One year ago I was packing my stuff in order to start an exciting adventure: my first trip overseas. We were a group of 40 who were making that amazing trip to see the skyscrapers birthplace. We had been planning it for several months and had a very detailed guide of what we had to visit (each of us made a summary of one or two buildings; so we got quite a book!)
1. Chicago theater
I've chosen 30 pictures that basically sum up our stay in Chicago, and try to explain a little bit about them. We did the visits the 40 of us as a group, but we also had plenty of free time that we spent the way we liked. I went there with five friends of college, so we did lots of things the six of us.
We arrived at the city at night during a brave storm. When we left the subway and reached the surface the first thing we saw was a lightning reaching the lightning rod of Willis Tower (or Sears Tower). It was scary!
The first day we were visiting the Loop and its buildings.
2. Fisher building 3. Monadnock and Federal 4. The Flamingo
And we made our first walk on the awesome Millenium Park.
5. Sears Tower through trees 6. The Bean
Next day was Frank Lloyd Wright's day. We went to Oak Park to visit his home and studio. It changed the way I've looked at his other buildings from that day on. Then, we walked around the neighbourhood. It was so good to see those houses in different types and colours.
7. and 8. Houses in Oak Park. 9. House of a Lacrosse player (loved the sign!) 10. Unity Temple by Wright
Next day was spent in the IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology). It was first designed by Mies van der Rohe and was enlarged by Rem Koolhaas. We also went to Robie House by Wright, next to the campus. We had an amazing guided tour inside the house. It was so good to finally see the buildings we have been studying in some subjects of our degree.
11. Robie House 12. Mc Cormick Tribune Campus Center 13. Cool buses!
One of the best things we did on the evenings was going to Millenium Park. It was full of people having fun in little groups while having dinner and listening to music concerts. You were lying on the grass and watching skyscrapers with some lights on all around you. It was indescribable!
14. and 15. amazing views 16. Ester and me
We also went to a Baseball game. We had never been to any baseball games before, and we didn't know the rules perfectly but we had great fun! We wanted to see Chicago Cups vs. Chicago White Sox but tickets were sold out (obviously!), so we went to see the Chicago White Sox vs. Atlanta Braves game.
17. and 18. U.S. Cellular Field 19. Berta, Ignasi and me
The next couple of days we rented some cars. It was an amazing experience! We made groups of five people and the ones over 21 could drive. Ester and me drove a Dodge Avenger; it (obviously) had automatic transmission but we had never driven a car like that (we all have manual transmission cars!) and it was quite an adventure!
We went to visit the Johnson Wax building and Wingspread (nowadays the Johnson Foundation) both by Wright in Racine. We did guided tours in both of them, but the last one was extremely amazing. We were able to walk freely around the house and gardens. There are four "wings" (bedrooms, kitchen, garage...) converging in the living room. I was thrilled with the magnificent cantilevers!
20. Amazing cantilever 21. Little covered balcony in Wingspread
Next day we drove to Plano to see the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe. What a house! It was an awesome experience! We had to walk through the forest and paths near the river to reach the house; then we had to take our shoes off and we could start the guided tour inside the house. I've got no words!
22. and 23. Differents views of the Farnsworth House
Next day we stayed in Chicago. We took the Water taxi and then went up to the Willis Tower skydeck, to the Ledge's glass boxes! It was the coolest thing ever!! (We had also gone to the Hancock building one evening, where we saw the amazing city grid and the fireworks of the pier from the top of the tower).
24. and 25. Water taxi and views 26. 27. and 28. Views from the Willis Tower
We also had the best stuffed pizza ever at Giordano's!
29. Giordano's incredible stuffed pizza!
It's been the best trip I've done in my entire life! Seeing such a different place with lots of amazing things to discover. After coming back from Chicago I realized that I had barely known anything about the American culture before. How people live their lives there, the patriotic feeling... lots of things you see in films but you don't realize until you go there. The best thing, though, was the people. They were so kind to us and helped us a lot. One of the best examples is this one: when we were on our way to Racine we got lost when we left the highway; we stopped at a gas station, we asked the woman there if she could help us and she was soooo kind to us! I was the one driving at that moment, and she saw me so nervous that she wanted to give us an icecream for each of us; then she smiled at me and said "drive safe!"; she made me feel so much better.
30. Night view from Millenium Park. I think it's my best shot!