The one weekend each year I refuse to travel

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As you may be aware, I enjoy being up in the air a good bit.  In fact, before last weekend I had been traveling for 30 straight days and had not stepped foot in my Chicago apartment.  However, there is one weekend per year I absolutely refuse to be away from my apartment in Chicago.  I don’t care if United is charging 4 miles for an International First Class flight that weekend, I am sitting my butt in the grass (with a martini in a solo cup) and watching the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Blue Angels 2



The Chicago Air and Water Show is a spectacular two day show held annually in the summer over Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago.  The location over the Lake allows for spectators to see the show from most everywhere along the waterfront.  If you are trying to get some work done downtown on the Friday practice day before the event, good luck.  It can be hard to concentrate when it sounds like your city is under attack.

This two day event is an absolute can’t miss for plane enthusiasts.  I love spotting a fresh Airbus A380 or new 747-8i as much as the next obsessed frequent flyer, but the big birds are no comparison for the sights and sounds of 6 F/A 18 Hornets flying powerfully and gracefully between the skyscrapers of the Chicago skyline.  Along with two performances by the Blue Angels, spectators this weekend were treated to the sights and BOOMING SOUNDS of F16s, F18 Super Hornets, KC135, Y28 Talon, several aerial acrobat teams and many many more.

I always say there are two universally awesome activities that all but the most miserly of human beings on this planet enjoy.  The first is whale watching and the second is watching the Blue Angels perform.  They are truly amazing. I apologize that my camera clearly had a Blue Angels bias.





Blue Angels Upside DownDSC04310

Can you use a rewards programs to redeem for a flight on a military jet?

So naturally after watching the show I started to wonder if you can use a rewards programs to redeem for a flight on a military jet?  I never bothered to track down that answer because I got sidetracked reading about this guy who tried to use the Pepsi Points rewards program to PURCHASE A JET!

If you are fascinated with airplanes and have never seen the show, I highly recommend you start planning an award trip to Chicago for August 2013.

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About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. Beware LSD on the Friday practice day. Everyone is looking up. I live near the lakefront and I love to see the planes flying overhead. I also love that all kinds of people come out to see the show.

  2. CLE has a similar show, usually Labor Day weekend. Amazing. It sure is hard to get anything done if you live/work near the city that week and weekend.

  3. Oh I didn’t know you were based in Chicago too. So am I! Yeah I was working in the office on Friday and I heard the planes flying overhead practicing, such a tease. One year on that Friday when they practice, I went up to the Signature Room at the Hancock and watched. I was eye level with the pilots which was pretty cool.

  4. Near my hometown, located in the Central U.S., the Air National Guard bombing range has an open house biannually. There are no Blue Angels, but you get to see A-10’s spit out live ammo on targets, a B-2 appear from out of the clouds and drop cargo, other planes drop concrete-filled dummy bombs, and more.

    Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc. is a case that I wish was covered when taking Mass Comm. Law in college. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I’m always happy to see the pictures and enjoy the comments by those who have watched the show. I was on the Blues in 1973-75 and still have fond memories of flying in Chicago for the festival and at Cleveland. I still love watching the team perform.

  6. Great Pictures! We were at Navy Pier watching; the skyline made a wonderful backdrop to the jets. Safe Travels.

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