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October 2002 -- Chicago!

Thursday, 24 October
We left for my birthday trip at around 1. After a good lunch at O'Charley's, we headed for Indy. The flight was pretty easy, but i got a little ... nervous. It was a short flight, thankfully. Flying is such a pita, but it does get one there fast! To Chicago, flying time was just over 20 minutes!

We checked into our "Exquisite" room at The Drake Hotel. Exquisite indeed! This was the prettiest hotel room I've ever stayed in. Our view out the window... well, i'll let you decide!

In the pic of me here, i'm checking out the view with my new birthday binoculars!

Friday, 25 October
Happy Birthday to me! <g>

We awoke to a chilly and windy walk along the lake shore. We went our 30 minutes, briskly walking out to the end of the jetty in the photos above, and back. There is a magnificent multi-use path all along Lake Shore Drive, with under-the-road access tunnels for runners and bikes. GREAT walking place!

After that, we enjoyed a pleasant breakfast in the Concierge room at the Drake, the penthouse room which they have made into a little buffet/bar for people who have "exquisite" rooms.

Our first stop today was the Shedd Aquarium! Wonderous undersea goings-on! I particularly liked the seahorses. Michael's fave was the eel! Here we bought City Passes, entitling us to get in at several of the major tourist spots, many of which we had planned to see anyway!

Flash wasn't allowed and these critters wouldn't hold still. I'll accept pointers!
It was just a bit after noon, then, so we went on to the Field Museum of Natural History.

Here we saw a great exhibition of ancient Egyptian artifacts. This is where we saw a mother with a child who couldn't have been more than 3. The mother pointed to a small mummy in a sarcophagus and said to the child, "This one is a child." Call me sensitive.. but does this little child need to hear/see this? I, of course, liked the dinosaur bones.. from one fossil to another.. and the gems and jewelry. I still think that Ancient Egypt was the highlight for me. I wish i'd taken some photos there, but i felt a little funny about that.

My birthday dinner was at The Cheesecake Factory! They brought me my cheesecake with the whole cadre of waitstaff singing. :) 

Then when we returned to the Drake, there was a little chocolate mousse cake waiting in our room! We took it to the Concierge room and happily shared it with the other guests. (The last photo here was in the Concierge room.)

Saturday, 26 October
We walked south on Lake Shore Drive this am, following the same trail. We got all the way to the peninsula for Navy Pier, before turning back.

Then we took a taxi to the Chicago Art Institute. What a great day! I actually got a few reasonably good pix this time. We really enjoyed the modern art, the miniatures, and the paperweights. I coulda stayed there for a week i think.
Then, as if we were not already exhausted, we went back to the hotel, got some warmer duds... and headed up to the top of the John Hancock building! I had my camera, of course, and my binoculars, and we had quite a look around!
Sunday, 27 October
We went up to the lighthouse at the end of the jetty again today. Brrrr! it was really cold and windy today! I just love these footprints on the sand that had washed onto the jetty. Then we went home! Great time, and a wonderful birthday weekend!

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