I’m home from the city and my meeting on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which happens to be Skydeck Chicago, otherwise known as the observation deck and home of The Ledge! I have so much to share with you and yet today I will only scrape the surface.
I am thrilled to announce that I have been chosen to be (along with three others) an Ambassador of Skydeck Chicago for the summer. It will be my job to showcase and share the various features that make up the whole Skydeck Chicago experience, and hopefully get a bunch of you to go and visit so you can see for yourselves! (Disclosure: In exchange for my participation in the Skydeck Chicago Ambassador program, I have limited, complimentary access and will be given other benefits I will share news about later.) I am crazy-happy about this partnership because it’s a perfect fit for me: what Chicago-loving girl wouldn’t want to go behind-the-scenes and share information about one of the world’s most iconic buildings, coincidentally located in the Chicago Loop?
My meeting today was with Randy Stancik, the General Manager of Skydeck Chicago and–whoa–the mind behind The Ledge. (Can you IMAGINE coming up with something that huge and then seeing it through?) I spent about 75 minutes with Randy and got a private VIP tour of the entire Skydeck Chicago experience. I’ve visited several times over the past few years, but only twice since the multi-million dollar renovations and the installation of The Ledge in 2009. The bonus information I took in during my tour today was beyond amazing. Randy is, like me, a passionate Chicagoan, and it’s always exciting to chat with someone who “gets” my excitement for this toddlin’ town. I really could have spent another couple of hours walking around the building with him and learning great tidbits of information, but he had other business to tend to!
I slept only about three hours last night, partly because I was running strategies through my head regarding The Ledge. On my two previous visits, I was unable to walk out onto those glass floors (ahem, 1353 feet in the air with nothing below that glass except buildings and pavement) because I was panic-stricken, “shakes” and all. (I don’t even like ladders. Seriously.)
Since I was chosen for this Ambassadorship, I’ve put lots of thought into how I believe that in order to represent Skydeck Chicago, it’s personally important for me to experience ALL of it, The Ledge included. Last night I ran dozens of scenarios and pep talks through my own head, and it continued on the train to the city this morning.
We didn’t even arrive at The Ledge until about 45 minutes into the tour, and by then, I had decided that the best strategy, like with almost anything having to do with fear, was to just GO FOR IT. Randy was telling me about how they can pull the glass boxes into the building so the window washing mechanism can go down the side of the building, and suddenly–believe it or not–I was raring to go. We walked to the box on the far left (where the official Skydeck Chicago photographer was set up), and I just…stepped in.
I didn’t look down though. I faced the camera and the photographer said, “Will you step back a bit, please?”
Oy vey. I didn’t want to turn around, so I reached behind me to feel the glass wall and scooted my feet back a couple of inches.
“That’s good!” he said, and then he took my picture.
After the picture was snapped, I looked down. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad!
A couple things:
Number one: This picture confirms for me that when I accidentally purchased Garnier Nutrisse’s Medium Golden Brown (Chestnut) and decided to go with it anyway, it was a mistake. I hate it. I’m going back to Medium Natural Brown (Truffle) tout de suite. (<—-That’s for you, Momo!)
Number two: I absolutely love how, at this angle, my hips have all but disappeared. I plan to look into getting an ordinance passed by which it will be mandatory for all pictures of me to be taken from above.
Number three: I AM STANDING 1353 FEET IN THE AIR WITH ONLY ABOUT 3 INCHES OF GLASS SEPARATING ME FROM CERTAIN DEATH, AND I AM SMILING. I am fairly certain that, because of how easily I stepped out there, Randy thinks I lied about how scared I was before, but I didn’t. (True story, Randy!) I am so proud of myself for going out there, and will definitely do it again.
All in all, a fabulous morning at Skydeck Chicago! I look forward to sharing more with you over the next couple of months: maybe I’ll even see you there!