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Hey there! Welcome to my series of blog posts about our recent trip to Chicago, IL for Christmas. In case you’re just joining in or are a first time reader, we live in North Carolina but my husband, Clayton and I are originally from Chicago, IL. All of our family still lives in the Chicago area so we traveled up there for 13 days to celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year! A few days before Christmas, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary (geesh, we are getting old!!) and so my hubby surprised me with an overnight stay downtown Chicago, kid free!! **awesome!! You can catch up on the first parts of our stay HERE and HERE.
We really didn’t have any plans other than to do whatever the heck we wanted since we were kidless! Woot woot! (I love my kids, I promise! But being a stay at home mom and living 1,000 miles from our closest family member = no alone time ever!!) So when we were visiting my brother at work he told us that we should head to the John Hancock building but rather than pay the $18.45 per person to go to the observation floor on the 94th floor, we should go up to the Signature Room and grab a drink and some food. Not only is going up there free, but it’s also 1 floor higher – at the very top! 95 floors high! (eek!) So that’s just what we did!
The John Hancock building is located in downtown Chicago and is 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile, a large area of shopping, restaurants and more! It’s definitely a spot you have to visit if you ever go to Chicago.
Fun little piece of family history – my parents had their first kiss at the top of the John Hancock building back when they were 17 and 18 years old! (a loooong time ago considering they got married the next year and have now been married 45 years!)
Clayton and I headed up to the Signature Room on the 95th floor! The elevator ride only takes 45 seconds! **make sure you chew gum or keep swallowing to avoid your ears popping!
The elevators are a really pretty gold and there is an attendant running the elevators ushering only so many guests to enter every ride.
Immediately coming off of the elevator you have beautiful views of Lake Michigan!
Lake Michigan is so huge it looks like the ocean since you can’t see land on the other side.
There are a few seating areas along with a full lounge. Just a warning – the prices for drinks and food is super expensive … kind of makes up for the fact that you didn’t have to pay to ride the elevator up.
We sat almost next to the window and had the most gorgeous views…sunset views!!
Some of these photos are actually from the women’s bathroom! They were the absolute best!!
This whole “strip” with the ferris wheel is Navy Pier. When I was 20 and Clayton was 21 (haha again sooo long ago!) we came down to Navy Pier for New Years Eve fireworks – it was an experience I will never forget! It was so insanely crowded, like claustrophobic!
The outside of the John Hancock building was decorated so beautifully with lighted trees.
Once we were done at the Hancock building we walked back by the Water Tower Place (which you can read about HERE)
Isn’t it so gorgeous?!?!?
Then before we headed to dinner we stopped into a little shop selling all Chicago Cubs World Series Championship apparel! So fun! Go Cubbies!
So there you have it! There’s the classic John Hancock building! If you’re ever in the area make sure you check it out!
Here’s a sneak peak from where we went to dinner…leave a comment if you know where we ate at!