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The Best View of Chicago
is from the Willis Tower.



Floating in Space from 103 Stories Above the Sidewalk, these modern day Astronauts get use to the view.
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Story by Dan Peters

Even though the Willis (
former Sears Tower) is no longer the tallest in the world,  it will always be the first to have reached its maximum height and have the title for many years. 

Ever since it opened in the 70's, it has been on every visitors "must do list" to see when in Chicago.  This past week, my daughter Danielle and her new husband Ross were in town for her baby shower.





The Willis Tower touches the Sky and Beyond from the Street Looking Up.
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When I picked them up at Midway Airport, I asked them what they wanted to see.  Danielle, being a life-long Chicagoan, wasted no time saying her place of choice was the Field Museum.  Ross on the other hand said he would not want to leave Chicago this time without seeing the Sears Tower.. yes even those from other parts of the country still call it Sears Tower.

During their week long visit, they would see both attractions, first the Field Museum the day after they arrived.  We spent the better part of that day at the Field Museum.



Ross and Danielle from Denver, Colorado.
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It's one of those attractions that you literally can spend days looking at all the various exhibits.. From Egypt, to seeing " Sue" there was plenty to see that day.

After an unplanned visit to Northwest Community Hospital on Friday for nearly the whole day for leg pains and contractions, Danielle was fine and we talked about making another trip to the city.  For those who never been here or have visited Chicago, the only real way to travel is by the CTA or what we call the "L". We decided to save this trip for their last full day in Chicago.

As everyone that lives here knows, you never know what kind of weather to
expect. Last week it was rather cool for late August, but this week, a late summer heat wave.  We decided to leave near lunch time, and the temperature was already in the mid 90's, and humidity to boot. Danielle was very eager to see the city again, but being 8 months pregnant, her body and baby would make it less than pleasant to travel in the heat.




Ross relaxing a moment has been higher from the ground in Denver, but not in a building...
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The "L" ride was as normal as it gets, with panhandlers asking for money and donations on the train.   The walk some five blocks from the Blue Line to the Willis Tower was easier for we men without babies inside, then Danielle.

We took several breaks before we arrived at the Tower.    Seeing  the  tower
from a distance does not do it justice. Even I am amazed every time I stand at ground level an look up. Ross was amazed at how big the Tower was in person.

The big attraction to the tower is the new "Ledge" experience. Several years ago, they added 4 glass enclosures that extend some four feet out from the exterior of the Willis.  In essence, you feel you are out there on air. The view was spectacular and there was a bit of a wait to get to step out on the "Ledge" Ross and I took turns walking out there, with Ross even sitting down for a moment to enjoy the view.  Danielle looked at us both and said
" Looks cool, but I will stay here" watching us and the others dare to walk the "Ledge"  So what did Ross think of the "Ledge"?  He said it was cool but he did seem to get the feeling of "Vertigo" at one point.



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The Weather is changing whether you want it or not...
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Suburban Journals of Chicago Inc. photo

The view was not the best it could be, as there was a bit of haze from the near record heat of the day.  The view was still impressive, probably a 15 mile view in every direction.

We spent about an hour up on the 103rd floor observation deck. It was  worth every minute of it. There is no better place to see the City of Chicago than the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, and even more so with the new "Ledge" addition.





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Ross and Danielle will never forget the trip to the Willis Tower and more than likely would try it again, but this time, not when she is pregnant.

The price is a bit steep for a short visit, (around $20, but a lot cheaper than a plane ride for the same time) but the memories will last a lifetime.


Editor's Note:
The photos were taken on two separate visits to the SkyDeck.
The Skydeck is only two blocks from the closest CTA train.

Skydeck Chicago
www.theskydeck.com/
The Skydeck is open daily offering spectacular views spanning up to four states, a one-stop ... Rent Willis Tower's 99th floor for business or personal events.

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