Saturday’s schedule was jam-packed with outdoor activities that we wanted to see or do. Originally, we intended to spread out the activities over a span of four days while we were in Chicago. However, since the weather was fantastic, we decided to see as many outdoor-related activities as possible. Most of them, of course, were typical tourist sites.
In the daylight, I realized that the vibe of Chicago was quite different compared to the walk we had at night. The buildings stood tall above me and lined up next to each other, which reminded me a little bit of downtown L.A., except with narrower streets, more buildings, less crowding, and much cleaner. The weather, on the other hand, was still cold but not freezing at all. We were very lucky.
We made it to the Cloud Gate (a.k.a “The Bean”) around 8:30 am and were happy to find out that we didn’t have to fight our way through other tourists. We took several photos and videos, taking advantage of the fantastic lighting we had. The Bean itself is a stainless steel sculpture and a famous symbol of Chicago, and it is one of the most photographed attractions.
Down the street was a perfect breakfast spot called the Nutella Café. Yes, you heard that right. THE Nutella spread has a café location in Chicago. I ordered a toast with Nutella spread and boysenberries on top, a strawberry crepe with Nutella, and a cup of chia seed pudding with fruits and Nutella topping. Yes, we were hungry, and yes, it was good.
Chicago River: Windella Tour
By the time we were done eating, we made our way to the Chicago River where we would be taking the Wendella architecture tour. We had no idea what to expect on this tour; however, it turned out to be one of the best tours we’ve ever done. The tour is about two hours long, during which you ride a two-decker boat along the Chicago River with a guide sharing facts about several buildings’ architectural history. You can sit on either the top deck or below. Most people started off at the top deck since the view from there is top-notch and made their way down to the heated indoor seating to warm up or grab food and drinks. We spent most of our time on the top deck enjoying the view from our seats.
London House Hotel
After the tour, we walked over to the London House hotel right across the street from where our boat docked. We had heard about their rooftop view overlooking the river and the city, so we made sure to stop by and see it for ourselves.
The view here was pretty good. We were able to see the Chicago River bridges in the distance and the Trump Tower. At the time of our visit, there weren’t that many people around, and we found ourselves alone at times. We took advantage of our view and stayed for 35 minutes, taking photos and admiring the scene. Times like this, where we had this rooftop deck all to ourselves with a view of Chicago right in front of us, reminded us why we travel. That moment in time was an opportunity we’ll never get again.