Today was a pure Chicago day on vacation. It was great.
We walked a few parks to Millennium Park and first ate the lunch we brought. The boys splashed in the Crown Fountain for at least a half an hour and were sufficiently cooled off in the humid Chicago summer day. We headed over to the Bean and took a lot of pictures there, then began the walk to the Sears Tower, now named the Willis Tower. We were warned it would take about an hour to get to the observation deck -- we weren't the only people thinking 103 floors above the city was a good way to beat the heat -- but the line didn't seem long, thanks to the interactive displays that kept patrons entertained (as well as a15-minute movie in that broke up the wait).
When we finally reached the top, the boys were enthralled by the views. Heck, I was enthralled by the views. I hadn't been up on the Sears Tower observation deck since high school -- in fact, the last time I went I was on my own, having to go downtown for a deposition for an accident I witnessed in 1985. That day, I stayed up there gazing at the city for an hour, not having to deal with much of a crowed. Today, we had to deal with crowds, and the boys weren't quite entranced about picking out parts of the city as I was. We got to go out on the glass ledge, on which Ben was brave and Michael and I were a little nervous. Finally, we took the elevator back down to work our way back home.
I hope the boys enjoyed their day downtown. I told them downtown Chicago is unique, much different than downtown Salt Lake City. They probably have never seen so many people on sidewalks, working in one small part of a city, striving to make it through the day and return home. They are probably not used to seeing so many different types of people, either. This is what vacation in Chicago is all about.