Chicago is known for its chilly winds and deep dish pizza but no one quite prepared me for the astonishing architecture of the city. Chicago is a photographers delight with its rivers, tall buildings and the wide expanse that is Lake Michigan.
We visited Chicago during autumn when the leaves were golden and the air had a fine nip in it. The city was a hive of activity and adventure. The restaurants, theaters, cruises and parks formed only the tip of the entertainment and activities the city had to offer. One of our most memorable tour in Chicago was the architecture boat cruise. We had our doubts before embarking on the tour as the name sounded pretty dry and we wanted more encouragement for looking at buildings in the cold winter air.
The architecture tour was a pleasant surprise as it dwelled on the past, the making and the present of the city of Chicago. They even provided great tid bits of knowledge on the Great fire of Chicago and origins of the name Chicago. The word Chicago has its origins in Native American languages and means either an onion or garlic (I have found sources saying either or) but for a city that is named after a smelly root Chicago was an amazing city to travel and explore.
Here are the sights and sounds of Chicago through our lens.
Pictures credited to Razor Rasu and are a property of Traveling Noodles
This is part of a series of posts about four beautiful cities in Canada which I visited when I was in a beautiful stage in life, pregnant with my baby. These posts chronicle my trip from Niagara Falls to Toronto to Montreal and onward to the quaint Quebec City.
Immersed in the falls
Niagara Falls prominently features in the itinerary of anyone flying to the east coast of US or Canada. The view from both sides of the border is quite different and unique and each side can argue its merits or demerits. While from America you stand on a bridge and peer at the horse shoe shaped cascade of water called the Niagara Falls, from Canada the majesties of the falls is displayed to you in all its splendor. As you near the falls you can hear it roar and the fall kicks up an obscene amount of mist and spray in an attempt to cloak itself.
Niagara Falls at night is highlighted with many colors but it comes a close second to beholding the falls on a light and crisp autumn day. Niagara bursts with color in autumn with tree tops that have hues of red, orange and gold. Night is for the rest of the town of Niagara, the whole city turns into a carnival for grownups with casinos, shows, a wax museum and a Ferris wheel. Traveling with a bump meant turning in early and giving the casinos a wide berth but there is no concession required for soaking in the beauty of the place.
The Maid of the Mist is as famous as Niagara Falls and is almost synonymous with it. This boat service which closes in the winter, rides almost into the falls. The Maid of the Mist is an adventure where as you go closer to the roaring cold falls you get drenched with only the thin raincoat which is almost the uniform for the Maid of the Mist- to protect you from this natural marvel. Remember to wear sensible shoes as they are bound to get wet and while you are at it take a better rain coat.
The region near Niagara Falls has many famous vineyards that host tours for visitors. The tour usually includes a trip to the vineyard and a crash course in wine tasting. Niagara’s weather and water is conducive for good wine making and who can forget the golden drops of happiness a.k.a maple syrup! Niagara is also home to a unique and yummy dessert wine called ice wine. Ice wine is made during the winter when grapes are left on the vines to get frozen in the cold, they are then harvested and processed to make this wine. One drop of ice wine is extracted from one frozen grape precisely hence it becomes a luxury and a novelty to be had. On this trip I only got a whiff at the ice wine but it is definitely on my to-do list for some day.
Our trip to Niagara was rewarded with the appearance of an unexpected but beautiful rainbow, the likes of which I had never seen before. The wide skies of the north stretched the rainbow from end to end. It was and will remain one of the many miracles of nature that I have witnessed, no photographs and no cameras can do justice to the colors that I saw in Niagara.
All photographs are copyright of Traveling Noodles and credited to Razor Rasu