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My mini weekend getaway to Chicago vacation was a little over a month ago yet it already feels like it's been like a year. But thankfully, I'm going on another trip!! This time I will be heading to Arizona and New Mexico with some of my closest friends and I am so so excited.
After a few weeks of procrastination, here's part two!
Last time (if you missed it, you can read it here) I wrote about all the places I got to eat at but this time I wanted to focus on two places that were so beautiful I wanted to designate a whole blog post just for them: Starved Rock State Park and The Rookery Building.
Starved Rock State Park
I spent Memorial Day with many, many other families at Staved Rock; it seemed like a popular place to picnic and hike. It's located about an hour and a half south west of Chicago and it's a really easy drive (no windy roads, in case you get car sick easily like me). There's a visitor center where you can find parking, snacks, and maps for the hiking trails. It's mostly an easy hike; all the paths you walk on have been smoothed but there are a few stairs you need to climb to get to different locations within the park. I think even if you're in Chicago for only a few days, it's still worth making the drive out there to visit this place. Chicago has so many huge skyscrapers, it makes you feel a little claustrophobic so visiting this park was a really nice change of scenery.
One of the places I was most excited to visit was The Rookery Building. I didn't major in design or architecture but my older sister did. So when I was growing up, she always took me to museums and taught me about famous architects like Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright. So over time, I developed a small interest and curiosity for architecture. If you think about it, buildings are really fascinating in how they are built; the design and detail that go into it is something to really appreciate. I visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in East Hollywood when I was little so I wanted to see The Rookery while I was in Chicago.
The Rookery is located where City Hall used to be; after the building was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, it was nicknamed "a rookery" because of all the birds that used to gather outside the destroyed building. Two famous Chicago architects, Burnham and Root, decided to build their office at this location and named it "The Rookery." Completed in 1888, The Rookery is now located in the heart of Chicago's Financial District. It's twelve stories tall and was once the tallest skyscraper at the time it was built. Even though it is no longer the tallest, it's still considered the oldest high rise in Chicago. The lobby was remodeled in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright.
If you're ever in Chicago, I would really recommend the 30 minute guided tour.
I also went to the 360 CHICAGO, which used to be the John Hancock Observatory, where you can get a great view of the city as you can see below.
I hope you enjoyed my short recap of my trip to Chicago. It's really a beautiful city with a lot of history and unbelievably tall skyscrapers, something you don't see often in Los Angeles. Every time I visit a city outside Los Angeles, I ask myself "Would I live here?" and I've decided no, I probably wouldn't want to live in Chicago. But I definitely would love to visit again (even if it is for the fourth time).