Sneaky is what my daughter is. I suggested a helicopter ride over Chicago for my husband for Christmas, Carrie said, “Is that really a present for dad, or is that a present for you?”
With that, she turned the idea to Keith and gave the idea to him. Sneaky and brilliant, because I loved it!
This July, we cashed in on the helicopter ride and had a marvelous time. Booking through the Chicago Helicopter Experience we took the train downtown.
We stayed at the Dewitt Hotel which was formerly small condos and are at an awesome location right along Michigan Avenue. Pricey for the little rooms, but I booked late. Since I wrote this post, I have learned that there are a lot of hotels in Chicago neighborhoods that can offer a great hotel experience. Check out fellow writer’s suggestions Campfires and Concierges to see where to stay.
We planned the helicopter ride this winter, but weather didn’t cooperate, so we ended up with a summer flight. This turned out perfect. We had a bright blue sunny day with balmy temperatures for July!
Arriving downtown, we enjoyed a cool lighthouse art project that began June 19 and runs through August 19. It is sponsored by The Chicago Lighthouse in partnership with Huber Financial Advisors, LLC, and other visionary businesses and individuals, including The Magnificent Mile® Association, and features 51 six-foot lighthouse sculptures. The lighthouses are created by national and local Chicago artists, many with disabilities.
Before our helicopter ride, we perused the shops and I made Keith stop and look at statues. We ducked into the WGN building that was built in 1925. The lobby is quite lovely and I had never been inside before. I enjoyed the flowers downtown and the day was so beautiful that Michigan Avenue was a wonder.
Lunch was a creamy mushroom chicken soup and salad at the Grand Lux Café . We walked a bit, then headed up to the Signature Lounge at the John Hancock Building for a dazzling view and to sit a spell. You can get a drink and enjoy the beauty of the city from the 95th floor, or dine at the below. After sipping and sitting, it was time to head out
Then by the time we walked back it was time to head to the helicopter site to get ready for our helicopter ride.
Because I am paranoid about being late, we arrived way early. Then, we had to weigh in (yes, you have to get on a scale).
Where you sit in the helicopter ride is determined by weight. Keith and I were in the back so you can guess we were not the lightest members in the group. Two young people came in with probably a combined weight of 200 lbs. This gave us a clear picture that we were not the up front passengers! There were six of us all together and it was a tight fit. The other two passengers were about our size. So, we were close in the back.
We were instructed on where to sit. Harnessed in with a seat belt, a head set allowed us to hear the pilot’s voice. He took off going almost straight up. We headed out over Michigan Avenue. The water was a deep blue that day, and the sky a clear light blue. The city scape is lovely from the air. Our pilot pointed out landmarks. I tried to listen to the spiel, mostly I just looked in awe at the sky, the water and the tall buildings that were laid out like LEGO building blocks below us.
We flew over Navy Pier, McCormick Place, Willis Tower, the Magnificent Mile and More. The helicopter ride went by way too quickly and soon we were landing. Like the tourists we were, we bought the picture of us with the helicopter and packed it in our suitcase for the ride back home on the train the next day.
We wrapped up our evening with pizza from Carmines on Rush, a cool Italian diner, and I enjoyed the family next to us where the young man ate a steak the size of a roast!
The ride home on the train was pleasant and we are reliving our ride looking at our wonderful pictures. We loved flying high across the Chicago sky!