One of my top priorities for every visit back home to Chicago is a day exploring downtown. I have already gone on way too long on this blog about how much I love this vibrant and beautiful city, so today I’ll focus on our latest adventure there. After a morning at the Chicago Historical Society, Cory and I walked through Lincoln Park Zoo and towards the Lakefront Trail. I used to run this trail all the time during my college years + half marathon training days. We all have those places that have layers on layers of memories for us – this is one of those places, and it was so fun to add another layer with Cory this last trip.
We decided to try out the new Divvy bike share system (new since I’ve moved away) and take a ride down the trail – we were blessed with an abnormally warm day and it was perfect for a bike ride. The trail was PACKED with people for the end of December. We chose a day pass, which gets you as many 30 minute bike segments during a 24 hour period that you like. It’s a little confusing to have to keep track of switching bikes every 30 minutes to avoid overage fees if you’re on a longer ride, but it worked perfectly for us and our touristy needs.
We ended up riding all the way down to Navy Pier in one 30 minute segment and dropped our bikes off. The sun was setting and it was only 4pm (I just keep telling myself after December 21st, we’re on the upswing, right?) but it made for some beautiful light. I love when the ice melts enough to break apart and creates this awesome geometry all over the surface of the lake. And I just can’t get over how nice the weather was so we could enjoy it without freezing our fingers off. Pluses all around!
After dropping off our bikes near Navy Pier, we walked down the Chicago river to Michigan Avenue. Now, this was me being a space cadet, but I highly HIGHLY recommend staying as far away from Michigan Avenue during the week of Christmas (before or after) because everyone and their brother is visiting Chicago and wants to see Michigan Avenue. It was so. crowded. Needless to say, we quickly changed our plans after a few minutes and zig-zagged down side streets for a while.
Before we left Michigan Avenue, we did walk by one of my favorite buildings – the Tribune Tower. I love that it’s not on the “most touristy places to see in Chicago” but it captures the heart of Chicago architecture for me. The exterior includes pieces from all sorts of buildings, monuments, and natural wonders from all over the world that are patched into the facade like a quilt. I love that you can be in the heart of Chicago and touch the Forbidden City in Beijing. Makes the world seem a little smaller and more magical. Maybe that’s silly, but it’s still one of my favorites.
Ok, maybe I should have waited a while to post these photos because now I’m ready to go back! But perhaps I’ll wait until this whole polar freeze thing has worn off.
P.S. This post was not sponsored by Divvy bikes. They don’t know who I am, but we did have a good experience + therefore I wrote about it. xo