Watery stuff

(154:  Rainy day in Chicago.)

Since it’s a rainy day here in the Bogs, I thought I’d go with a rainy day photo taken while we were in Chicago.  I like the reflections on the sidewalk.

The fall colors are at the end of their peak.  A good wind will probably sweep most of them away.

Nothing new to add.  I’m still enjoying being at home.  M and I have been discussing the possibility of making a batch of sauerkraut.  Our kraut came out fairly well last year, albeit a little too salty.  It wasn’t bad for a first try.  All we need to do this time around is add less salt and it should be perfect, or close to it.

There’s no place like home

(153:  Leaf and reflections on the pond.)

(Trees at the back of the pond.)

(View of the pond from out on the pond.)

It’s great to be home.


Last night in Chicago

(152:  Fountain in Millennium Park.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It’s our last night in Chicago and I’m more than ready to go home.  It’s been great fun but I am worn out.

I spent a good portion of today at the Art Institute of Chicago (and walking to and from as it is a little bit of a walk from where we’re staying).

(Front of the Art Institute of Chicago. Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’d go into great detail about it all except I am completely knackered.  Just a few notes and then I’m off to bed.

(American Gothic, on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.)

Dinner last night was great.  Giordano’s never disappoints and the company was good, too.  We had a stuffed cheese pizza with spinach.  Yummy.

(Giordano’s on Rush Street on Tuesday night. Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Tonight M and I went to Russian Tea Time to cap off our trip to Chicago.  It was also a late celebration of our anniversary, something we’ve put off for almost two months.  We celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary.  The food and service were fantastic.  We ordered the vegetarian platter for two:

Begins with a tasting of potato dumplings, stuffed mushrooms, carrot salad, beet caviar, hummus,  Tabouhlie and vinaigrette salads. Followed by an assortment of our finest vegetarian fare; stuffed eggplant, stuffed bell pepper, vegetable layered stew (Domlama), mung bean stew, Chickpea and onion stew, rice pilaf and kasha.

We also tried a vodka flight, since we were celebrating and all.  😀  And ended with bread pudding and tea for dessert.

We walked back, but it wasn’t enough to walk off all that food.  I think I’m going to feel stuffed for weeks.  I am looking forward to going on a diet when I get home.

And that’s it from Chicago.  The next time you hear from me I will be back in the Bogs where we might just settle in for a while except for the occasional weekend trip to visit our granddaughters.

Free Hugs

(The Old Water Tower.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I haven’t been doing much in the way of sightseeing today, and left the camera in the hotel room while I was out and about.  I wanted to do a little early Christmas shopping, but didn’t meet with much success.  Perhaps it’s because I dislike shopping so much.  I don’t have the patience to keep going from store to store to store.  Some of the salespeople in the more upscale stores irritate me.  The Magnificent Mile and Water Tower Place are probably not for me.

Sunday afternoon I wandered around the  Old Chicago Water Tower District, not going into any of the stores, but just enjoying the weather and the people watching.  The Old Water Tower was open, with free admission, due to a photography exhibit (the building is open during exhibitions).  The exhibit consisted of photos from the Philipines.

Looking for a little peace and quiet, I wandered into a church courtyard.  It was lovely and fit the bill, serene and quiet even though it was on Michigan Avenue and the crowds of people were just a few steps away.

(Church courtyard.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

On my way back to the hotel I passed a group of people giving out Free Hugs.  If you are not familiar with the Free Hugs Campaign, you can read about (and watch a video) at the link <– back there.  Sadly, I didn’t see anyone stop to get a free hug.  Happily, I did:

(151:  Free Hugs!  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Free Hugs are nice.  If you get the opportunity to get or give one, you should do so.  😀

When M finishes at the conference we’re going to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art for a few hours.  Tuesdays are free.  I want to see the Elements of Photography exhibit.  It looks quite interesting.

Tonight we’re meeting a friend for pizza.  Stuffed pizza this time around.  It’s one of my favorite places and I’m looking forward to it.

Lakefront Parks and Navy Pier

(Hancock Building and skyline through the trees.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I spent today walking around the lakefront and at Navy Pier.  That wasn’t my original plan but the day got away from me as I ambled along, snapping photos.

(150:  Milton L. Olive III Park.  Chicago, IL.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

It was another gorgeous blue sky day.  It warmed up some, but the wind kicked up some too, blasting at about 25 mph at times.  Autumn is beautiful here in the city, something that’s surprising to me at times.

