One mantra you learn in the US is “Take your ID when you go out”. I generally try to remember this rule, but when one changes pants and rushes outside for some drinking, things have a tendency to be left behind, the wallet didn’t make the cut. In Chicago, one can assume that they card everyone, since my three coworkers knew the drill and pulled out ID as soon as they walked in, and obviously without ID, one is generally refused admission to the bars. After braving the wind and the cold mist from the river, being refused entry because of a lack of ID left a bitter taste and irritated me to say the least. Thankfully, as a tourist, I did know well enough to bring my camera knapsack. So to make lemonade from a particularly sour moment, I left the bar and started walking randomly down the street and ended up on the “Magnificent Mile”. It was practically deserted because of the bitter cold.
So after freezing and getting a lovely facial windburn, I happened to “stumble” on the John Hancock Center. Now “stumbling” here refers to the fact that I had no plans or idea that I would be here for the evening. As I walked down the steps off of Chestnut St and past the Cheesecake factory, an intense burning sensation went through the fingers on my right hand from wind exposure. Definitely not a good sign, but there was ample heat in the Hancock Center, so I warmed up quickly.
After paying my 16$ and ambling past the bored staff, there was no noticeable line-up and no question; just me, the headphones I got at the main elevator and then the handy audio guide I got when I got upstairs. The audio tour was narrated by David Schwimmer or better known as “Ross” from “Friends”, and it definitely is a very good tour device.
The one benefit of a windy and cold night was getting the entire run of the place.
As it was such a cold windy night, I was told that there was 20 mile visibility in all directions. Of course, I wanted to see the view without the glass barrier, which you can do from the Skywalk. However getting through the revolving door on to the Skywalk did bring me back to my senses, as the wind tends to be quite strong at that altitude.
After having the run of the place, it was time to get back to street level and face the cold winds again. 25 mins later, it was time for cab back to the hotel.