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Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up

Paws for Beer 2014 Travel Wrap Up
Boomer headin’ west on the Oregon Trail

With this being the last post of the 2014 year I wanted to recap my travels of the year. Honestly I had a great year for traveling despite loosing my job in April. I have a new job, but the pay and vacation time will be difficult to keep me on pace with what I am familiar with (and should I say comfortable with).

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Boomer Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

Chicago Solo Trip Recap

Chicago Solo Trip
Skyline view of Chicago

Chicago had been on my list of places to visit for a long time. The cost of getting there and it being a gigantic city deterred me for many years but I am glad I got over my fears and took the trip. Although getting lost every day was frustrating I was able to find my way most of the time without help and that gave me confidence in my ability to travel solo. I will forever remember my trip to Chicago as it was a true adventure filled with public transportation mishaps, questionable weather and amazing architecture.

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Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

Millennium Park, Chicago Illinois

Millennium Park Chicago
The Bean or Cloud Gate in Millennium Park Chicago

In 1997 Millennium Park was developed, sprucing up a spot in Grant Park that needed a little TLC. This 24.5 acre park is beautifully landscaped while being sprinkled with art sculptures that encourage the playful child in you.

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Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

Finding Sue at The Field Museum, Chicago Illinois

the field museum Chicago Illinois
Sue the T-Rex

For my first solo trip I went to South Dakota back in 2012. While I was there I stopped in Hill City, specifically at the Museum at Black Hills Institute. I had mistakenly heard that Sue, the most complete T-Rex fossil ever found, was housed there. Although she was there at one time, she had since been moved to The Field Museum in Chicago. The Black Hills Institute had Stan, a smaller, yet still impressive T-Rex on display.  Not to make Stan feel bad or anything, but I left the museum a little sad that I had missed Sue.  

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Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

I Tilt Out at the Chicago 360 in the Hancock Tower, Chicago Illinois

tilt chicago john hancock
view from Hancock Tower

There is a friendly argument in Chicago; who has the better view. Is it the Hancock Tower or the Willis Tower? I went to both buildings while I was in Chicago.  Although the Willis Tower is taller I happened to agree with the Hancock folks – the view is better.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Tours Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

All Wright 2014 House Walk, Oak Park Illinois

Frank Lloyd Wright Tours Chicago
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park Illinois

This year was a milestone year for the Frank Lloyd Wright House Walk Tour in Oak Park Illinois. It was the 125th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and the 40th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

I had always wanted to attend a FLW House Walk Tour but never thought I would make it to Chicago to do so. Chicago was a scary big city, expensive to get to (it’s actually cheaper for me to fly to the east coast than to Chicago) and I was positive no one would want to spend an entire day traipsing though a bunch of FLW homes with me.

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Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise Photo Essay

Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise
Looking at the Willis Tower from the Chicago River

We have been having some weird weather this year. I came to realize this when I was in Chicago this May and it snowed. Snow in May – Seriously?

So on the day that it snowed I had pre-booked a Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise. As I boarded the boat I figured I was tough enough to handle the cold air and crappy weather. I have spent plenty of days aboard a fishing boat in North Idaho on freezing cold days – how could this be much different? Check out that photo below. I was outside on the deck of the boat that day. YIKES right?

Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise
An icy day out on the lake
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Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago Illinois

Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago Illinois
The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago Illinois

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world
-Abba

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Frank Lloyd Wright Tours Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

The Rookery Building, Chicago Illinois

Rookery Building Chicago Illinois
Rookery Building Chicago Illinois

In 1871 The Great Fire of Chicago ripped through the city leaving massive destruction in its path. As the city began to rebuild the architects pushed the envelope with new innovative structures. The Rookery Building was one of those structures. Daniel Burnham and John Root were commissioned in 1885 to design a building for the Central Safety Deposit Company. Burnham and Root’s building was inclusive of metal framing, fire proofing (can’t really blame them, right?), an elevator and plate-glass. The Rookery stood at an impressive 11 stories tall, the tallest building in Chicago at the time. The Rookery is now considered the oldest standing skyscraper in the city of Chicago.

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Illinois Solo Travel USA Mid-West Travels

Tracking Ferris Bueller at The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller