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Wilson’s Blog

Ditch burped for two hours today. Ditch and I ate many delicious Chicago pizzas today. After burping, off to the John Hancock Building – a very tall building in the middle of Chicago. It is 100 stories high! And the elevators go up very fast! Tour guide told us the elevators were fastest moving elevators in all of USA. We went up to observatory and we could see all of Chicago. The first thing I said when I looked at view was, "Holy strudel! Mommy would love this!'' The first thing Ditch said: "I'm still hungry!" Ditch thought he could see our van parked near Wrigley baseball Field – I said, "No way, Mr. Jose!"

After John Hancock building I told Ditch (he kept saying, "I'm hungry, I'm still hungry") we would go to fun amusement park on Lake Michigan called the Navy Pier! It is a pier that sticks into the lake and has rides, restaurants and a huge Ferris wheel on it. Actual fact: first Ferris wheel in the world was used in Chicago in 1893. And the name of the Ferris wheel inventor was…George Washington Ferris! At Navy Pier, Ditch ate – you guessed it – more pizza!

We could not leave Chicago without going to the zoo! The Lincoln Park Zoo! It is a zoo that's over 100 years old. But, animals are newer. We said hi to many animals and ended up in the farm area of the zoo! Ditch made a new friend – a cow. He even sang a song to her!

At end of day, guess what? We ate more Deep Ditch Pizza! Very full. Actual fact.

Apple Pie Picks

Take a Ride Around The Loop

Chicago's downtown area is known as "The Loop." This area got its name from the elevated train, the "El," which loops around the city's center. The orange line, purple line and pink line run clockwise around the city while the brown line runs counterclockwise. The aboveground brown line is the most scenic for visitors. The Loop forms a rectangle about 0.4 miles east-to-west and 0.6 miles north-to-south. The El is the second longest rapid transit system in the United States, after the New York City Subway. The oldest section of the El began operating in 1892, also making it the second oldest rapid transit system in America after New York. Grab a ticket and go for a ride!

Willis Tower

More famously known as Sears Tower, the Willis Tower is the fifth tallest building in the world. It is 1,450 feet high and 110 stories tall. Visitors can take the 70 second high-speed elevators up to the 103rd floor Skydeck for views of the whole city. On a clear day you can see all the way to Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. A glass-bottom ledge also stretches out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck where you can look straight down at the ground below. Before heading back down to the ground floor, check out the multimedia exhibits and the movie "Reaching for the Sky" that tells the history of the tower.

Wrigley Field

Built in 1914, Wrigley Field is the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs. Watching a game at the second oldest ballpark in the United States, where the scoreboard is still hand operated by a number turner, is a great American experience. It is the oldest National League ballpark and the second oldest active Major League ballpark. Wrigley Field is known for its ivy covered brick outfield wall, and the famous 1934 original entrance red marquee painted in white letters that state "Wrigley Field, Home of Chicago Cubs." Lights were finally added to the field in 1988, after 5,687 consecutive day games played by the Cubs at Wrigley. Depending on what time of the year you visit, tours of the locker rooms, press box and a walk onto the field are possible.

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Local Chow

Chicago Style Pizza

The city of Chicago is serious about its pizza. There are more than 2,000 pizzerias in the city. It is famous for its "deep dish" style of pizza that was first made in the 1940's. This style of pizza looks almost like a bowl with buttery crust lifting up onto the sides. The crust is usually about three inches taller at the edge than the cheese, toppings and chunky tomato sauce. The order the ingredients are placed on a Chicago style deep dish pizza is from the opposite of a thin crust pizza. The dough is spread into a deep round pan and pulled up along the sides and then baked before the toppings are added. The crust is then covered with a layer of cheese and then other toppings. The tomato sauce, usually uncooked, is added last and sits on top. The pizza is so thick and hefty it is served straight to the table in a deep black pan. This pizza is so hearty you need to eat it with a knife and fork! If thick isn't your style—don't worry—you can still get a thin crust or "stuffed" pizza in Chicago. Any way you slice it, you are going to enjoy a great Chicago food tradition!

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Digging History


The State of Illinois is admitted to the Union.


The town of Chicago is organized with a population of less than 400.


Chicago is incorporated as a city.

William B. Ogden is elected the city's first mayor.


The first issue of the Chicago Tribune newspaper is published.


The Lincoln Park Zoo opens as a free zoo, named to honor President Lincoln.


The first skyscraper in the United States, the 10 story Home Insurance Building, was built at LaSalle and Adams streets.


Chicago's first elevated railway "The El," begins train service.


Chicago hosts the World's Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World.

The first ferris wheel is introduced at the World's Columbian Exposition.

The Field Museum, originally called The Columbian Museum of Chicago, opens its doors during the World's Columbian Exposition.


The flow of the Chicago River is reversed through amazing engineering, emptying the water into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan.


The Columbian Museum of Chicago is renamed The Field Museum of Natural History.


Chicago's first baseball field, Weeghman Park opens for the Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales.


Navy Pier opens in the summer of 1916 at a cost of $4.5 million.


Wrigley Field officially changes its name from Weegham Park.


Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest fountains in the world, opens in Grant Park.


The Shedd Aquarium opens as the world's largest indoor aquarium.


The Adler Planetarium opens as the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.


The Museum of Science and Industry opens during the Chicago World's Fair. It is the largest science museum in the western hemisphere.


The 100 floor John Hancock Center is completed as the 6th tallest building in the United States.


The Sears Tower is completed as the tallest building in the world.


The first night game is played at Wrigley Field after lights are finally added to the stadium.


The Field Museum purchases Sue, the largest and best example of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, ever discovered.


President Obama delivers his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Grant Park after being elected the first African American President.


Sears Tower's officially changes its name to Willis Tower after a London insurance company.

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