Monday, June 16, 2014

Chicago's Magnificent Mile

This week we flew into Chicago for my husband to attend the annual AMA meeting 
held at the the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. 

In the below photo we see the skyline of Chicago from a taxi as we are driving into the city.

We arrived at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the middle of downtown Chicago.
In the below photo is a view from the hotel window.
The boats you see down on the Chicago River are tourist sightseeing boats.

The AMA meeting is a huge meeting addressing medical issues and patient care.

While my husband attended his meetings I had the great pleasure of taking my camera and trying to capture some sights of this beautiful American city.  I chose to take my point and shoot camera, because it is so much easier to pack and carry while traveling.

Walking across the Michigan Avenue Bridge from the hotel I spotted another tourist 
sightseeing boat going down the Chicago River.

Chicago is the 3rd most populous city in the United States after New York and Los Angeles,
with over 2.7 million residents.

In the below photo is a view from the other side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

Just across the bridge it is not hard to spot The Wrigley Building shown in the below photo, which was used as the company headquarters for Wrigley Chewing Gum Company back in the 1920s.

Walking across the bridge the wind was blowing these flags in the below photo to where they were almost standing straight out.  We have all heard Chicago called "the windy city" and on this day it sure was true.  They said the wind was blowing about 20 mph.

There are many skyscrapers located in the city of Chicago.  In the below photo you can see the Trump Tower which is the second tallest building in Chicago, and the third tallest in the United States.  The "Trump" name on the building features 20 foot high letters, and as you can see,  the last letter "P" has not been completed and put in place.

There is so much to see walking along the famous Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue.  The city has placed little mini-gardens all along the entire mile and they are all a pretty sight to see.

This particular garden-planter had,  of all things,  beautiful Orchids growing in the planter.

These pretty planters were located on both sides of the street 
for the entire length of the Magnificent Mile.

Many of the restaurants along the way also had beautiful flower-filled planters.

Walking along the Magnificent Mile I spotted this silver colored street entertainer.  Many folks were stopping and having their photo made with her.  Every once in awhile she would move around and stand in a different pose.  I think she was supposed to look like a statue, but it was easy to tell she was a real human,  even when she was standing perfectly still.

The entire length of the Magnificent Mile has over two hundred shops with just about everything you can think of available.  There are also upscale hotels along the way and many wonderful restaurants.  It is quite a treat to walk the whole mile and window shop.

One of the windows that really caught my eye was the display window at Crate and Barrel.

My favorite store of all to go into is the Polo Ralph Lauren at the corner Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue.  Somehow I failed to snap a picture of that beautiful store.

In the below photo is Garrett's Caramel Corn shop.  As you can see there is a long line waiting to get in the door.  Yes, we did have to get some of that delicious Caramel Corn to take home to the grand-kids.


I love to see the horses that pull the tourist carts.   They are so big and strong and so pretty. This photo was taken with the zoom part of the camera from across the street, therefore you can't see them real well from this distance.

I thought about taking a taxi back to the hotel, but as you can see,  walking was 
definitely faster than taking a taxi because of the heavy traffic that was hardly moving.

In the below photo is one of Chicago's landmarks, The Old Chicago Water Tower Building which was built back in 1869.   The tower was used for pumping water from Lake Michigan for firefighting.  The tower is now used for the Chicago Office of Tourism art gallery.

There are over 6,000 restaurants in the Chicago area.  With so many to choose from, we decided to select a restaurant within walking distance of our hotel.  The hotel Concierge recommended Shaw's  Crab House. We very much enjoyed Shaw's Crab House on the first evening of our stay in Chicago.

With the thought in mind of finding another restaurant within walking distance of the hotel the McCormick and Schmick's restaurant came highly recommended.  On the second evening of the meeting we enjoyed this seafood and steak restaurant very much.

Have you ever eaten at a P. F. Chang's restaurant?  This is a chain restaurant.  Our daughter told us about this restaurant and said if we ever had the opportunity to eat there that we must order the "Lettuce Wraps"  appetizer.

This restaurant was within walking distance, but a long walking distance.  On this particular evening the rains had begun to fall along with the temperatures.  It was about 58 degrees, wind blowing and raining too.  We borrowed umbrellas from the hotel and took off walking in the rain and wind.  It was fun to feel like a teenager again, but we were glad to finally arrive at the restaurant.

The below photo does not show how delicious these lettuce wraps are. I went looking on the Internet for the recipe for these Lettuce Wraps and found what they call a copycat version of the P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps.  I included the recipe below just in case you do not have a P. F. Chang's Restaurant near you and would like to try them.

Lettuce Wraps served at the P. F. Chang's Restaurant in Chicago.

Copycat P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Serves: 6-8 lettuce wraps
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch green onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • Iceberg, Bibb or butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and drained
  • Soy sauce, hoisin, spicy mustard sauce for dipped (optional)
  • Roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
  1. In a medium skillet on medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add the ground chicken and cook until it is cooked through. With a spatula, break it up into small chunks as it cooks (it will resemble ground beef). Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha sauce until completely coated.
  3. Fold in water chestnuts, green onion, sesame oil, and peanuts, if desired. Salt to taste.
  4. Serve in a lettuce leaf and top with hoisin, soy sauce, or spicy mustard.

 In the above photo is a beautiful old clock we walked past on our way back to the hotel.  

We enjoyed our stay in the beautiful city of Chicago.  The AMA meeting was a good one for my husband and his associates. I enjoyed walking around the charming city taking in the sights and sounds and trying to capture some of the beauty of the city with my camera.

There is so much to see and do in this amazing city of Chicago.  There are interesting museums, parks and theatres.

Thanks for coming along with me as I walked down the beautiful Magnificent Mile along Michigan Avenue.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the sights as much as I did.

As we begin a whole new week I wish you happy and blessed days wherever you may be.

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