The weather in Chicago was scorching, so we took advantage and spent the morning on the beach. Chicago sits on Lake Michigan, but the lake is so huge it goes on for miles and miles and you almost forget that it’s a lake and not the sea. It’s also surreal sitting on the beach and swimming in the lake with a skyline of skyscrapers behind you.
Next up, we took a river boat tour around the river that runs through Chicago, snaking its way between the skyscrapers. The boat then took us out of the lock and onto Lake Michigan, offering a photo opportunity of the whole Chicago skyline and a view of the pier. The breeze from the boat was also a welcome relief from the sweltering heat (it must have been close to 100 degrees as it was still 94 at 7.30pm!).
After the boat, the boys decided the Empire State Building in NYC wasn’t tall enough, so we made our way to the Willis Tower (known usually by its former name the Sears Tower). We stopped just before to take a picture of the sign at the start of Route 66. It seemed quite strange knowing we’ll be driving the full length of it to LA, which seems so far away right now.
We arrived at the Willis Tower and made our way up to the sky deck on the 103rd floor. I can’t say I was thrilled at the prospect, especially after the Empire State Building was high enough and only 86 floors high, but up we went anyway.
The view from the top of the tower is pretty spectacular, and it’s so high that you can see into 4 states. The fact its enclosed definitely made me feel a lot safer than the Empire State, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed any second of the time I spent up there. There are special glass cases with clear walls and floor which you can step out onto, so that you feel that you are basically outside the top of the building and floating on air. Needless to say, there was a brown person missing from all of the group pics that were taken from the viewing platform.
We finished the day with dinner and then stopped off at a bar on the way back to the hotel, but the nightlife wasn’t up to much on a Tuesday night so we headed back to the hotel as we were due to start Route 66 the next morning.
Next stop: St Louis