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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Until Next Time, Chicago! – US Explorer

US Explorer - Cubs Game

US Explorer - Cubs Game

Welcome back US Explorer Parents!

Our three incredible days in the windy city, Chi-Town, or the city you may know as Chicago has come to an end. Who wouldn’t be excited to stay at the Omni, located right on Michigan Avenue? After rolling into Chicago, we ate a delicious dinner at West End Bar and Grill. This great food got us ready for the much-anticipated Blue Man Group! Many trip members had no idea what to expect and they were amazed walking into the theater full of wacky tubes and loud music to get everyone pumped up. We were all seated in the first three rows, also known as the splash zone. Everyone put on the ponchos that were distributed on each seat in order to get ready. During the hilarious performance, Alec and Jon got splashed with the mashed up banana! The Blue Man Group also created a canvas painting full of pink and orange splatter paint that was handed out to Lily! We all had a blast especially at the dance party that ended the performance. After the show, Lainie, Matt Z, and many other trip members were able to get a photo with the group!

Our second day in Chicago was jam-packed with incredible activities from morning ‘til evening! We started off the morning with a wonderful breakfast at the Corner Bakery, right next to Northwestern University. After eating at this cozy outdoor café, we explored the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. We were all amazed to see the huge submarine inside the museum! Jared and Ben got to experience what a tornado would feel like inside the high-wind tornado booths. Zach, Max and Ross also loved the head massage mechanisms that gave them the goose bumps. After lunch, we spent the afternoon cheering on the hometown Cubs versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. After snapping some pictures in front of the iconic red Wrigley Field sign, we went inside to grab our seats and watch some baseball! It was an exciting game with three home runs! In the end, we were all smiles after the Cubs defeated the MLB-leading Pirates. After an exciting day at the ballpark, we dined at the famous Gino’s for Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza. At the end of the meal, the staff surprised the kids by pretending it was Jacob’s birthday and celebrating with brownies and balloons! To finish off our amazing day, we went all the way to the top of the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). We were all stunned by the incredible nighttime view of the city of Chicago. There were also glass boxes in which we were able to stand out on top of a glass floor over the city. Ally loved the view and was actually jumping with excitement!

Our third day in Chicago was our time to explore Chicago even more and truly enjoy the Chicago city life! We began the day with a fantastic breakfast at Starbucks. We then took a bike tour all around the downtown core of Chicago. We were able to see many different sites throughout our bike tour around Lake Michigan. Many members got to see giraffes and zebras at the zoo halfway through the ride. Zach and Greg were singing the Go Cubs Go theme song from the day before throughout the ride. Even the mud puddle didn’t affect Julia S’ spirits during this fantastic tour! Afterwards, we all went over to the Navy Pier where there were endless lunch options. We then had some free time to explore Michigan Avenue, more commonly known as Magnificient Mile. While walking around exploring this strip, Mike, Ross, Jared, Matt A, and Alec spotted the famous comedian Chris Davis while at Niketown. We then ate dinner at Flat Top Grill where trip members got to create their own stir-fry bowls. Afterwards, we headed to the Second City comedy club for some fun-filled laughter. This comedy club has seen many famous comedians pass through their doors such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. During the performance, Sydney D was asked for a topic for a part of the improv skit! Later on, we were all jumping out of our seats when one of our trip’s morning songs was referenced! The show ended with a special treat – Scott Adsit, an actor on 30 Rock (who played Pete) surprised the audience with an improv skit after the show. Mike and Ben were able to get a photo with him after the show!

We have said our goodbyes to Chicago and the luxurious Omni hotel. We will hold these memories close to our hearts as we venture across America. It’s now time to continue on our mid-west voyage. Bring on Minneapolis!

-The Westcoast Blogger