Monday, August 20, 2012

Chicago Air & Water Show

Chicago really comes alive in the summertime.  After 6 months of hibernation and a ridiculously short spring, summer really shows the city at it's best.  There is a different festival every weekend (actually usually more than one). 

We've skipped most of the festivals the past few years since the kids are young, but this year we went downtown for the Air & Water show.  We parked and ate breakfast at Water Tower Place - foodlife was surprisingly good.  We walked up to Lake Shore Drive and picked a spot between Oak Street Beach and North Avenue.  North Avenue is the center of the show and if  you want to see any of the water aspects of the show, that's where you really need to be, but for most people (including us) the air portions are the cool parts.
There were a number of stunt aircraft teams, doing loops, stall maneuvers, corkscrews and other cool tricks

Of course the stars of the show are the Blue Angels.  They are the best of the best of the Naval Aviators.  They are a team of six aircraft and they do incredible maneuvers.  They get ridiculously close to each other as they do their flybys

Little Man thought they were cool, but a little loud
During the diamond formation they are only 18 INCHES apart

My favorite part of the whole experience though is that they are performing right in the middle of our city, not out in some remote airfield somewhere.  I have never been to Fleet Week in New York or San Francisco so don't know how they compare but this is definitely a great show.  

I remember my first year in Chicago, I was working in the Loop, and the Friday before the show the windows started rattling and the aircraft were zooming by our windows.  No one had told me they did practice maneuvers the day before the show. The past two years my husband has been lucky enough to go out on a friend's boat the Friday before and watch the practice from the water.  This year he was out on a waverunner when the Blue Angels were practicing and raced them for a bit.  He said he felt like Maverick racing the jets on his motorcycle.  


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