Lakefront Parks and Navy Pier

(Hancock Building and skyline through the trees.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I spent today walking around the lakefront and at Navy Pier.  That wasn’t my original plan but the day got away from me as I ambled along, snapping photos.

(150:  Milton L. Olive III Park.  Chicago, IL.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It was another gorgeous blue sky day.  It warmed up some, but the wind kicked up some too, blasting at about 25 mph at times.  Autumn is beautiful here in the city, something that’s surprising to me at times.

(Skyline from Milton L. Olive III Park.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

After wandering around the parks for a while, I made my way over to Navy Pier.  It sure has changed since the 1980’s when M and I lived here, now filled with shops, theaters, stages, and amusement rides.

(Navy Pier, from the front.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I took my time strolling from one end of the pier to the other.  At the end of the pier, out on the lake, the wind was really whipping.

(Photo © 2009 by Robin)

At the end of the pier is a huge anchor which I meant to read about while I was there, but M called and wondered what I was doing for lunch and that distracted me from finding out what the anchor was all about.

(Anchor and lighthouse.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’m sure I could probably find something online about it.  I don’t have time to look it up right now.  M will be here soon and we’ll be meeting friends for dinner.  This has been quite a social trip.

M joined me at Navy Pier for lunch.  I forget the name of the place where we ate (the Dockside Cafe, I think).  We sat outside since it was such a beautiful, albeit windy, day.  I had an Italian beef, something I’ve been craving since we got here.  The Italian beef is, in my opinion, Chicago’s answer to the Philly cheesesteak.  It’s not the same thing at all, but it’s almost as good.

(Sampling of stained glass.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

After lunch we decided to visit the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows (located on Navy Pier).  They have an amazing collection of stained glass windows.  You can read about it here.

(Another sampling.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M went back to his conference after that and I wandered around for a little while longer, taking photos of this, that, and the other thing.

(Ferris wheel on Navy Pier.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I have to wrap this up and get ready for dinner.  We’re dining at The Berghoff tonight, a favorite of ours.  I’ll leave you with one last view of the skyline from Navy Pier taken as I was leaving.

(Skyline view from Navy Pier.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Blue sky day

(Sailboat on Lake Michigan and the end of Navy Pier. Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The sun is shining on Chicago today.  It’s a glorious day with lovely blue skies and just the hint of the usual wind that blows through this city.

(149:  View from the Shedd Aquarium.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M and I were up early and went for a long walk.  We took a bus down to the Adler Planetarium to get some shots of the city skyline and took our time walking back to the hotel from there.  I think were out and about for about 2-1/2 hours.

(Sears Tower and other buildings from the lakeshore.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Part of our walk took us through Grant Park and Millennium Park.  We took our time going through Millennium Park so we could have a look at some of the sculptures that we missed during our first stroll through the park.

(Zaha Hadid pavilion and security guard.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

We had to see the Bean, of course (along with hundreds of other tourists).

(The Cloud Gate.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The official name is the Cloud Gate, but it has been nicknamed The Bean because of its legume-like shape.

Last night we had dinner at Zocalo.  The food was excellent and they have a very nice selection of sipping tequilas.  The prices are reasonable as well.  If you’re in the mood for Mexican food (and/or tequila) while in Chicago, I highly recommend Zocalo.  (A big thanks to D for suggesting the place!)

As soon as I finish here I will end my afternoon break.  I think I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon just wandering around, taking pictures, and people watching.  We’ll be joining friends later this evening for Thai food.  One of the great things about this city (most cities, in my experience) is all the delicious food to be sampled and enjoyed.