My Chicago Experience: Fall Break 2018

By Kayleigh Cook, Reporter

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As someone who often fears discovering the unknown, visiting a city I had never been to simply terrified me. 

View of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan from the Adler Planetarium.

In my family, summer break is usually reserved for traveling around the United States while fall break is for our annual trip to Walt Disney World.

However, our usual fall break routine had to change when Greenwood soccer prevented us from having a full week for break.

Since we had games on Sept. 29, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2, players on the JV soccer team only had three weekdays to spend somewhere other than Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Luckily my dad, who works for Kentucky in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), had a conference on Oct. 3, allowing my family to travel to Chicago, Illinois for the rest of the week.

So on the morning of Oct. 3 my mom, dad, sister, and I packed the car and set off for the dreadful six hour drive.

After a lengthy drive we finally arrived in Chicago around 5:00 p.m. and checked into our hotel, the Hilton Chicago.

We had tickets to the Willis Tower, often referred to as the Sears Tower, which stretches 1,450 feet, or 110 stories, into the air.

On the 103rd floor there is a surprisingly popular tourist attraction called Skydeck Chicago. Skydeck Chicago is a completely glass box that extends over the edge of the Willis Tower. On a clear day one can see 50 miles in every direction with views of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. 

View of downtown Chicago from Skydeck Chicago on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower.

The Skydeck was definitely my favorite thing that we did in Chicago. Although it was scary, and not a good experience for someone with a fear of heights, the views were incredibly beautiful and worth every minute spent in the line.

After visiting the Willis Tower we wandered through downtown Chicago in hopes of finding the perfect deep dish pizza. After researching online we found Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, one of the oldest deep dish pizzerias in Chicago.

The pizza was divine and the atmosphere felt like we had time traveled back to an old restaurant in the 1940’s.

The next day my dad had his conference, so my mom, sister, and I explored the city on our own.


Deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in Chicago, Illinois.

The day started at Yolk, a breakfast and lunch restaurant on South Michigan Avenue. From crepes to french toast to hamburgers, Yolk had everything.


After eating delicious cinnamon roll french toast, we left the restaurant and walked about a mile to the Adler Planetarium. According to travel books you can see the best view of the Chicago skyline from the edge of the planetarium, and the books weren’t wrong.

The view was incredible. You could see hundreds of skyscrapers and buildings as well as the teal-colored water of Lake Michigan.

After gazing at the view we finally entered the planetarium.

American Gothic by Grant Wood on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.

As someone who is uninterested in planetary science, I was quite bored by the planetarium. However, if you find solar systems and stars interesting, I highly recommended visiting the Adler Planetarium.

Afterwards we went to the Shedd Aquarium, which was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. Sadly, parts of the aquarium was closed due to the colder weather, so we missed out on many of the cool exhibits.

We then met up with my dad outside of the aquarium and walked along Lake Michigan until we reached the Art Institute of Chicago, stopping at the Buckingham Fountain along the way.

The Art Institute had multiple famous paintings that were fascinating to look at including American Gothic by Grant Wood. 

Cloud Gate, or “the Bean”, in Millennium Park in Chicago.

The next day we visited the Field Museum and the Navy Pier, a 3,300-foot-long pier filled with shops, restaurants, and a giant ferris wheel.

That afternoon we took a very interesting cab ride to Millennium Park where we visited the famous Cloud Gate, or more commonly referred to as “the Bean”.

Overall my first trip to Chicago was amazing. It was definitely different than my usual fall break, but I enjoyed every minute of it!

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