(Skyline from Milton L. Olive III Park.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

After wandering around the parks for a while, I made my way over to Navy Pier.  It sure has changed since the 1980’s when M and I lived here, now filled with shops, theaters, stages, and amusement rides.

(Navy Pier, from the front.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I took my time strolling from one end of the pier to the other.  At the end of the pier, out on the lake, the wind was really whipping.

(Photo © 2009 by Robin)

At the end of the pier is a huge anchor which I meant to read about while I was there, but M called and wondered what I was doing for lunch and that distracted me from finding out what the anchor was all about.

(Anchor and lighthouse.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’m sure I could probably find something online about it.  I don’t have time to look it up right now.  M will be here soon and we’ll be meeting friends for dinner.  This has been quite a social trip.

M joined me at Navy Pier for lunch.  I forget the name of the place where we ate (the Dockside Cafe, I think).  We sat outside since it was such a beautiful, albeit windy, day.  I had an Italian beef, something I’ve been craving since we got here.  The Italian beef is, in my opinion, Chicago’s answer to the Philly cheesesteak.  It’s not the same thing at all, but it’s almost as good.

(Sampling of stained glass.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

After lunch we decided to visit the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows (located on Navy Pier).  They have an amazing collection of stained glass windows.  You can read about it here.

(Another sampling.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M went back to his conference after that and I wandered around for a little while longer, taking photos of this, that, and the other thing.

(Ferris wheel on Navy Pier.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I have to wrap this up and get ready for dinner.  We’re dining at The Berghoff tonight, a favorite of ours.  I’ll leave you with one last view of the skyline from Navy Pier taken as I was leaving.

(Skyline view from Navy Pier.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Blue sky day

(Sailboat on Lake Michigan and the end of Navy Pier. Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The sun is shining on Chicago today.  It’s a glorious day with lovely blue skies and just the hint of the usual wind that blows through this city.

(149:  View from the Shedd Aquarium.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M and I were up early and went for a long walk.  We took a bus down to the Adler Planetarium to get some shots of the city skyline and took our time walking back to the hotel from there.  I think were out and about for about 2-1/2 hours.

(Sears Tower and other buildings from the lakeshore.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Part of our walk took us through Grant Park and Millennium Park.  We took our time going through Millennium Park so we could have a look at some of the sculptures that we missed during our first stroll through the park.

(Zaha Hadid pavilion and security guard.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

We had to see the Bean, of course (along with hundreds of other tourists).

(The Cloud Gate.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The official name is the Cloud Gate, but it has been nicknamed The Bean because of its legume-like shape.

Last night we had dinner at Zocalo.  The food was excellent and they have a very nice selection of sipping tequilas.  The prices are reasonable as well.  If you’re in the mood for Mexican food (and/or tequila) while in Chicago, I highly recommend Zocalo.  (A big thanks to D for suggesting the place!)

As soon as I finish here I will end my afternoon break.  I think I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon just wandering around, taking pictures, and people watching.  We’ll be joining friends later this evening for Thai food.  One of the great things about this city (most cities, in my experience) is all the delicious food to be sampled and enjoyed.

A rainy morning

(148:  A rainy morning on Michigan Avenue.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I took the above photo yesterday morning.  The weather improved somewhat this morning.  M and I went out for an early morning crazy walk.  A crazy walk is when I let him set the pace which means I’m practically jogging —  it’s fast-paced, raises the heart rate, and it is a great mood-lifter.  We had big glimpses of sunlight through some amazing cloud formations.  I don’t have the pictures to prove it because I left the camera behind since we were out for the exercise.  It’s hard to keep the heart rate up when I stop every two minutes or so to point and shoot.

It’s been a fun day.  My friend (and former boss) showed up around 12:30.  We had lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery and then came back to the hotel to talk, talk, talk.  We haven’t seen each other since 1983.  If you’re reading D, thank you for a great day.  I know we didn’t DO much, but it was great to see you and catch up and just talk.

Last evening’s dinner at the Greek Islands was fun, too.  And delicious.  Good food, great company.  Can’t ask for more.  The dinner was long and leisurely, giving us plenty of time to talk, eat, and catch up with friends.

Tomorrow I’ll be up early to do lots of walking and take lots of pictures.  Early Sunday mornings are a great time to explore a city while it is relatively quiet.

I am grateful for the rest today.  I have blisters on my feet from the hundreds of miles my feet think I walked yesterday.  The crazy walk this morning was only a few miles, enough to loosen up but not overdo.