Archive for the 'Chicago' category

Chicago – TheWit Hotel Review

| May 23, 2011 1:50 pm

During our stay in downtown Chicago, we stayed at theWit hotel and while we loved the location and had a great time, I have a few qualms about this hotel.

First, in my opinion, I would not characterize this hotel as family friendly.   There is a bar and club at the 27th floor of this hotel and it is prone to constant visitors traveling to and from the bar at all hours of the day.    The 27th floor is off limits to anyone under 21 except during certain times.

This hotel is fairly loud, partly because of the constant stream of visitors and yapping alcoholics, and I couldn’t help but notice that every floor has security cameras peering into every hallway of the corridors.   I began to worry that this hotel isn’t the safest hotel due largely to the large influx of visitors heading to the club on top.

The hotel is equipped is a bunch of money booby traps including a pressure control minibar that charges you $12 for opening the bar.   My bill has a $12 mini bar charge and we couldn’t figure out why it was there other than for just opening the fridge!   Internet access is $9.95 per day which is ridiculous considering the$349 nightly rate!   You can also expect to pay $46/day to park your car here.

Be forewarned, the city of Chicago is hostile toward visitors through incredulous taxation.  Sales tax is 11% on almost everything, hotel fees and surcharges easily add up to over $54 per night and did I mention there is a $46/day valet fee if you bring a car?

The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful and have no complaints about them but if you’re traveling with children, there are way better options for you in the city of Chicago.

Lastly, we ate at State Lake and would pass on this restaurant as the food was edible but nothing special to write home about especially if you’re interested in the $10 burger and beer special, just go across the street to Johnny Rockets and save yourself $60.




Chicago – Day 3

| May 22, 2011 6:48 pm

We started the day very early this morning as we had a two hour drive from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana to visit a graduating senior at Notre Dame.    We spend the better part of the day on campus and a nice photo collage will appear as soon as I get back and have adequate bandwidth to download the video and photo streams but for now here are a couple of memorable moments from our trip.

After spending most of our day at South Bend, we headed back to the hotel and went down for dinner at State & Lake and was disappointed with the food.     We decided to try to make up for the poor meal by walking over to Grant Park and strolling along Buckinham Fountain.


We headed back to the hotel in preparation for our departure the following morning.  We had a great time and I’ll write a review of our hotel stay soon.

The photos for our trip can be seen here.


Chicago – Day 2

| May 21, 2011 7:52 pm

After having a half-hearty breakfast courtesy of Dunkin Donuts, we took a cab to our first stop, the Willis Tower.    We waited in line for a few minutes then took the lift up to the observation deck.

The kids had fun checking out the city’s skyscrappers and daring to walk out on the transparent platform to get a better view of things down below.

After checking out Willis Tower we decided to hop on the double decker bus to ferry us around the greater Chicago area.   Our first stop was the planetarium where the kids got to try out their lunar legs amongst a few other things.

How high can you jump on the moon?

After finishing up at the planetarium, we went for a stroll in the park adjacent to the lake.

After the planetarium, we planned on visiting the Aquarium however the long line wrapping around the corner convinced us to move on to our next stop, the Navy Pier.


We had lunch at Bubba Gump’s and spent most of the day at the Navy Pier shopping and various attractions.  The kids were disappointed with the Maze as the 4800 square foot maze took less than 6 minutes to figure out!

More photos and videos will follow later….gotta run.

Chicago – Day 1

| May 20, 2011 8:54 pm

We arrived late in Chicago in the afternoon around 4:00 p.m. then headed to the car rental to pick up our car.   It then took almost two hours to get from the airport to downtown Chicago.  Traffic was brutal and pretty heavy but we tried to make the best of it.

After getting settled at our hotel, we decided to make the best of it and head out to dinner.  What else but to try the world famous Chicago deep dish pizza?   We walked over from our hotel to Giordano’s and ordered a medium deep dish pepporoni.   The kids were shocked at how deep this thing called deep dish pizza was tonight!

The kids didn’t dare to eat this monster but Lisa took a sample and liked it.    The kids opted for the usual spaghetti while marge and I dove deep into the deep dish.

Overall dinner was given the two thumbs up!

After dinner, we went out for a walk over to Millennium Park to discover the wonders hidden in Chicago….

This spectacular mirrored jelly bean (below) eerily reflects the Chicago skyline… the photo above shows the kids chilling in front of the Michigan Avenue section of Millennium Park.


After our stroll through the park, we headed over to take a stroll through downtown Chicago and stopped at the theatre to take a quick snapshot.


Our last stop for the evening as we headed back to the hotel for some rest…We’ll see what tomorrow brings!