chicago upgrade

Rurik VikingThis time Chicago embraced me with again with big warm hug, but bigger than ever before.

The whole trip started off with a big smile – through SAS airlines – we were not able to get two seats next to each other, when checking in online.
At Copenhagen Airport I asked the service desk for help – and we got new seats and upgraded to Plus seats, very comfy and pleasant. Service was top class even if the flight was 45 min delayed because with hydraulic problems with the plane, so they had to find another craft.

The flight caused me pain in legs and feet, because I have to wear my support tights and my feet swelled so much, so the 8,5 hours seemed endless.

Arriving to our hotel, Wyndham Grand Rivefront Hotel, we were met with a very nice young man by name Anthony … he asked if it was our first visit and of course I told him that Chicago is my favorite city since 2001 – and he told me that I was Chicago’s favorite visitor and because of that he upgrade us to a corner twin room. And what a room … city , lake  and river view!! A FAB room.
My friend’s, Anna-Liisa (AL), first response was …. This room is bigger than my apartment.

So the start of our 10 US days couldn’t have been much better. It was so great to be back in the small big city with the bright lights.

First evening we had a very nice meal at “Pearl Tavern”, the place was nearly empty but the food was superb and so was the service.  AL had fantastic “Fish & Chips” and I went for a seared tuna salad. We had a fancy cocktail and a glass of very good sauvignon blanc. After all the hours we had been awake by then .. we didn’t need more to feel dizzy. When we came back to the hotel, ready for bed was it nearly 1am and we had been awake in over 20 hours.

Normally my body clock is okay when travelling to US, but this time … after 2,5 hours was I awake and alert again. But I got see the most stunning dawn … and see the city of Chicago waking up to a glorious day.

There was some mist in the horizon over Lake Michigan.

Our first day was most about visiting the Millennium Park with Pritzker Pavilion, Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate – after a bit disappointed breakfast at “Wildberry Pancakes and Cafes”. My last visit I had one of my best breakfast there, but the poached eggs was perfect. This time the park had an exhibition of Jaume Plensa’s gaint heads.

And of course Chicago was …. hot!!!!!! Not a cloud on the sky!

AL had a shopping list from her son and his family, so we started the chase in Chicago and we found one item at the Disney store and she found a pair of red ballerina at Nordstrom Rack. I found a silk tie, Kenneth Cole … to Anthony from us as thank you for the upgrade. And of course we both bought postcards.

We was early back on the hotel and had a good nap – went out again with the shopping list, but no luck. We took time to enjoy a great tea/coffee break at “Argo Tea Cafe”, before returning to the hotel for a second nap. 

During our nap …. a serious strom hit Chicago with rain and thunder.

The evening we had dinner with Heather, my blogging sister – and her mum Jessi, at “The Gage”, very busy and noisy place … great atmosphere and food – but it was very difficult to hear what we were thinking. AL had their special burger and I had a venison burger, a really good burger. AL liked hers too.

After we said goodbye to the ladies and a fantastic time together, we went back to the Millennium Park and the fabulous Crown Fountain and even went down to the Buckingham Fountain, a far long walk than I remember  … and we was lucky enough to be able to view the color display to the music preformed by Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the last 15 min. Breathtaking. My images don’t make the fountain display any justice.

Walking back to the hotel I thought I we would be able to walk through the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, but it was closed and we ended up in the dungeons under Wacker’s Drive, we both felt a bit uneasy plus there was no air down there.

But now I know why there is so little traffic on Wacker’s Drive … all cars goes underneath it where there is very few traffic lights. We walk and walked until the pavements disappeared and I saw stair up to the street level by Du Sable Bridge. It was a big relieve to be up in the bright lights again and the Chicago’s New Moon.

A magical start on a magical stay ….

“Big cities can have big hearts.”
Mary Elise Monsellchicago moon

42 thoughts on “chicago upgrade

    • It was great to see that the SAS direct flight was fully. So glad that more people are turning to Chicago those day. Truly great city. Thanks for your comment.

  1. Wow! Some fabulous shots here, Vivi, and I might have trouble keeping up with you on one of your jaunts! 🙂 Love the water music too!
    I just tried the t-shirt on with some white crops and did a twirl. It fits great! I’ll have to get Mick to take a pic. (before the tan fades- it’s gloomy here!) Thanks again! 🙂

    • Jo, I had to choice a cloud with CSO (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) – one of the most famous symphonic orchestras in the wold.
      So glad the T-shirt fits you … the girl in the gift shop at Lido had her head under the arm … I’m XXL when it come to French sizes. My friend got the wrong size too. Never laugh that much as we did when she tried to get hers on at the hotel that same night.
      Please, send me a picture. You will look FAB in anything.

