Hyatt Regency Chicago
The room was warm and cozy over looking the Chicago River.Waking up in the morning,I looked out of window and the weather looked perfect for going out and getting rid of jetlag. Instantly reminded me of Honey Singh's song-Blue and pani ,Din hai Sunny.(I had not discovered the windy side of Chicago until then).
Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Flew on NH12 from Narita to Chicago O'Hare (ORD). Flight was good as expected, and the night went past real quick with a comfortable sleep made possible by being extremely tired from staying up the previous night. However ORD is a horror of an airport to arrive as an international passenger. Immigration queue took 2 hours and the airport was dreary and lacking in facilities. Star Alliance lounge in ORD provided the bare necessities, and very limited food and drink. *TRAVEL TIP: try not to use ORD for a long layover or international entrance point to the USA, as an O&D passenger I think it works just fine*
Called as "Cloud Gate" Its glass-like reflective surface provides distorted images of Chicago skyline and visitors feel amused to see their warped reflections on "The Bean".The concave underside allows visitors to walk underneath to see the omphalos, and through its arch to the other side so that they view the entire structure. It was fun sitting in this place and seeing people of all sorts-from teenagers trying to capture the perfect reflection to couples trying to take a perfect selfie,Guitarist playing,singers singing.We encoutered a preacher who preached us about "Universe,GOD,Life,Human existence etc etc etc for like 30 minutes.
It is so fascinating or rather inspiring how a place can be decently developed yet practice the age old traditions and cultures by all means without a crooked face.This old man with my favorite umbrella (thaatha kodai - I call it) was holding his dhoti up and walking on the Mullikan street , a busy commercial corridor in Alleppy.
One of the famous landmarks of the city of Chicago, the iconic Buckingham Fountain located in the center of the Grant Park is one of the largest water fountains in the world. The fountain is also decorated with festival lights during winter which makes it one of the best places to visit in Chicago. It measures over 280 feet in diameter and has a capacity of 1,500,000 U.S. gallons of water and the central jet is capable of pushing the water to a unbelievable height of 150 feet.
The Chicago Lakefront Path is a beautiful promenade next to the harbor. Starting from the Hyatt Regency,in the company of a collegue,I walked all the way along Chicago Lakefront and Navy Pier which is at the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Folks of all kinds were enjoying the lake by running, cycling, roller blading, boating, walking or just sunning themselves.
Our US stakeholders took us to have a Cubs experience.I am not much of a sports person,so was unable to pick up the baseball game.But the field experience was awesome - Beautiful stadium, tons of green, no flashing lights,crunch of peanut shells under the seat,watching super enthusiastic crowd singing in Chorus and a chance to soak up the sun while trying to understand the game.
Gleaming as one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one of the best man made wonders housing more than 8,000 species of aquatic animals like sea lions, dolphins and sea turtles making it one of the must visit places in Chicago. Also surrounding it is the famous Museum Campus Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Adler Planetarium. Online purchasing of tickets are available at http://www.sheddaquarium.org/.
Boasting more than 4 million visitors a year from all over the world, the Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the must visit tourist attraction favored by both international and local tourists. It has some of the best gardens and play areas in the city which includes BP Footbridge, Cloud Gate, Lurie Garden and the Crown Fountain. Its ideal atmosphere and children loving environment makes it a must visit place in Chicago. The park also features The Grant Park Music Festival every year which is a musical concert series held for around a week and is known all around the United States.