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Go Big or Go Home - CHICAGO!

Go Big or Go Home...it’s a phrase we hear often and can be likened to ‘go for it’ or ‘just do it’. I like the term – it’s been churning in my head since the moment we shoved off to ‘trip around the US’. If you don’t find the courage to experience, to make yourself vulnerable – then what’s the point? Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t go overboard and contribute to acts that may harm us, but we get pretty close to shocking the nervous system.

This past week we took to the Windy City and decided to take on the Skydeck at Willis Tower. This building used to be called the Sears Tower back in the 90’s when I lived there. I moved to Chicago fresh out of college in 1992. I lived there for about 8 years and loved the city completely – still do. My kids will tell you I find every chance I can get to go back! Funny enough, out all my years in Chicago, I never made it up the Sears Tower. It really wasn’t much of a spectacle like the Willis Tower is now. Sure people went up the elevator to capture a great view, but boy – they have made the Skydeck quite an event! An event we highly recommend to all who visit this fine city.

Before boarding the elevator up, you are exposed to ‘Chicago fun facts’; World-renowned architecture, fabulous dining haunts, and influencers like President Obama, Oprah, Michael Jordan, Harry Carey. The part we thought was spectacular were the multiple, 103 story views, of monumental landmarks. The views virtually compared to the Skydeck’s top floor view in the loop. As we stood on a virtual image of the Wrigley Field pitching mound, the image slowly took us up 103 stories – until looking down we saw not only all of the stadium and Wrigleyville, but also all of central Chicago. This interactive series also included the Millennium Park, North Beach, Navy Pier. There is a quaint movie reel explaining how Sears Tower was designed and all that went into making it the tallest building in the Northern Hemisphere. Our kids dig this part, they don’t have to read so much!

The elevator ride was a hoot – only 60 seconds and packed with more details about things that are as tall as the floor you passed, starting with a giraffe and ending with the Skydeck. Yes, our ears popped.

Once the doors opened we were on our way to visual candy. We were lucky – our views were spectacular. It might have been 2 degrees out, but that sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We were able to see a 360 Chicago-Land and it was out of sight! The neatest part of the view, were the top to bottom glass balconies. Here you were able to get great photo opps and some vertigoJ

The kids really enjoyed seeing ALL of Chicago this way. It allowed for me to point out all the places I worked and lived as well as the popular tourist stops.

We often get laughed at for incorporating the ‘cheesy tourist stops’ into this trip – but really, it’s been part of our mission all along. Go Weird or Go Home - We’re not rounding this nation for nothing!