Chicago: Willis (Sears) Tower and Lincoln Park Conservatory and Zoo

We took a Lyft over to Willis Tower, which I didn’t know what it was until my husband said they renamed it from the Sears Tower. It is the third tallest building in the world. You have to go down two escalators to get to the entrance. There is a lovely eating area as you walk into the building, which was just opening when we arrived. There was no one waiting around when we got downstairs and we walked right through to the exhibits they have before you get on the elevator. The exhibits were about Chicago and its history. We had already learned a lot from our boat ride the day before (I told you that lady was good!). We had fun taking pictures on the giant pizza and on the pretend stage for Second City. There were all kinds of photo opportunities along with learning new things. We didn’t have to wait long for the elevator and it only had four other people in it with us to go up to the 103 floor. The elevator was quite fast, which surprised me, and as we went up the floors, the sides showed us pictures of famous buildings around the world that were at the height of those floors. Some examples were: the Eiffel Tower, the Coliseum, Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. It was neat to think about how high we were going. At the top, we rushed over to the Pyrex windows and there was no line. The attendant told us we had two minutes, but if there was no one waiting we could take longer.

If you don’t like heights, I would not suggest this AT ALL. I don’t mind them and it gave me a bit of vertigo to look down. We wandered around and found all the major landmarks from each direction. We also had to take a picture of the window where they filmed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Right next to these windows there is a digital reading of the temperatures and wind speeds. That is something else we learned from the architectural boat tour, how the buildings were built in order to withstand the winds. There was also a gift shop at the top as well as the bottom of the elevators. Tickets are $30-$44 per adult. It seemed expensive to me, but it was an iconic thing to do in Chicago and I’m happy we did it.

We took a Lyft over to Lincoln Park and on the drive we went underneath the city. Our driver was very talkative and told us that it’s a quicker way to get places and a lot of drivers don’t like to use it. He also told us that it’s where they filmed the most recent chase scenes from the most recent Batman movie. I knew it looked familiar!

We stopped at the Lincoln Park Conservatory first. It is donations only, but you do need to make a reservation online to enter. We did it quickly and easily on our phones. The plants and flowers are beautiful and we had a lovely time looking at some familiar and not so familiar blooms.

We walked from the conservatory to our lunch spot, The Pasta Bowl. We had no idea how much food they were going to give us for lunch! My husband ordered the fettuccine Alfredo, but asked for the chicken on the side. I think they gave him two breasts sliced up! The food was delicious and we were not hungry again for about eight hours, even with all the walking we did afterwards. I would highly recommend eating there, but be warned that it is a ton of food. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the zoo. The zoo is free and it has some amazing animals. The male lion was roaring while we were there, which was unreal. We just missed the new cubs, but did see various baby monkeys.

We took a Lyft back to the hotel to rest a bit and then we walked down to the end of Navy Pier. There was not a ton of things open because it was early in the season, but it’s a beautiful walk down by the water.

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