Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicago : The so called Winter Trip

Typically, people will have their winter vacation at warmer places. In case for the Americans, they will fly south to Florida or other Caribbean and South American countries in the process of their escapism from the wild freezing winter in up north.

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But we did vice versa. We went to the Midwest for our winter trip, specifically The Freaking Freezing Chicago. The city is well-known as The Windy City, and I must say, that is the best descriptive nick name for this city.

The Famous Sears Tower. Used to be the tallest building in the world, before being overtook by our Petronas Twin Tower.

The City of American 44th President, Barrack Obama, and where the TV daytime talk show mogul operating her show, Oprah Winfrey. And if you still remember, Al Capone who was the King of Notorious Streets in Chicago back in 1920s.

The Face at Millenium Park. It is a graphic wall that change faces every minutes in reflection of the diversity of Chicago

It is windy all year round, maybe because of the city is located just at the shore of Michigan Lake. In winter, the wind and gust PLUS the subzero temperature, it is a lethal combination for us.

The Cloud Gate at the Millenium Park. I called it a butang, but my wife didn't agree. She said, it doesn't look like butang at all. Got what butang like that, a rare butang it is =))

We just didn't bother about it, and armored with thermal pants and 4 layer of shirts and covered with the thickest winter jacket plus snow boots, we got ourselves ready to explore the city. And we did it eventhough it was -10 deg celcius at our first day touring around the city.

The Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian born British artist, Anish Kapoor. He was inspired by liquid mercury in designing this sculpture and the sculpture reflection is big enough for you to take picture with the city background as your wallpaper. Cool.

The Frozen Lake at Chicago Harbor. There was no one there when we were walking at the lakeside. Maybe it was the office hours or maybe it was too cold. I don't know but we enjoyed ourselves.

But too bad, the weather were not really in our favor when we were there. It was cloudy & snowy during the whole trip. The sun was too shy to come out and help us out to get the nice & bright pictures of Chicago. Too Bad.

at Butler Field with the backgroud of the Loop, Chicago Downtown

The Wringley Building. Built by William Wringley Jr., the chewing gum magnate in 1920 and the first air-conditioned office building

Hence most the pictures taken are gloomy. Well that is the price we need to pay since it is winter, and it is not advisable to visit the city in this season. We just wanted to feel how winter is like in Chicago anyway. And we got what we want =) A gloomy, freezing and wet trip.

The historical Water Tower Building. Built in 1869 as the 2nd water tower in United States after the one at Louisville.

The chilly weather didn't stop us to explore the city eventhough we didn't cover the entire city but we managed to stroll around The Loop or The Downtown, then Millenium Park and Chicago Harbor Area before walking up to the Magnificent Mile Shopping Haven, at The North Loop on the first day.

Chicago Cruise at Chicago River. We were told the best way to explore the city is by the water taxi river cruise. So we planned to take the water taxi to have a city architectural building tour but the service was freezed because of the frozen river. Darn it.

The frozen river. And no water taxi for us. Now you know what I meant.

The second downtown trip we covered the South Harbor including The Planetarium, Hedd Aquarium, Butler Park & Grant Park, then to Chinatown. Next up all the way to the North, to the famous Navy Pier.

The double decker Metra train suburban bound. The one we took to go to downtown from Schaumburg with 40 minutes ride each. Very comfee and punctual one.

The train upper deck view

While waiting for the bus at downtown, heading to South Harbor

At Adler Planeterium at South Harbor. They charged entrance fee for USD25 per entry, but that day it was free!

The Chicago Aquarium at South Harbor with the background of the downtown

Hot dog stall at Grant Park. I like New York hotdog more.

Chicago Metro Subway to Chinatown.

The entrance of Chicago Chinatown. I don't know why, but we found out this Chinatown is way cooler and slowpace than other Chinatown we have been including New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia's Chinatown.

The main street of Chicago Chinatown

It was so cold, even the durian at Chinatown is frozen. We never tasted the frozen durian. It looks so not inviting. heh.

We crashed at my friend's family place in Schaumburg, which is about 30 minutes ride from Downtown. A very friendly and lovely couple, Sam & Bejak with their 2 adorable daughters, Mya, 6 & Sheryl, 4.

The Sam & Bejak's place in Schaumburg.

The husband is from the same kampung with me back in Kuching but currently working as an engineer in Chicago. It was good to have somebody you know from the same kampung, here in this foreign continent. Talking about our hometown and the people, just like old days =)

Waiting for Mya's school bus in front of the apartment

It was a very chilly 10 days trip and we enjoyed it very much. We also had 5 hours roadtrip to Fort Wayne, the 2nd largest city in Indiana, visited my wife's friend who is studying there. I will upload more regarding the trip.

The view of Sam & Bejak's backyard from Mya & Sheryl bedroom window. There is supposed to be a lake but it was covered by snow and frozen ice.

Mya at Fort Wayne City Hall, Indiana.

For the time being, I just wanna rest and recharge, enjoy lying on my long missed futon at home. Yeah, there is no other place like home!

Especially when you have been away for too long =)) At least Philly is not as cold and windy like Chicago, which is around -2 to 4 deg celcius [only] =)). Anyway, Philly Rock!


  1. This really brings back memories..! Fifteen years ago I was in the middle of my degree in Terre Haute, Indiana and my friends & I would go to Chicage once in a while. Once, we went rollerblading by the lake and when heading back, my, I nearly couldn't move forward as the wind was so strong! I think it's a beautiful city :)
    Nice photos..!

  2. Hi SOHO Mama

    Yeah, Chicago is a very beautiful city i must say. Im sure it is more scenic in Spring or Summer. I bet you had fun doing your undergrads there =) IYou should come back here, visiting your alma meter =)

    You take care now.

  3. best eh mun dpt pergi sinun..jeles mek nangga kitak haiyaa

  4. Mun ada rezeki, sampei juak ktk mana2 tempat ktk maok Jud. InsyaAllah =)

  5. Hi, syooooooknya. I wanna go there too some time in the future :) I can feel the chill just by looking at the picture :)

  6. Yo FREEZE Master, only crazy Malaysians go north for their vacation haha. Noticed the emptiness in the streets, they were all probably in Florida. But good experience for you guys, windy and sub-zero - really "hot chocolate" kind of weather.

  7. Hello Brenda

    Yeah, it was syok, but after being on the open space & streets from 9am till 7pm, you may get numb and you start to sniffle non stop ahhaha.

    I dont recommend you to go to Chicago in winter. Go in Spring and Summer instead. At least its colorful & lively =)

  8. Zen,

    Huh? Freeze Master? haha never thought of it but it was a freezing experience alright. We ever had winter sightseeing before in DC & North Carolina, and this time Chicago, it was fun and something different.

    But it comes with cost, now my significant other is having cold & flu, dok tidur layan drowsy mkn ubat flu & batuk =) Thankgoodness Im ok and yeap, having the hot choc is the best thing to do right now.

  9. sama ka rasa mun mek ngkah durian dlm peti ais oww? hehehe..kacak eh...mejin ndah nangga mek tok bkn jenis suka sejuk..keruk otak..

  10. BS,

    sik sama lalu rasa kmk. durian sitok stok bila nak kah pun durian ya. sik fresh. kmk pun sik suka sejok, tapi dah sampei tempat urang, sikkan nak merap d bilit ajak. maok sik maok. kuar juak kayo2 =))


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