I was off again this week. A fellow pro-gardener asked if I'd be interested in going to Chicago for the Chicagoland Flower & Garden Expo at Navy Peir. There was a week's worth of free speakers plus the demonstration gardens, flowers and vendors. She didn't have to twist my arm one bit. The hardest part was deciding which 2 days to pick. We decided on leaving early Tuesday morning and coming back Thursday afternoon.
It's about a 5 - 5 1/2 hour drive to Chicago and we arrived about 1 pm. I can't resist shooting out the windows in the car sometimes. The Gary/Hammond, Indiana area has a lot of industry and there were some cool buildings.
I had lined up the hotel and was very pleased once we got there. It was very reasonable for The Gold Coast area but I'm never sure until I get there and see for myself. I highly recommend the Raffaello Hotel. Here is our room - complete with luxory sheets, comfy beds and all the bells and whistles.
We were right next to The John Hancock Building. We couldn't miss it looking out the window.
The spiral of the parking structure ramp intrigued me.
The view looking to the right.
After settling in and having lunch, we decided to explore the surounding blocks. There was a beautiful old historic church along the way. I took many photos of it. It was so gothic looking in it's architecture and with the bare ivy vines creeping along the stones.
After the photo shoot at the church it was really raining hard so we ducked into a mall for a couple of hours. I took these a couple of blocks from the hotel.
After all that driving and walking and shopping that day we were ready for a nice dinner which we walked to later that night. Then we settled in and had a good night's rest .(Well my friend did. I have sleep issues but at least it was a pleasant place to not be able to sleep.) :-)
The next morning we awoke to blue skies and temperatures that had plummeted over night. While it was 60 degrees and raining the day before, it was now 20's and light snow. I heard the weatherman say it felt like 5 degrees. But I was soon to have my fix of spring with an exhibition hall of flowers and gardens.
I'll say more about Navy Pier in the next installation but here are 2 pics I took from there.
Come on back if you want to see some beautiful gardens and flowers. Oh, I've got lots to share. :-)