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Chicago 2005

Monday, 09 May 2005

Hi! After our walk this morning on the Cook Trail, we took Maddy to camp and then left for Chicago, where Michael has a business meeting. We flew up in the middle of the day, arrived on time, and got unpacked and investigated the hotel.

We're staying at the Chicago Downtown Marriot on North Michigan Avenue. It's quite a lovely place and we have a great view, as you can see! A good view is always a very important thing to me, so we always ask for a room as high as we can get, non-smoking, king.

Here are some photos from the plane flight and of our room and view from our window.

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Here we are all set to go out in search of dinner.

The tulips are all blooming along Michigan Avenue. If you ever get the chance to go to Chicago when the tulips are blooming, do it. It's just beautiful!

Here's Michael talking on the phone to Suzanne. And I was off taking a pic of the John Hancock Center!

We ate a delicious dinner of spit-roasted chicken, veggies and bbq beans from Foodlife at Water Tower Place. Then we had a cookie and collapsed, exhausted, into our bed!

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Tuesday, 10 March 2005

We awoke early to the sun streaming through our 42nd story window! A look through the binoculars told us that it was warm out (no jackets... lots of short sleeves!) and so we dressed accordingly. Our walk was down to Navy Pier, all the way around it, and then up past the Drake Hotel by Oak St. Beach, and back down on Michigan Ave to our hotel. I'll post maps soon.

On Navy Pier,MIchael thought this concrete patch looked like Indiana's outline. I had to agree! We enjoyed the gulls and their screeching. We posed one at a time for this composite on the anchor.

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This goose swimming below in the lake was curious about me and my camera! And yes, the water was really that blue! I did no color enhancement here.

We cleaned up and then dined on the buffet here at the hotel's restaurant. It was just perfect. Michael had the hot buffet with eggs, bacon, and lox & bagels. I had a bowl of raisin bran with granola, fresh strawberries & bananas, and skim milk.

Next, we took the bus to the Loop and visited the Sears Tower! We went to the Skydeck and I got a few pictures. What an incredibly beautiful day! We could see for miles and miles. Check these out!

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This is the Sears Tower from the street. We had lunch in the park across from the Sears Tower. I have never seen a prettier day than this. Look at these happy people!

We went back to Navy Pier this evening, enjoying a delicious supper at Bubba Gump's. Then we ambled around the pier, soaking in and photographing the sights.

There are more a few more photos in the loop than you see thumbnails here.

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This gull actually posed for me!

Very high fun factor here in these mirrors!

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We rode the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier! It is very high and beautiful. And of course.... what a great view!

Beautiful end to a wonderful day!

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Wednesday, 11 May 2005

Different sort of day today. We awoke to a crash of thunder and lay in bed experiencing the flash-BOOM! of a thunderstorm.

We tossed on our walking duds and headed down to the Marriott's exercise room. After 40 minutes on the treadmill, we were refreshed and ready for the day.

We ate at the hotel's restaurant, deciding we couldn't improve upon the perfection of yesterday. Then we headed out to the Field Museum of Natural History. The 146 bus took us directly there!

I liked this plaque outside Soldier Field.

Inside the museum, we spent most of our time looking at the birds and mammals, preserved for posterity in natural-seeming positions. The birds were particularly enchanting, and I learned that it was from here that the "Field Guides" came! (I'd thought they were so named, because one might take it out into the "field." Oh well!)

We tagged along for part of a tour on the Egyptian mummy section, were we learned a lot about how mummies are made and how they were entombed. Forget the burial/cremation debate! When I die, I want to be mummified and then put into an elaborately carved sarcophagus and entombed in a giant pyramid.

We did a fly-through of the geology and gems before going back down. I caught this photo of the ceiling pattern before we left.

Dinner tonight was the buffet supplied by Michael's meeting. I was given a nametag that said "Guest" and that got me in! We sat with interesting people and talked about... what else? Photoshop! LOL!

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Today I took no pics. It was a dreary and cold day and, while Michael was in his meeting, I worked on catching up with this journal and my pics, watched decorating shows, and played computer backgammon. I didn't connect to the net till noon. (The hotels charge noon to noon for access, so I can get on every day while paying for every other day, by doing online work in the afternoon one day and the morning the next.)

We had tried to go walking in the hotel's fitness room at 5:45 this morning, but it was already packed. And we're talking about .. something like 9 treadmills and 6 ellipticals!

We walked at 5:30 when he was done with the meeting and before he went to his dinner. By then it wasn't raining and, while it was pretty cold, it was pleasant walking anyway.

Michael changed and went to his dinner and I went for dinner on my own to Foodlife in WaterTower Place. I had ziti with meat sauce and it was delish! I was too hungry by the time I got it that I didn't feel like taking a pic.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Lucky Friday the 13th! Well.. we'll be lucky if the weather clears up; that's for sure! It's off to a cloudy and chilly start.

I had breakfast with Michael and his group. Here's a pic I shot of Paul, Michael, and Leroy. Michael's meeting is over at 1, so we'll try to do something fun to photograph!

Michael's meeting ended this morning and he brought up box lunches at noon. We watched it rain as we ate.

After lunch, we walked around, through several scenic parks. It had turned meanwhile into a lovely day!

After walking as far as we could, we hopped the bus back north, to Water Tower Place. We did a bit of shopping and I got a new sweatshirt, which I needed against the evening cold!

Then we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory!

We were both very tired so ended our day early... after eating our Godiva Chocolate cheesecake! .

(There are more pics than these. Use the arrows to navigate them!)

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

We got up early today and, after breakfast at a little bakery (not great), we walked south, this time ending up at the Art Institute. During our walk, it was pretty chilly, but we were warmed to a comfy level by the time we arrived.

We always enjoy the Art Institute, and today was no exception. We visited the East Asian galleries, then spent time with American art, Modern art, and our favorites, the paperweights and the Thorne Miniature rooms.

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We both particularly enjoyed the Modern galleries this time. Much great surrealism up on the top floor!

And these great classics!

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The Exquisite Corpse images were quite cool, and this inspires me with another Art Challenge idea. The game is described in the image to the right. Only two of the three images I shot turned out any good. I think these are #2 and #3

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We enjoyed lunch in the Museum's Cafe before we visited the paperweights.

The old Chicago Board of Trade building is built next to the Art Institute, like it's part of the same building. We went in and shot a few pics.

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The CTA bus took us back up Michigan St and we came back to the room for refreshment. Then we headed out for a walk to Navy Pier. We walked to the end, enjoying the crowds.

Did I mention that the weather by now was beautiful? If we have learned one thing this trip, it's that Chicago weather is VERY iffy this time of year!

Although it was early, we still had trouble getting a place to eat, but after a short wait, we got in at Bubba Gump's. Yummy "fish & chips" -- battered & fried mahi mahi with fries & slaw and onion rings!

We were thinking about dessert -- funnel cake on the Pier, Key Lime Pie at Bubba's, or .... a cookie from Water Tower! We hopped the free trolley to Michigan and then the bus up to Water Tower. Buses rule.

The same bus took us back to our hotel, where we got milk for me and came back up here to lay waste to those cookies!


Sunday, May 15, 2005

42 degrees this morning! I had not brought gloves or my ear warmer, so we opted for the treadmill in the fitness room this morning.

Breakfast here in the hotel was the scrumptious breakfast bar, and now .... our bags are packed and we're ready to go!

The plane flight was a little delayed, but not enough that it made the news. We made it safely back to Bloomington and .... a good trip was had by all!

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