  2. Oh, how I wish I could’ve joined you. Thanks for taking me home with your blog today. I miss it so. I love Buckingham Fountain. I have memories of my dad taking me there as a little girl. Sounds like your nap had perfect timing, so you wouldn’t get wet. Glad you had a nice time. Was it as hot as your last visit there?

    • Lori, I would have loved to share the city with you … what a fantastic place.
      If I had know that the music and color display was on .. I would have gone there straight after dinner and to the Crown Fountain afterwards. But we got a chance to see the display for 15 min. Stunning.
      It was hot .. but there was a little breeze this time. No 2012 was hotter.
      There is more post to come .. and we got some Chicago rain on us the following day, but we didn’t mind.

    • Thanks a lot … Chicago is so full of objects for the camera and my camera like Chicago too.
      I just felt I need Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the background for this post.

  3. Vivi – I am officially on a work ‘break’ from the blogs until early October, but reading of your wonderful experiences in Chicago I sent the same to three close Chicago friends last night who all have clapped your beautiful photography and loved your post! See you next month 🙂 !

    • Eha, great to hear from you … good on you to take a blogging break we all need that from time to time.
      How sweet to send on my post to your friends in Chicago and I’m very honored over that they like my images and writing. There is a lot more to come. *smile Have a great break. *smile

  4. Viveka – It sounds like you had a wonderful time, at least the start of your trip! I’m so glad — I know you’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time now. Can’t wait to hear more! The weather here has taken a sudden turn and it’s not cold — very fall-like but I’m quite happy. Wishing you well! Best, Danny

    • Danny, I always have a great time in Chicago …. not very difficult – great food .. great friendly and chatty people.
      There will be more from my visit!!
      I saw on the news from Vegas that you were going to be hit by much colder weather … I can understand that the heat has been tough on people in the city, so a little chill is always welcoming. We had an extremely hot summer too, but now the fall has arrived, but still sunny and pleasant. Lots .. Wivi

    • Nia, thank you so much for your lovely comment. A post card is the least I can do … for the VIP treatment you gave us when visiting your city.
      I hope there will be a chance for us to meet up in December … for lunch or something. Everything booked for “Christmas” in Instanbul now.

  5. I have been following you and suddenly I couldn’t find your blog – got dropped? I don’t know. Must be old age creeping up on me, albeit slowly. You’ve been to more places that I’ve been in Chicago, even places I wouldn’t dare to tread on. Glad you got out of there safely. I’ve only gone to Lower Wacker in my car but I like to see that exhibit at Grant Park. Thanks for the tip.

    You and Oscar has amazing eyes! Regards to AL.

    • Bebs, it happens to me too … blogs just drops. No worries.
      I think tourists see a lot more of the places than people who lives there. Next time will be my 5th visit . *smile Thanks again for our great time we had together and for taking so good care of our depature. Yes, Oscar likes Chicago too.

    • Karen, thank you so much for your lovely comment.
      Yes, the dinner with Heather and her mum, was great – but the place was a bit noisy so it was a bit hard at time to hear what was said. Two lovely and beautiful ladies .. in more than way.

  6. What fabulous experiences and photos of Chicago! It was wonderful meeting with you and AL for dinner. A great time! Loved all your travel stories (mostly about upgrades ; ) ). You have an excellent eye for photography too. xo H

    • Heather, thank you so much for the great evening … and for the lovely gift. I have to get a chain to it.
      Your mum, what a wonderful and beautiful woman … I can see where you got your beauty from. *smile
      How was the coffee. We had such a brilliant time in Chicago .. AL wants to come back too.

  7. You must be still sleeping, lovely one 🙂 A friend was in New York around the same time that you were away. Only 5 hours time difference but due to delays they missed a full night’s sleep and she is still catching up. 10 hour stretches of sleep! I can’t imagine that.
    Today your Vegas postcard arrived! You will bankrupt yourself! I’d better come to Japan with you to save you the expense (if only!). Hope you are well, Vivi, with no ‘after effects’. Hugs!

    • I have never been this messed up before … had a short night’s good sleep last night, but this afternoon I took a nap after my hospital visit – and slept for 6 hours. Now I will be awake the whole night again.
      I would love to have you coming along to Hong Kong and Japan – I don’t think you can keep an eye on my spending, but that doesn’t matter. At least I bought a T-shirt in Vegas that fits.
      Bed hugs ….

    • Thank you very much …. I don’t know if I’m that charming .. but I had a good float on my day. And it’s all about how an adventure starts … how the full experience will be.

    • Frank, thank you so much for your lovely comment … yes, I have to admit that I have a great playmate in Oscar. Chicago is so full of great subjects to play around with too .. 24/7. Glad that you like Chicago too. Was surprised that the flight was fully booked, I think and hope Chicago has become one of the new and trendy destinations for us Europeans. NYC is overrated in my eyes. But I can be spoiled. *smile

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