning sirens blared out. We zoomed off, fearful of being arrested, but later we had a great time laughing about our "dangerous bout with the government".
That's it for Chicago- see you guys on the next adventure!