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Chicago

I grew up in Chicago. I was born at Cook County Hospital and spent my childhood there until my family relocated to Louisiana when I was 11 years old. Both of my parents, my grandmother and most of my extended family live in that area, so I visit pretty often. Lately, I go there frequently for work too, so between presenting and visiting family, I rarely get a chance to go sightseeing.

Willis Tower
So you know I was really excited when I had the chance to visit the Skydeck at the top of Willis (formerly Sears) Tower this week. It was Valentine’s Day–my 16th wedding anniversary, and I was in town to train some teachers. Don’t worry–I had a great anniversary breakfast with the hubby before I left. Since I arrived early, I met up with my program manager/ work buddy and we hit downtown at about 5 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. What a great time to go downtown! First of all, the traffic was heading out of the city, so we did not have to battle rush hour. Also, the lines to go up to the Skydeck were pretty tame. I highly recommend that you visit Willis Tower (or the John Hancock Building observatory) on a weeknight to avoid hordes of tourists. Additionally, going at this specific time allowed for a spectacular view of the sunset. I’m more of a beach sunset girl, but this is definitely a close second. I have traveled to lots of large cities, including London, Paris, New York, Houston and L.A., but Chicago, by far, has the most amazing skyline with lots of great modern architecture. I may be biased since this is my hometown, but I really believe that you haven’t seen a skyscraper until you’ve seen Willis Tower, the second-tallest building in the United States.

The “Ledge” at the Skydeck is a glass enclosure, including a glass floor, where you can get a really intense view from over 1,300 feet in the air. Although I was happy to take pics, I was not ready to step onto the glass floor! Maybe next time?

Giordano’s
A delicious Valentine’s dinner awaited us at Giordano’s which was conveniently located right across the street from the tower. Giordano’s is famous for their deep-dish pizza, which is a staple of the Chicago tourists’ menu. They make a great caesar salad too! Although I was unable to celebrate the evening with my husband, my work buddy, Julianne and I had a fabulous “Galentine’s” dinner complete with heart-shaped pizza.

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