Here’s the thing about Chicago: you get the New York City and Toronto vibes in a relatively less crowded metropolis. Chicago is now the fourth largest city in North America (by population). Toronto took its third spot just last year, whereas New York City is second on the list. However, Chicago is not so far from Toronto and it sees more tourists in a year by a large fraction when compared to the amount of tourists that visit Toronto.
Anyway, I’m sure you didn’t come here for a geography lesson. Chicago was truthfully never on my list of places I wanted to visit. It may have crossed my mind every now and then when I wanted to experience the glass skydeck on the, then “Sears Tower”, but outside of that I had little knowledge about the city and probably focused my attention on other places in the world than your typical crowded city in the United States.
Luckily for me, my sisters are travel freaks and had visited Chicago before me so they knew which places to go. We are also lucky to have relatives who live about a forty-five minute drive from downtown Chicago, so travelling to Chicago has always been (for the most part) a stress-free trip. We never have to worry about food or accommodation because our relatives always welcome us with open arms and are such wonderful hosts – treating us to the best food and showing us the best places in and around Chicago.
The first time we went was in mid April and the weather was oh-so-cooperative. The sun was beaming and there was a light breeze. We met up with our relatives in the heart of South Asian town, which in Chicago is a part of Devon Avenue. The vibe was akin to that of – a much larger – Gerrard Street.
As we waited for our relatives to arrive, we wandered off to multiple clothing shops and passed some time. Once we met up with our relatives, together we had some delicious South Asian cuisine at one of the restaurants and then we headed to get some sweets from a nearby South Asian sweets store.
After spending some time with our relatives, and most especially with their three little adorable kids, we headed towards the downtown core.
The architecture in Chicago really caught my eye. There were a lot of interesting and odd looking buildings. I especially liked that there was a contrast between the old and the new everywhere we went. It definitely gave the city character.
Of course, we spent a lot of time at the Bean (Cloud Gate), which is located at the Millennium Park. It is the centre of attention at the park and it is always crowded, especially when the weather is as wonderful as it was in April. The Bean itself is pretty big and reflects a distorted city. You can also walk underneath it and view all of its distortions. It is a similar feeling to that of walking in a house of mirrors.
We took little breaks here and there when roaming around the city – mostly at Starbucks. (God bless free WiFi!)
Although we did just a day trip this time, we somehow managed to walk a lot and see a lot of the city. My elder sister met up with one of her friends and so, my two younger sisters and I walked down the Magnificent Mile, (in comparison would be similar to Fifth Avenue, New York) and took pictures and enjoyed Chicago architecture and views. We hung around near the Chicago River and roamed the retail stores before sluggishly walking back to meet up with our elder sister.
My sister is crazy and drove to and back from Chicago all by herself. Windsor is about five to six hours from Chicago. I offered to sit passenger seat because I thought that I could stay up and keep her company, but I soon found myself dozing off and being unable to control it. Luckily she hadn’t walked a million miles like the rest of us, so she brought us home safe and sound at the end of the night.
Stay tuned for the next part, which I will be posting soon! Comment below and let me know of some fun and random things you might have done in Chicago! I would love to know!