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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kayak the Chicago River - Deal Voucher

I know, no Disneyland recap yet. But let me tell you about last weekend instead! I crossed something off my bucket list - kayaking the Chicago River! Doug and I redeemed a $55 TravelZoo voucher for a 3 hour tour with Kayak Chicago. $55 for 2 people for 3 hours - now that's a deal when it's normally $65 a person!

We had the choice of a Lake Paddle, Architectural Tour, Night Paddle or Sunset Paddle. Even though we've been on an architectural boat tour before, we thought the perspective would be different from a kayak and chose the Architectural Tour. And yes, it was different!

Expect to get a little wet, you are practically on the river after all! All pictures were taken with a point and shoot, which was housed in a zip top ziplock baggie in my lap when not in use. A nice little touch from Kayak Chicago was that they give you a complimentary CLIF granola bar, which I definitely ate in the middle of the tour. Also bring a water bottle. You will be exhausted...three hours and six miles is a long time! {See map below!}

We decided to do a tandem kayak, instead of separate ones. And I'm so glad! We didn't have to worry about keeping pace with one another and I could rest my weak arms and take lots of pictures while Doug worked hard paddling for two. In the beginning, there was some serious married couple bickering going on about steering. But the guide finally told us that the person in back has more control over steering and we stopped zig zagging and bumping into other kayaks  finally got the hang of it for smooth sailing. And have no fear if you have no experience. Doug doesn't know how to swim either!

We started near North Ave. and Elston where there's plenty of (free) street parking. We went around Goose Island, down all the way to the State Street bridge stopping a few times in between for the tour guide to tell us Chicago stories and history behind our architecture rich city. As you progress through the tour, you will be glad that there are stopping points to rest your body, sit back and relax while taking it all in.

Yes, you do share the waterway right next to BIG boats!

*ahh* I love our city, and being a tourist sometimes! I'm so glad I checked kayaking the Chicago River off my bucket list! Even though the paddle back seemed like for. ev. er. with no end in sight. Go out and try it! But be prepared to be sore the next day!
I love when I catch the el in pictures! Let alone from a kayak on the river with the Sears Tower soaring above!


Liz G. said...

I love the last two pictures.

Kara @ June & Bear said...

what a great way to see chicago. kayaking is hard! some friends and i did it in college and i thought we'd never make our destination. it took forever to get the hang of steering.

Sarah said...

I love kayaking! I had no idea you could kayak the Chicago river ! Thanks for sharing and great pics!

Christine @ grateful for a coffee break said...

This is fabulous! What incredible pictures. And Mike and I would have totally been the married couple arguing. Hahaha. So glad you took your camera with!!!

Jennifer said...

It looks like you had a great time!! Beautiful shots!

PandaBelle said...

I have always wanted to do this, too bad I wasn't able to accomplish this when I lived there; maybe I'll check this off when I visit next!

Lili said...

OMG what fun!!! didnt think my sister knew about this :(((