Saturday, April 23, 2016

Baton Rouge Birdie at Navy Pier

It's been a while since my last Chicago adventure post, but to make up for the long wait, today's post is a real doozy, in the best possible way! Jeff and I took a day during his spring break and visited Navy Pier. We'd been there once before, during our apartment-hunting trip to Chicago last August, but we were eager to go back and explore it without the stress of finding a place to live looming like a housing-related sword of Damocles over our heads. So we did!
I'd been waiting for an exciting occasion to debut this dress, and our triumphant return to Navy Pier seemed like an excellent opportunity. This is probably my favorite colorway of the Birdie dress from Pinup Girl Clothing, which is a good thing as it's the only Birdie I own (so far.) 

I did my usual 'dither until it sold out in my size, then freak out' thing, but luckily, I found it in my size from a Canadian shop called Retroglam. While the cost of shipping this beauty from Canada to the USA was quite frankly ridiculous, since Canada is closer to where I live than most American states, it was well worth it to have the last size-large Birdie in this color in the Western hemisphere.

This dress is very close to the perfect 1950s-style dress, with one small issue: the bustline is a bit daring for me. This is very easy to solve though: a black bandeau would make this dress a gorgeous option for work, while a couple of stitches in the bustline would obscure the view, so to speak. Because I'm lazy and don't want to ruin my dress, I'll very likely go with option #1.

The very best thing about this dress, apart from the print, is how it swishes ever-so-nicely as I walk. I'm wearing my tea-length Malco Modes petticoat underneath it, and it's definitely the perfect dress for my longer petticoat. Looking at the photos, I'm quite happy with the length on me, even though I ordinarily like my dresses and skirts a bit shorter.
Chicago River Michigan Avenue bridge
This was taken on the Michigan Avenue bridge over the Chicago River. I specifically asked Jeff to keep Trump Tower out of the photo, and he was happy to oblige.

As usual, we took public transit to the Loop, and walked over to Navy Pier from the El stop. It was a bracing March day, but sunny and not too windy, which made it a much nicer day in my opinion than the first time we went to the pier.

Navy Pier strikes me as the Chicago equivalent of the Santa Monica Pier: the difference is that many of  Navy Pier's attractions are inside, and there's no beach. There are touristy shops, a movie theater, a children's museum, and a food court, as well as conference space and a theater for plays and such. One of my favorite things to see indoors is the Crystal Gardens. It's a big enclosed greenhouse with tropical-looking ferns and plants, with massive high ceilings and places for people to sit and relax.
pinup girl clothing birdie dress baton rouge floral
It's a bit hard to see, but there are also fountains! I've always loved fountains.

While we explored the Crystal Gardens, I tested out the twirling capacities of my dress and mentally compared my surroundings to Crystal Tokyo.
Verdict: success!

After that, we ventured outside and walked along the perimeter of the pier. There's a swing ride and a Ferris wheel, which were closed, but I snapped a few photos. The Ferris wheel is under construction but slated to open in the summer, so maybe a future post will feature photos taken from atop the wheel!
Navy Pier swing ride
I love swing rides! This photo was definitely not taken through a chain-link fence. Nope. Not at all.

Does anyone else feel sort of awed and frightened at the same time when they look up at a Ferris wheel? The Greeks had a word for that awed-but-scared feeling: deinos. If memory serves, it was the word the classical Athenians used about the feeling they inspired in their colonies. It's also one of the roots of the word 'dinosaur,' which means 'awesome/terrible lizard!' But I digress.

Walking along the pier really reminds you of how beautiful Chicago is! You can see the entire skyline, as well as Soldier Field and the Museum campus, and on a sunny day, the Lake looks almost like a tropical sea. It was much less crowded than it was in August, likely because it was about 45 degrees out, so I was able to get Jeff to take lots of photos without embarrassing him too much.
Me: "ok Jeff, this is the last photo you'll have to take today…"
Me: "Jeff, can you take just one more?"
The actual last photo I made him take. I'm the WORST.

After we walked the pier, we debated the relative merits of eating there versus walking back to the Loop. Ultimately, we decided to go to this Chinese restaurant called Lao Sze Chuan on Michigan Avenue that we'd passed a bunch of times. This was a good decision; restaurants in touristy places are often fairly iffy, and the place we went to was nice! I don't have any photos, though, because I was too hungry to remember that I have a blog before stuffing my face. If you're ever looking for a Chinese place near the Miracle Mile, I'd say it's a pretty good choice.

What's your view on touristy spots in your hometown? Do you visit them, or avoid them like the plague?

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  1. Yay, the Birdie looks great on you! You're right though, it is very low cut. I loveee my blue Birdie, and a bandeau is a necessity for me with it! Awesome Chicago pics! I'd love to go back there and check it out...I was only there once, when I was about 11 years old, ha, so time to go back!

    1. Thank you, Bristol! I love the blue one on you as well. Now that they restocked it, I'm so tempted to get one of my own. I hope you get to come to Chicago someday -- if you do, let me know!!