Although traveling around the world is fun and exciting, the reality of it is that things can go wrong. When I arrived in Chicago is a perfect example of what can happen.... as once I got off the plane and waited for my backpack to arrive, it was nowhere to be seen! The woman who worked for the airline that I flew with was quite helpful, but when I left the airport with no bag, it was not a satisfying feeling. The best thing you can do - do not let it put a damper on your trip. I just had to let myself realise that I was in Chicago and the sun was shining and there could be a lot worse things going on. Luckily, I was traveling with two girls so that did help, although there is nothing more satisfying than your own clothes! (I did eventually get my bag back, two days later)
Chicago is a lovely city. It literally has something for everyone. The skyline is very beautiful too. We decided it would be a great idea to go along the majority of this, and what better way to do it than by bike, right? Wrong. Now, don't get me wrong here, we did enjoy the bike ride and when we first rented them we were all more than excited (it had been a while since any of us had got on a bike!) But after two hours or so we began to get tired, plus the fact that you are getting charged by the minute. We had looked up beforehand on the information where we could deposit our bikes, but could not for the life of us find this place, or any of the others it stated. We carried on for a little bit further and eventually decided to turn around and look again. We got over halfway back before we found somewhere. Thank god we had a map! It was still a great experience seeing it all by bike but the whole stressfulness of finding somewhere to return this did put a little damper on the trip.
I've been to a fair few aquariums in my time, but none of them come close to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. It really was fantastic; there was so much to see in there! The best bit by far had to be the jellyfish display they had. There were so many different ones, different shapes and sizes and colours. Some even had lights in them. It was so cool. We saw the shows as well which were okay, not great. But you can't beat watching dolphins jumping out of water. It really was a fun place and 100% worth a visit.
On the other hand, Lincoln Park Zoo was not such a good experience. Although I do feel bad for caged-up animals, I am generally a sucker for a zoo. But never have I been to one that has made me feel so depressed. The cages and enclosures are smaller than any other zoo's, and the animals are either moping around in a depressed manner, or nowhere to be seen at all! My heart really did go out to them. The zoo is actually free, so it does make me wonder if this is why. Either way, if you are against animal cruelty I would suggest giving this one a miss.
Millennium Park is a brilliant way to kill an afternoon. Being outside with the sun shining down on you is great, but also there is a lot to see. The best and most famous attraction has to be The Bean, also known as The Cloud Gate. It's such an unusual thing but is really cool. And you can see the majority of the city reflected in it! Another cool feature is The Crown Fountain. It features two giant block columns with video screens that display over 1000 different faces of Chicago residents. The face changes every five minutes and, with water spouting out of puckered lips, can keep you entertained for ages!
As with all major cities in America, there is a skyscraper just waiting to be climbed. In fact, in Chicago, there are two! The Sears tower and The John Hancock buildings are both worth a visit, offering spectacular views across the whole of Chicago. Some do prefer The John Hancock as opposed to the more famous Sears tower, mainly due to the reduced queues! At the top there is an observatory deck which is glass that you can step out on to, and it doesn't half scare you! Got to be done though.
Magnificent Mile is also worth a visit, if you can be strong-willed enough not to spend all your money there!