Best week ever! Met my Grandkids in Chicago with much excitement. We all sensed we were going to be in for a special 5 days with Troy and Simone (my son and daughter-in-law). We weren’t disappointed. We did a lot and took lots of pictures so this blog will be a 2-parter.

We stayed at the incredible Park Hyatt Hotel right across the street from The Water Tower. We had the most magnificent room imaginable, and were welcomed so warmly. My grandkids thought they’d died and gone to heaven. It had stunning views of Lake Michigan, The Hancock building, Michigan Avenue and Water Tower Place. There was a kitchen with a Nespresso coffee machine and the fridge had fresh lemonade, jars of fresh fruit and melon balls, 5 flavors of homemade ice cream including Peanut butter malt which was the tastiest I’ve ever had. The bath tubs had windows that slide open so you could look into the bedroom and, in my room, I could sit in the tub and watch the big TV set in the bedroom. Gotta say the staff at the Park Hyatt could not have been more accommodating, and friendly. I swear, the best hotel experience ever!

Chicago’s Old Water Tower with Lake Michigan Sunday Boats in the background

Water Tower and Michigan Avenue bustling below

John Hancock Center once the tallest in the world outside New York City, now the sixth tallest in the world

A definite stop for my next visit. Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Lake Michigan in the background.

The first day we did a walking tour. Now you must understand: I have made a film in Chicago and gone there for many shows including Oprah, but it was usually in winter time when Chicago gets frigid or else I just flew in and out. I’ve never had a chance to explore the city in summer. It’s a different place in summer. People are so eager to shed clothes and soak in the sunshine and heat. Lots of skin and smiles. Right outside the hotel, we walked past the old landmark Water Tower and stared up at the John Hancock Building.

The famous Drake Hotel Hancock Center Towering behind

We walked over to what is known as Oak Street beach one of Chicago’s many beaches on the shore of Lake Michigan. It was quite crowded and people were even swimming in the frigid lake waters. This is not a private beach and open to everyone. In fact throughout the week I noticed how much of the city can be enjoyed for free by its residents. From the Lincoln Park Zoo to the 18 miles of Lakefront bike paths. Parks, Pavillions, Music, Fireworks all for the pleasure of the people.

Oak Street Beach. One of many free public beaches.

En route to the beach we passed some interesting murals

For those of you who don’t know this, Lake Michigan is huge, stretching 118 miles across and 307 miles long, it is bordered by Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. You can’t see the other side from the Chicago shore, so you feel as if you were at the ocean. It is one of the 5 great lakes which are: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Personal note: I broke my back at age 13 diving in Lake Ontario.

Continuing our walk we saw a lot of beautiful cathedrals including Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, and parts of the Northwestern University School of Law, which looks like a cathedral.

Fourth Presbyterian Church whom I’m told have a wonderful Christmas Eve program

Fourth Presbyterian Church

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