Thursday August 11: Sears Tower and Cirque du Soleil

When we came to Chicago last summer we didn’t have time to get to Willis Tower, so that was high on our agenda for this trip. I’m not fond of heights but I figured I’d try stepping out on that plexiglass ledge 103 stories above Wacker Ave. When the Willis corporation bought the Sears tower, they also got the naming rights for 15 years. They are four years into the deal, and since I’ve known it as the Sears Tower for most of my adult life,  I’ll just use the names interchangeably.

We also had tickets for the Cirque du Soleil. We threw in an around town bus tour to take up the time between the 2 headline events.

Henriët had rehearsal so we made plans to rendezvous downtown. We got off the “L” in “The Loop” and watched for her. Ain’t nothin’ but a short walk over to Willis Tower from there. It was about a 45 minute wait to get to the top, but they did a nice job of moving the lines Disney-style. Finally, up on top.

A view of one of the many train yards in Chicago just south of Willis Tower

A view of what some locals call East Chicago. AKA Lake Michigan

The Hancock tower is to the northeast. They say it has a better view of the Lake Michigan beaches; maybe next time we’ll see if that is true. Also the  view from the women’s bathroom from the bar on the 86th floor is reported to be very nice.

Hah! Hancock Tower! Not so tall now are you? 

Here are some pictures from the viewing deck

Our lovely couple Henriët and Andrew

I made it! I stepped out on the plexiglass floor; I didn’t stay long

Carla enjoying the view.

Andrew is petrified with fright. Not really. Henriët takes it all in stride.

We had a couple of hours to kill so we took a bus tour around the city. The bus was a double-decker with an open top; it was a perfect day to capture the sites. Our tour guide was humorous and informative.

Carla and I checking out a fascinating sight. 

We then took a cab from Willis Tower to the United Center where the Cirque du Soleil was performing “Ovo”

The kids are excited!

So are we

This was the first time I’ve been to a Cirque du Soleil performance; it was fantastic. The acrobats were amazing. My favorite act was in the second half when they jumped on trampolines and looked like they were walking on the walls. The performers perched on a rock-climbing wall and would jump down, then bounce back up and cling to the wall. At one point three performers jumped down, up, and over  so that they looked like they were being juggled.

We took a cab ride home and got a ride from probably the crabbiest cabby in Chicago.

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