gmhTODAY 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 98

Above photo taken from the Hancock Center. At 1,127 feet, it is the 4th tallest building in Chicago and 8th tallest in the U.S. 98 foundation into bedrock and super high strength steel they created a building 20 times taller than its base! Back at our hotel, The Silversmith, we caught up with our friends, had some lunch and wondered over to the Millennium Park which was just a few block away from our hotel. We viewed the closed-for-the-season Jay Pritzker Pavilion and wondered about in and out of the mysterious Cloud Gate, better know as the “Bean.” The sculpture is intriguing and disorienting, especially in the inside where the reflections mess with your mind. We then ventured down to the Crowd Fountain, the water was turned off for the season but the 40-foot-tall faces were still on. That evening we went to a cool jazz club restaurant called Bandera, right in the middle of the Michigan Avenue Miracle Mile shopping district. The music was good and mellow, and the food lived up to its reputation. We tested their legendary rotisserie chicken and skillet cornbread. Both were excellent. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN We woke up Saturday morning to rain. It was raining hard, so we opted for some indoor activities. Luckily our friend from Ohio, Kathy, had a wealth of knowledge and had done some extensive research on Chicago. We were fortunate also to be in town for “Open House Chicago,” a free behind-the-scenes access to over 200 buildings in Chicago. We had no intention of trying to make all 200 and the rain made it too difficult to even get to the several we had hoped to visit. We particularly enjoyed the restored Monroe Building with its beautiful lobbies and elevators and Pritzker Military Museum. From there we headed to the Art Institute Chicago, a not so free stop! This place is numbing —so many displays, exhibits and galleries. One could get lost in here and I thought I did several times! There are four levels, multiple buildings and about 30 different collections. I was especially impressed with Chagall’s American Windows and the Impressionists Gallery. We could have spent a week there and not seen everything. As our eyes were starting to gloss over in an FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018