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Holiday Sunday in Chicago#2

A Busy Day

sunny 70 °F
View USA 2009 on Johnash's travel map.

Actually, if it was full of Brits, we'd certainly hate it. As it is, the place is full of families (well behaved), groups of young people, and, as it gradually dwelled on us, a lot of males wearing leather (watch this space!) all having fun in a sort-of jolly holiday atmosphere.

Arthur has not been entirely happy, correction, not at all happy with the breakfast arrangements. Plates of cereal, sticky croissants and bagels with strawberry-flavoured cream cheese eaten in the room is not compensation enough for the "lumberjack slam" type of giant breakfast he had been expecting. So thumbs-down for that. Lunch of sandwiches bought in Walgreens (a chain giant of drugstores) were not that great. We have noticed how pre-made sandwiches here have deteriorated in quality, most relying on tasteless turkey slices.

Dinner in a good old fashioned diner (The Beef 'n Brandy round the corner) met with more approval. Mexican Wraps for Bob, Veal Cutler (as the waiter insisted on calling it) with home made mashed potatoes for John. Very good and John's was a manageable portion for a change. Bizarrely, when we went to pay, we were invited to a "private party" for regular customers (on our first visit!) in their basement. More on that mystery later.

Yesterday we enjoyed a wonderfully sunny day but with a pretty cold breeze off Lake Michigan.

This enhanced all of our "activities" including watching the bike ride along the specially-closed Lake Shore Drive (this had started at 6am).

Then on the El to the North End of "The Loop" to catch an architectural boat trip on the Chicago River.
This trip was well worth the $22 each. A great insight into the incredibly diverse city with some very stunning buildings from the beginning of the last century right up to today with the gross, as ever, Trump Tower.

Then up Miracle Mile with its fabulous shops, (enough to keep the Fuente Meca ladies happy for years), and policed by these guys.IMG_4015_800x600.jpg

On and up to the top of the Hancock Tower
and back to the hotel for a little rest via Macy's to find some camp chandeliers for Paul & Ralph!

Later we explored the new heart of the City, Millennium Park. Much like the Dome, this was over budget, late and unpopular. Now it is hugely popular and the new heart of an extremely successful city in the centre of which everyone wants to live (with $1.4m plus to spare which is the going rate for units in new blocks being built).

It also has an innovative concert area with conventional seating as well as grass for picnics IMG_4041_800x600.jpg
Last night saw the first night of the Summer season, though it felt far from summery IMG_4043_800x600.jpg

Today it has been raining a bit and Bob has lost his new glasses, either in the room (and it does not look as if they are going to turn up in here) or on the way back from Marshall Fields dept store, when he must have dropped them. We've been back there, to no avail. So we have now fitted him up with a smart new pair of reading glasses from the local drugstore.

Tomorrow our flight is not until 11.40 so we can have a leisurely potter to the airport. We have a flight to Dallas Fort Worth where we connect to a local flight to Amarillo. We will have plenty of time to catch up on today's events then.

Only to say about yesterday's mystery when we were invited to a "private party" after our meal at the Beef 'n Brandy, a very ordinary but pleasant enough diner. We did not take up the offer as we took a ride out on the "El" to our old stomping ground at Lincoln Park
We later looked at the invite and were mystified to find that members of IMRL were especially welcome. Well, we looked up IMRL and this is what we found
**WARNING WARNING** Not for the faint hearted. Those of a nervous disposition, who take Horlicks or are easily offended should read NO further
This is what we found
Second warning, go no further..
And here was the winner

Now we know what all those leathery men were doing mincing around here!

Posted by Johnash 19:33 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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Dear Dennis. Love to get to a Blues club but not this time. We will be back.

Readers, is it better to have big pictures like these, or thumbnails as before?

Incidentally, I just lost most of this work and had to retype it; and no sign of Bob's glasses. Grrr!

by Johnash

I vote for the big pics. All the better for seeing "our" new light fittings - what will the simple folk of Lowestoft think? Oh, and I want one of those cop buggies. Bob should get a nice Hinge & Brackett style chain for his new specs!

by Kingpaul

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