Chicago, USA (12-22 Feb 2016)


The wind City.


Earlier this year, I was fortunate to be sent by my company for a training programme at Chicago, organised by senior executives in the firm. It was an exciting experience for me as it was the first time I get to travel to USA, and also to get to forge valuable friendship with other highly capable Accenture consultants from all over the world. The programme was enriching, but unfortunately I cannot share too much of the details here. This blog post will instead elaborate my travel experience in Chicago.

Extreme weather

After traveling for almost 20hours, I landed at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Coming from a sunny tropical country called Singapore, it was the first time I see snow in my life, and I was amazed that the scenery outside my window could change so much within a week.


Chicago Premium Outlets ( --
Having a list of shopping requests from home, it is a must to visit the outlet malls in USA. Probably due to the weather and time, the place was really empty so we could get quite a number of good deals without having to queue. Tip: To save time and effort, make sure to check the specific brands that you are interested in before planning the best routes to purchase what you need.

Accommodation at Downtown Chicago

Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites ( --
I booked this accommodation through Expedia due to its central location, reasonable pricing, and good reviews. I personally find the room comfortable. Also, there was free wi-fi, and breakfast was included. It was overall a comfortable stay.

Attractions at Downtown Chicago (19 Feb - 20 Feb)

While traveling to downtown Chicago, we spotted some cardboard-like materials flying off a construction building, and passers by were looking upwards. This scene remained a mystery to us until we saw the news on TV after we check-in our hotels. Apparently, employees from a office tower had to evacuate due to high wind speeds. The general public was also advised to stay indoors till 6pm. I now fully understand why the Chicago is also called a Wind City.

After the wind died down, I strolled the streets with my friends near our hotel, and the night view is really beautiful. On a side note, if you are a female, and a foreigner, try to avoid walking alone as much as possible for safety purposes.

While crossing the bridge at the North Branch Chicago River, do keep a lookout for the Trump tower as it is pretty magnificent --

Navy Pier (
The next day, I made my way to the Navy Pier and I liked the view of the city line and the Centennial Wheel.

The Bean/ Cloud Gate (
Next, I went to the Millennium Park and was greeted by the bean. The structure is a huge mirror and it is really cool. It is also a great spot for photo taking. Be creative and you will be surprised at the photos you can get. Also, do take time to walk around the park. The view of the buildings around it is beautiful.

The Art Institute of Chicago (
Walking towards the south of Millennium Park, you will find yourself at The Art Institute of Chicago. I recommend spending at least 2 hours there as there are many categories of art to explore, and the exhibits are really good. Try sitting on some of the benches and feel the art pieces. I was absorbed into the world of creativity.

Willis Tower (
Before the sun sets, I rushed to the Willis Tower to catch a glimpse of Chicago's skyline. Note to check the wind before going, as the tower was closed the day before due to high wind speeds. Also, entering the tower took really long as the queue was crazy. If you are rushing for time, try getting a priority pass to jump the queue. Despite the long queue, I think the wait is worth it as the view on top was breath taking. There is also a glass box where you can step in to take photos with unobstructed view of the city. As time passes, the crowd watches the sun slowly setting and eventually disappearing into the horizons.

With that, it marks the end of my 1-week Chicago adventure. Here's one last photo of the city before I take an airplane back to home.

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