Chicago, Chicago I will show you around.
Chicago, Chicago that toddling town
Chicago, Chicago I’ll show you around
I love it bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in Chicago, Chicago
The town that Billy’s Sunday couldn’t shut down
Right now we are already in Aspen Colorado. It is 6 in the morning when I am writing this blog story. We are still awake early because of the jet lag.
Our holiday started on the 5th of January with one week family visits in Holland, including two days DisneyLand in Paris with Johan´s niece Anoek and her best friend Linda. This was Anoek´s birthday present.
Our friends Corey and Andreas had told us often about the Gay Ski Week in Aspen and invited us to join them on a three day visit of Chicago followed by a 1 week skiing in Colorado.
We were flying economy and frequent flyer Corey could not upgrade us, but their stewardess Michaela was still treating us very well with all drinks and snacks of the Business Class.
We were staying at the beautiful Mies van der Rohe building in Chicago, where Corey owns an apartment, on the Lake Shore Drive, with a beautiful view on Lake Michigan. This lake is 190 km wide and 494 km long and when we were visiting Chicago there was ice on the lake.
That afternoon we explored the neighbourhood a bit and I bought a wide angle photo lens and Johan warm boots at The North Face. Johan often yelled “I am in the United States” because it was his first time ever!
We had dinner at Cruz Blanca, a Mexican Restaurant in the meatpack district, with Calvin and his daughters, who we already had met in Amsterdam during Corey and Andreas wedding.
The next day we wanted to see more of the city. But first a typical American breakfast at Tempo Cafe. Everything was like in the movies: the constant service of fresh water, the refills of coffee and the funny waitresses. And enormous full plates of food.
We passed Drake Hotel, on the Michigan Avenue, where we had to see the lobby and Corey and Johan had to dance in one of the two big ballrooms. This hotel was founded in 1920 and became one of Chicago´s landmark hotels, visited by Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney and many others. Princess Diana stayed at the Drake Hotel during her only visit to Chicago in 1996, one year before her death. Leaving the hotel Andreas and Johan wanted a picture in the beautiful breakfast restaurant. Who knows this had been Lady Di´s table.
We decided to see the city from above at the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center. Lots of people chose the 108th floor of The Willis Tower, but here you have to pay entrance and at The Signature Room of the Hancock you only have to order a drink and the view is nicer. And we were in for a Bloody Mary!
We walked towards the area Near North Side to “Cloud Gate” (The Bean) of artist Anish Kapoor at Millennium Park, passing statues of Miro and Picasso and the Trump Tower. The Trump Tower is next to the Wrigley (chewing gum) building and they are called often “The beauty and the Beast” (and you may figure out yourself who is the ugly one).
It was 3 degrees above zero so we started to get a bit cold and decided to go to the movies. But this was not a normal cinema, it was a “dining experience” where you could order food and drinks and the chairs looked like beds. We watched “Lala Land” a movie directed by Damien Chazelle with actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Since “The Notebook” (leading role Ryan Gosling) and “The Help” (leading rol Emma Stone) I am a big fan of those actors and since Johan loves musicals this was a must-see for us! The four of us enjoyed the movie so much that we downloaded all the songs and sang along the next days and even saw the movie a second time at Isis Theatre in Aspen!
That night we ate at the steak restaurant “Rosebud” and took a Uber taxi to “Boys Town”, the Chicago gay area. Johan and I loved the bar “Sidetrack”. But also the bar-disco “Berlin” which hadn´t changed since the eighties, Corey told us. The next day we even went back to Boys Town for another visit at Sidetrack and the go-go stripper bar “The Lucky Horseshoe”, an experience we did not want to miss.
Sunday morning driver Tony picked us up at 7 in the morning to bring us to the airport. Looking out of the window to the high buildings with beautiful archtecture we both decided that we wanted to see this city again in the Summer! Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town … we love you!