Amidst all the other great reasons to volunteer abroad, there are the close friends you will meet along your journey. Sara is one of those, and she recently came to see my sister and I, and of course the wonderful city of Chicago, Illinois. I actually got to play a bit of a tourist in my own city, which was nice to slow down and soak up the history and vibe of the city I call home. She was in town for two weeks, so I will cover some of the highlights of our Chicago experience.

One of the primary tourist attractions is the Sears (Willis) Tower. I used to walk past the building every single day on my way to work, yet I had never been to the top. Well, I finally checked that off my Chicago list, got a great view of the city, and took a classic photo on the Skydeck ledge.

Chicago, Illinois

Skydeck Chicago

Next up was lots of walking. We headed down to Michigan Avenue and stopped in the cultural center where you can get free tours of Millennium Park, and other Chicago sites. Our tour guide was very informative and was definitely enthusiastic about the park. Check the times that are offered online before you go, but it is a great way to learn more about Chicago’s past, present, and future when you are on a budget!

Chicago Bean

We worked up an appetite, so we headed over to the classic Billy Goat Tavern for a nice, juicy cheezborger! Then we topped off the day with Garrett’s Popcorn, of course, and some shopping on the Magnificent Mile.

Billy Goat Tavern

We also made sure to include America’s favorite pastime by going to see a Cubs game. Baseball, beers, and hot dogs made for a great Friday afternoon!

Cubs Game Chicago Cubs Game

See more of our Chicago adventures in next week’s post!


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  • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer
    August 18, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I love the views from the top of the Willis Tower! The only thing that I did not get to do in Chicago that I wish I would have done was go to a Cubs game! Next time 😀

    • Marissa Sutera
      August 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Cubs games are always a fun time, especially hanging out in Wrigleyville afterwards. But nothing can beat those Chicago views!

  • Adelina | PackMeTo
    August 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    What a great view from the top of the Willis tower! I’ve never been to Chicago, but I’ve always wanted to take photos of the bean. It looks so cool!

    • Marissa Sutera
      August 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      It is such a great city with so much to do and see. I’m so glad I had a nice day to get those awesome shots of the skyline 🙂

  • Brooklyn Chick Travels
    August 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Chicago! One of my fav cities, the Bean and the Sears Tower I checked off too. A bit scary standing on those see through windows but worth it for the pics!

    • Marissa Sutera
      August 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      It sure can be nerve-wracking standing on that glass but it make for a great view and photo!

  • Mandie
    August 17, 2014 at 7:26 am

    I’m only 9 days away from going back home and I miss Chicago sooo much! I agree, it’s awesome to get to show someone else around and “play tourist” in your own city. It gives you an excuse to actually do all the awesome things that you know about but don’t always make the effort to do!

    • Marissa Sutera
      August 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Woohoo, sweet home Chicago! It was such a blast having visitors and getting to do all the touristy activities I had never done before.

  • Lisa at Wanderlust Women
    August 17, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Chicago has always been mind kinda town.

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    August 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Lovely views from up there!! I always think it’s great when people come to visit my hometown from abroad because as you say, it really gives us a chance to play tourist in our own cities and spend some time out just exploring it for ourselves too 🙂

    • Marissa Sutera
      August 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      It’s always interesting to hear the reactions of international guests to things that we may consider common. Thanks for reading!

  • joylovestravel
    August 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Great pictures – the Skydeck looks fab but scarey!

    • Marissa Sutera
      August 13, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks! It was a bit intimidating but well worth it! 🙂


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