Our second day in the Windy City proved to be as enjoyable as our first day even though it was much shorter. After breakfast at our hotel, we lugged our luggage to Union Station, where our train was departing later in the day. The boys had quite an education in early morning traffic in a big city, as we passed iconic buildings such as Willis Tower, Trump Tower, and Chicago’s Federal Reserve. At Union Station, we were able to put our luggage in short term storage for $10 per bag. We weren’t thrilled to pay the fee, but we reasoned exploring the city for a few hours without our luggage was worth $20.
My vote for our free time was riding to the top of the Willis Tower. Since our boys aren’t fans of heights, we settled for posing for pictures in front of the Lego version in the lobby. As we left the lobby, we were able to give the boys another important lesson in ticket scalping, when we were approached by a gentlemen selling tickets.
Our next stop was the Federal Reserve of Chicago’s Money Museum. In this free, interactive attraction, we learned about the American dollar and the Fed’s role in helping banks operate. Even though the museum is small, I was impressed with the range of interesting and informative displays for all ages. Some of our favorite activities included spotting counterfeit money and designing our own dollar bill. Moreover, we were able to see what a million dollars looks like, learn when money is shredded, and be a bank manager in an interactive simulation. My boys also enjoyed the free souvenir: shredded money.
Before returning to the train station, we decided we needed to finally sample Chicago’s deep dish pizza at the popular Giordano’s. The boys and I had never had deep dish pizza and we were excited for our first taste. Unfortunately, my older son was not able to have the deep dish pizza, as he is gluten free. He did enjoy the gluten free thin crust pizza that Giordano’s offers. The rest of us ordered the lunch special, which included salads and a personal deep dish pizza. We all enjoyed our pizzas and were happy to have the experience, but agreed that deep dish pizza won’t become our new Friday night standby. We are still loyal “thin crusters.”
The final stop of our Chicago adventure was back to Union Station to retrieve our luggage for our train departure. Even if you aren’t traveling by train, Union Station is a great stop for the majestic architecture and wonderful people watching. Before boarding the train, we even had a few minutes to learn about the role of Chicago’s Union Station in movies from the display erected in the lobby.
As we left the Windy City behind, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. We had only briefly sampled what the city had to offer. Yet, I was filled with anticipation as the train sped to Michigan, what would our next adventure hold?