Friday, September 24, 2010

Getting high in Chicago

Hopefully, no one arrives at this post while searching for another kind of "high"! Here we are talking elevation high. First, don't miss an opportunity to snap a photo from the plane as you fly over. I always have my point and shoot camera ready just in case there is a good shot to be had. Hopefully, I am not breaking the "no electronic devices" rule, but I haven't crashed a plane yet with my little camera.

I shared a photo of the "ledge" at the Sears tower in my first post about Chicago. Jim and I did that together but I decided that I just could not pass up the opportunity to go up in the John Hancock Building on such a beautiful, clear sky day as we had on Friday. I had always done this building at night to capture the fireworks that are shot on Saturday night, but I decided to give it a shot in the daylight. For four more dollars I could have returned for a night shot within 48 hours, which is a great deal. (Little did I know that that same evening I would be walking back down there to dine at Ditkas.) I was not disappointed. Since this building is closer to the lake, you get better shots of the water and Navy Pier. Of course, it gives you an opportunity to get an up high shot of the Sears Tower also. Allison told me she prefers the view from the Hancock over the Sears Tower and I think I agree. If in doubt, do them both! Or at least do the upgrade at the Hancock to see it in daylight and at night (especially if you are there for the fireworks....we left Saturday late afternoon so I missed the fireworks).

They have an area where you can walk out to a screened area and actually hear the sounds of the city and feel the wind at this altitude. More sensory opportunities are always good for me. There is also a window washing prop where you can have someone snap a photo of you so it looks like you are washing the windows with the view in the background.
Take photos of the scenery, but also step back and record the whole scene, which includes the windows from the observatory. The Hancock Building also has free earphones and taped descriptions of what you are seeing. The Sears Tower has panoramic shots telling you what you are looking at, but I liked the earphones at the Hancock. The Sears Tower does have a lot of historical and interesting information on the inside walls if you take the time to read that.

We also saw the city from high up on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. In some of the shots I took from up here, I included the rails and lights of the Ferris Wheel, just to give that perspective. It's digital....take a lot of photos! There is always the delete button! On the Ferris Wheel, you are on a moving object with low light, so you are going to have some deletes. The Ferris Wheel goes slowly and you get only one trip around for six bucks, but it was worth it.

I think we caught all the high locations except for the big white balloon that was floating over the water. You always have to leave something for the "next" trip! LOL! Guess I missed out on getting to go to the Oprah show, but I still have the botanical gardens and zoo to check out! The Springer show is taped in the NBC building near our hotel, but I don't know if I could stomach that! Some people wrote that they could not stomach the ledge at the Sears Tower, but that didn't bother me in the least.
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