The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicago - here it is!

In case you missed the memo, I went to Chicago! I had the honor of representing our GS council at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, hosted by Points of Light.
The conference itself was awesome. The speakers were on point, the sessions were interesting, meeting new people was super fun. I feel like I got a lot out of the conference, even if I didn't bring home tons of new ideas about volunteering; it was just so nice to be among other non-profit leaders and hear them talk about all the things I am passionate about. I feel like our council is headed in the right direction and it was good to be among other people who were asking the same questions, struggling with similar things, and experiencing the same successes!

But of course, on to why you really stopped! I took tons while we were there and this is just a sampling.

The reddish building on the left hand side of the background here was our hotel...the Hilton Chicago Hotel and Towers. It really was huge...right beside Grant Park.

This is the Buckingham Fountain - oddly enough, donated by someone French, I believe. It was huge and beautiful!

Chicago has tons of amazing green spaces and public parks. I was impressed by how clean they all seemed to be and how many of them included different forms of art, both large and small. This was a huge flower sculpture that I loved!

This is Trump Towers. nothing special there really, but the view over the river was pretty awesome.

This was one of my favorite pieces of outdoor art (probably #2 on the list for Chicago). It is obviously still being installed there but it is made up entirely of canoes! This water lovin' girls heart was happy!
This is the ferris wheel at Navy Pier....

Look - proof that I really went to Chicago!

A.K. and I took a water taxi from Navy Pier (after walking literally a couple of miles to get didn't LOOK that far away!) to the Field Museum and Aquarium area. The views alone were worth the money.

The Field Museum of Natural History. We arrived about 30 minutes before closing time this day and weren't willing to spend the money to get in for that amount of time. I would love to go back to Chicago for a museum run one day...tons of things I didn't get to see!

Same night. Pretty amazing all lit up too!
And this is why I went to Chicago.
I jest but...I was pretty excited to see this piece of art.
It is called "Cloud Gate" and it is basically a huge, mirrored jelly bean.
So everyone calls it "The Bean". And I was super excited to see it. It is pretty amazing at night - reflects the sky and the buildings and it is hard to tell where the Bean stops and real life starts. I liked it so much that I convinced my amigas to go see it again...during the day!

I wanted to kick all the tourists out so I could get really awesome pictures but then I rememberd that I am a tourist too. Oh well. I loved this so much that I bought a small oil painting of The Bean and had it shipped home. It arrived yesterday and I am currently debating on where to hang it!

A.K. and I also went on a sunset architecture tour by boat. The guide was super cheesy but very informative and I learned a lot about the buildings around the Chicago River. This is the Sears Tower (ahem...Willis Tower...but whatever) and it truly did not disappoint. Beautiful!

The plenery session on education was led by the fabulous Soledad O'Brien - who replied to one of my tweets. Made my day. Week. Month. Yeah.

The education session was sponsored by Target - could you tell? Either way, we got spiffy Target glasses which we are all rocking in this picture...

There it is...Chicago in pictures.