Tuesday, January 13, 2009

12 of 12 Chicago edition

Chicago was so much fun. Although I couldn't completely shake the guilt I felt for booking the trip in such a rash and irresponsible way, I think it was good practice for me. I see how I've grown so routinized and unspontaneous over the years and wrapped myself up in my daily rituals like they were my favorite blanket. That's not a totally bad thing, but it seems like cheating in a way, as if I'm living life lazily. So flying off to Chicago on a whim for three nights was probably a great reminder for me to loosen up more often. We ate, we saw shows, we tripped around town, rode the El, ate deep dish pizza, had vacation sex and endured it snowing nearly the entire time. We seem to have this effect on places. Everywhere we go it snows. We can't go anywhere now though because we spent more money than we should have and it will take months and months to replenish. So some picky-poos for 12 of 12. Remember it snowed the whole time so many of the photos came out "black and white" even though they weren't . Like this one of the John Hancock building enshrouded in the clouds.

There is an observatory at the top, but we waited for the final morning to go up when the clouds were higher up.

Our hotel, The Allerton, was on Michigan Ave, aka The Magnificent Mile, and we head out on foot the first day to do a long walk around town. The temperature wasn't too bad, around 30 F, but Serge hadn't brought a tuque with him so he bought a souvenir one to wear.

The architecture was really interesting in this town. It kind of reminded me of a mini New York.

There are lots more pictures of Serge since I'm the camera hound.

In Millenium park, there's a huge kidney bean shaped object made to have a reflective surface. It made for some interesting photos. In this one you can see me in the middle and Serge walking toward the skyline.

Here we are again. I thought this photo came out like a face. Serge and I are the nostrils.

Waiting for a train to take us around the "Loop", it was snowing really heavily. That's what I was trying to capture in this picture. Instead, the girl on the cell phone with the huddling pigeons became the focus. I like it.

Looking to the left at the same spot.

In the guidebook it said we had to try "Italian Meat Subs" and "Deep Dish Pizza". We did. It was good but I'll stick with poutine and Montreal smoked meat thanks.

On the morning of our departure the weather let up so we went to the top of the John Hancock building. (From the first photo, remember?) This is looking down at the lakefront. The skyscrapers looked like legos to me. So small from up here.

They give you a little headphone set so David Schwimmer can tell you all about the city.

Shortly after this we checked out and rode the el back to the airport. I'm glad we went and also glad to be home. We both decided that we want to revisit during a warmer month as it looked like it would be even more fun then. Another year perhaps.

26 comments:

Jeffrey C said...

Glad you had a nice trip. Summer in Chicago is spectacular, so you definitely should return.

Birdie said...

Chicago is worth another visit. Be sure to come at a warmer time, and then the weather won't keep me from joining you!

CoffeeDog said...

Maybe we should do a Chicago meet up w/all our bloggie friends. It's accessible, and mid way for many a folk.

Welcome back!

Polt said...

Glad you had such a great time. I've never been to Chicago. I thought that building was the Sears Tower...have they changed the name? Doesn't matter, still excellent views.

HUGS...

Anonymous said...

What? No mention of Boystown and the fun to be had there? BobVT

David said...

Hah! The one time you remember, and I completely forgot about it.

Mike T. said...

Sears Tower is there, and is now the tallest. The John Hancock building used to be the tallest before the ST. I live in St. Louis so I've been to Chicago MANY times, parents used to take us there often.

Like others have said, its lots of fun during the spring and fall. Summer is good too, but due to kids being out of school, it can get a bit crowded.

When you go, you HAVE to go to the science museum and of course the art museum. Grant Park is beautiful in the spring.

Mike T. said...

Hey, I almost forgot, did you get a chance to see "Wicked"? I went there to see it and it was fabulous!

Fatinah said...

I'm glad you did this "whim" trip - it sounds lovely and now you will have some great memories to get you through the winter blahs....

Anonymous said...

So happy you and Serge had a great time! Chicago is a great city-my favorite American city. Mike is right, the Chicago Art Institute is amazing.

hh

A Lewis said...

We have found ourselves traveling many times in the dead of winter. It's always a much quieter time to go, no tourists, and all of that. But we do have to pack our hats, coats, gloves, scarves,etc etc. Glad you're home and safe!

Lemuel said...

A Canadian without his tuque! Unthinkable! :)

Roxrocks said...

You'll have to go in the summer because I need to have a picture of Serge in front of Harpo Studios flipping Oprah the bird for me.

Indulge me next time, s'il vous plait!

This is a lovely reminder that we all need to break out of our comfort zones (in spite of the price tag) every once in a while and have a good time! I'm glad you're home!

Patricia said...

Chicago (about 4 hours from me) is a great visit any time of the year. Definitely worth a return trip!

Welcome home again :)

GayProf said...

I like CoffeeDog's idea. Chicago is lovely in the Spring.

Don't forget to make Detroit your next vacation paradise. It just can never sound right, can it?

Patrick said...

I've been feeling a similar tension between routine and spontaneity. Years ago a friend and I resolved 'to be more spontaneous' in the new year. Then we actually heard what we'd said. It's still a goal for me.

I think it's great that you and Serge don't let snow stop you. After living in London, Dublin and Seattle, I learned the same thing about rain.

Anonymous said...

Glad a great time was had in the Windy City. You must see the Field Museum of Natural History. I've never heard of Chicago referred to as a mini New York. I remember when they first built the John Hancock building and the windows kept falling out, very dangerous down below. The Sears Tower is now the tallest building in the U.S. of A. ed

k-tard said...

You definitely should go back when it's warm so you can go to Grant Park or walk out on Navy Pier. The Chicago neighborhoods are worth exploring as well. A mini-New York? I never found the two to be comparable as Chicago has a much more midwestern, relaxed feel to it. Seriously, I always refer to it as a "giant Cleveland". And speaking of, Don't forget to make Cleveland your next vacation destination! (Sorry GayProf...your Detroit line made me laugh so I had to steal it)

Summer said...

Tuque sounds much more colorful than hat. Lake Michigan sure looks cold. I don't know if the great lake (Ontario) I live on is frozen like that.

David said...

Yes, Chicago is worth it during the summer. The city is just gorgeous when the flowers on the Mag Mile are in bloom.

And the lake front, along the touristy Navy Pier, is always nice. Then you can rent bikes and ride the lake front, which is just about the best bike path on the planet.

Oy, I do miss the old home town every now and then, and it has its charms, but LA is nice (like its 73 here and -3 there now!).

Glad you both had a good time.

anabel said...

I really love that first picture. It's so artsy in a sci-fi kind of way.

I'd like to go to Chicago someday.

Vacation sex... yeah!!!

travelling, but not in love said...

I love Chicago. So much. And those photo's made me want to go back even more!

dirkmancuso said...

You should definitely take in the city when its warmer. (And what did you think of your hotel? The Fella and I are always looking for nice places -- i.e., clean and affordable -- to stay when we visit Chicago.

Great pics, by the way.

Snooze said...

Those photos are fantastic. You take the best pics.

Paul said...

What? No pics of the vacation sex?

larry said...

come back to chicago! i live here and love it[ except the subzero temps right now] you must take a river tour. its beautiful. i take them and gawk like a tourist!