Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More on the Windy City

We are still on our trip to Chicago and when we left off on Monday Mr. Fix-it and I were on a quest to visit the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Did you correctly guess that the building used to be called Sears Tower? I think most Chicagoans still call it the Sears Tower as we kind of got that impression while we were there. Neither Mr. Fix-it nor I knew its name had changed to the Willis Tower.
The wait to take the elevator to the top of the Willis Tower was about one hour long. Once we crowded onto the elevator it took only 60 seconds to climb all 103 stores to the top of the building! A recording said the ascent was at more than 20 feet per second if I can recall correctly. That was pretty darned fast! Here is a view from the top. Isn't it pretty? I have also visited the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris France and can tell you I much preferred the Willis Tower to the Eiffel Tower and for several reasons. Primarily the Willis Tower did not sway half as much as the Eiffel Tower. Also, getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower takes a much longer time than getting to the top of the Willis Tower. It is not such a short and sweet trip riding just one elevator up the Eiffel Tower. No, guests to the Eiffel Tower must ascend to a second or third level then wait for the elevator, then fight the crowds. European travelers are not as nice with lines as American are. In that you use a lot of elbows to maintain your spot in line or you will quickly fall to the end and not even know how it happened! The top of the Eiffel Tower is rather crowded as well. When Mr. Fix-it and I made it to the top of the Willis Tower it was not so very crowded at all. There was plenty of breathing room; for which I was grateful. 
Waiting to visit the SkyDeck on the Willis Tower did take a bit of time. Surprisingly enough though everyone who waited to precariously walk out into the plexiglass cube on the side of the Willis Tower was quite polite and considerate of one another while we all snapped photos of our loved ones. Mr. Fix-it tried really hard to get me to walk out onto the SkyDeck but I told him no in no uncertain terms. I am sure missing the experience will haunt me for the rest of my life but at the time I could not see putting myself through the ordeal of looking down 103 stories! You can see Mr. Fix-it had no problems looking down, but funny enough he gets scared climbing on our roof and I have to lead the way in order to get him to go on the roof!

An important note for veterans and active duty service members-your ride to the top of the Willis Tower is free. Be sure to let the ticket person know you have a military or veteran's identification card ahead of time. Both of our tickets were free but at only $17.50 the tour to the top of the building was quite reasonable.  
Not to be missed is the view looking down once you are on the SkyDeck. CAN YOU IMAGINE??

I had Mr. Fix-it take another shot of the nearby SkyDeck cubicle where you can really see just how precarious looking this cube is, but I have decided not to post it. The close ups of other people is not something I usually do on here. 

Can you imagine cleaning the windows on this building? A little tidbit about this building is that no one has to clean the windows! Engineers designed a robotic window cleaner that handily takes care of the task. 

Now we'll say goodbye to the Willis Tower and move on to the Lurie Garden. 
Here is a shot of a little out of the way seating area in Millenium Park. Can you spot the white box behind the tree? It is a beehive. We saw lots and lots of beehives not only in Chicago proper but in the Chicago Botanic Gardens too.
When we left the parking garage in Millenium Park (we parked our car here for $26 a day) we took a bridge that overlooks the Lurie Garden and I snapped a shot. The garden is actually located over the parking garage that housed our car. You'll see more of the garden on Friday. This blog is predominantly a garden blog but also serves as my scrapbook of memories. Visiting Chicago with my husband was a wonderful memory I shall treasure so of course I post it on this blog for easy access.
Another shot of Lurie Garden and the overlook to the Pavilion and Great Lawn....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Lovely views, but that third photo top to bottom gave me the creeps. I don't suffer from vertigo but to see him that close to the edge... Well... you know.

    Greetings from London.

  2. I am captivated by those pic on the Sears Tower. Yes, I shall call it that forever as that is what the building is to me. Ha.... I would have walked out onto the overlook although a bit careful with my steps though. I would think you to be much more safe and secure in this spot then on the Eiffel Tower! Knowing your fear of heights, I am shocked you went up on the Eiffel Tower. How funny the elbowing and crowding memories we have of Europe. I dont miss that part of Europe at all. Being a Southern gal that was taught manners, I found it a bit difficult to handle the crowds at times but learned to deal with it over time... Anyway, I just love how the gardens are right in the middle of the big city. Like the Atlanta Botanical Gardens if only I had gotten that shot before the battery died on me. LOL.... Mr Fixit looks great and relaxed but heck, he always looks relaxed to me. Kind of like another man I know...

  3. Lovely shot looking down through the glass floor. I love heights.

  4. That was a wonderful tour. I loved the way that Mr Fix-it looks so casual in that cubicle. I wouldn't get in it either. Thanks for taking us with you on your travels. It is the only way I would get to see.

  5. I cannot be in that elevator...but I love the view

  6. WOW! Fabulous views! The Sears Tower is well known to us too. it is very famous!! What a wonderful tour you had! I love to climb high towers and now I'm very curious about the robotic window cleaner. How cool!

  7. Oh Tina that is a wonderful post! I am not like you, i can't go up and see the bottom below my feet, although it is okay at the sides. My experience is with the Malaysian Tower and walking around with clear sides really takes my breath away! I laughed at your mention of coaching Mr Fix-it in climbing the roof, but not at the tower, hahaha! It might be different when people are looking, that's the secret. Thanks for this tour, as i wont be able to see that area.