View from Hancock Building

View from John Hancock Center Observatory

The ornate entrance and facade of the Tribune Tower built in 1922 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Chicago Tribune. More than 100 rock fragments from famous sites, including Beijing's Forbidden City, London's Westminster Abbey and a 3.3-billion-year-old piece of moon rock collected by Apollo 15 are embedded in the exterior walls.
A station of the busy "El" or elevated trains whose rails form a loop around the financial district. It was wet and windy on our 3rd day in Chicago.
This retail store on the Magnificent Mile caught my attention. The building is see-through and the lights from inside make the whole place glow at night.
In the heart of The Loop, Daley Plaza becomes Pumpkin Plaza as part of the city's Chicagoween/Haloween celebration. Orange water gushes from the plaza's fountain.
The John Hancock Center, another famous landmark of Chicago. This 100-story tapering obelisk tower has crisscrossing steel braces on the exterior that look like stacked X's. It is a residential-commercial building and is ranked the 4th tallest in the US.
The ground-level plaza of the John Hancock Center.
The Magnificent Mile as seen from the Hancock Observatory on the 94th floor. The Sears Tower can be seen on the far right.
Me at the Hancock Observatory. We chose to come here rather than Sears Tower because we heard that the view from this observatory will be more spectacular. It didn't disappoint.
The popular Chicago playground, the Navy Pier, as seen from the Hancock Observatory.
Another perspective of the Navy Pier. This time from Grant Park's lakefront.
The entrance and main building of the Navy Pier, a busy recreational and cultural center in Chicago. Originally a municipal wharf, the pier was used for naval training during World War II.
Tranquil fountains and palms at the Navy Pier's Crystal Gardens.
This 150-ft ferris wheel is a disntinctive feature of Navy Pier. The pier also has a carousel, outdoor amphiteater, ice skating, even IMAX 3D theater.
Me at the Navy Pier with the skyline of Chicago's North Side. Notice the John Hancock Center in the background.
I liked taking pictures of this sailboat sailing back and forth beside the Navy Pier at the time.
The Field Museum is one of the world's best natural history museums and has a collection of over 20 million specimens. With funding from wealthy department store magnate Marshall Field, it opened in 1894 using objects exhibited during the hugely successful World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.
We went to Field Museum intending to see the King Tutankhamun exhibit. We didn't expect that it would be packed on a weekday and we would have to wait five hours to see the exhibit. Because our time was limited, we sadly decided to skip King Tut and just see permanent exhibits instead.
African elephant specimens from Kenya that date back to 1905. They looked very alive considering how long they've been preserved.
Me with the hugely popular Tyrannosaurus rex named Sue. The most complete and perhaps world's most famous T-rex ever discovered, it takes its name from fossil-hunter Sue Hendrickson who found the 90%-complete skeleton in South Dakota in 1990.
Another Field Museum exhibit I enjoyed are preserved specimens of birds and animals very well posed to look like they're frozen in motion just like these condor specimens.
Just being able to see for myself the preserved "Lions of Tsavo" was worth the ticket to the museum. I saw the 1996 movie about these two man-eating lions "The Ghost and the Darkness" that starred Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. These two lions killed a total of around 130 railway workers by dragging them from their tents at night during a construction of a bridge over th Tsavo river in Kenya in 1898. The lions' skins were sold to the Chicago Field Museum. Though they still look alive and menacing, it should be noted that the actual lions were actually bigger than these recreations from the skin.
The two towers of Marina City that look like giant corncobs are designed to pay symbolic tribute to the Midwest's farming economy. What I found very interesting are the 19 floors of exposed (no exterior walls) spiral parking space so people ouside can actually see the cars stacked up from floor to floor..
A visit to Chicago isn't complete without a taste of their famous deep-dish pizza. The pizza is stuffed with lots of mozzarela cheese and your choice of ingredients. We had this pizza at Giordano's and we were so full we couldn't think of pizza for a few days afterwards.
On our last day in Chicago, we tried the thin crust pizza here at Gino's. This pizza chain is unique in that it encourages customers to write graffiti on its walls and chairs. You can actually have fun reading the graffiti while waiting for your order to come.
The road back to Toronto.
And more roadside photos taken from the car on our return trip..

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