Monday, May 24, 2010

Navy Pier

Yesterday we took a drive into downtown to Navy Pier as the Green Festival was going on and I have wanted to check that out for three years now. We are located south of Midway Airport right now so we passed by it on Cicero Street. When a plane is coming in from the south it is definitely right above the street and not very high up either. It rather looks like the plane is going to land right on top of you. The drive in was rather quick and easy but of course on the way back we hit stop and go traffic all the way.

Navy Pier itself is neat in a touristy kind of way and is the Number 1 tourist attraction in Chicago. Parking in the ramp was a flat rate of $24 no matter how long you stayed and they must have made out like bandits yesterday as one ramp was already full by noon and we had to go to the 5th floor to find a spot in the other. They have a nice set up though, with pay kiosks on the ground floor where you can pay for the parking. Then when you leave you just put the ticket into the slot, the gate opens and off you go. That, of course, was the only fast and efficient thing in the whole area. You are able to rent bikes and 4 person bikes on the pier but I think it is a disaster waiting to happen. The bikes are weaving in and around the pedestrians and someday somebody is going to lose control and smack into someone and hurt them badly.
We decided to take one of the boat tours that you can find on the pier and Bill wanted to go up the Chicago River into the city rather than out on the lake. Tickets were $28.50 a piece which I found to be a bit steep for an hour boat ride but after all it's Chicago. The bad part was the tour guide blabbling the entire time about architects and architectual eras. The good part was seeing the skyscapers up close. We don't care how high you live in your glass enclosed penthouse, we still wouldn't want to have to deal with your traffic and congestion as well as the weather off of Lake Michigan in January!

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