(147:  Chicago River from Michigan Ave. bridge)

I think I walked about 100 miles today.  Or maybe it was a little over 6 miles.  But my body feels like it was 100 miles.  I’ve been walking around most of the day, getting oriented and doing a little shopping.  My winter coat decided this was a good time to fall apart.  I have to agree.  If you have to buy a new winter coat while traveling, Chicago is a good city in which to be shopping for one.  I got a fantastic bargin on a London Fog wool coat that I love.  It’s cute, looks good, and it will keep me warm and comfy.

Now all I need is a new winter hat to go with it.

I met M for lunch (he had a 2-hour lunch break from the conference he’s attending).  Part of all the walking I did this morning was a search for a place to meet for lunch.  It turned out to be easier for me to go where he was, and we had lunch at Beef & Brandy, just around the corner from the Palmer House.  Before meeting with M I went inside and had a look at the magnificent lobby.  Amazing.

Lunch was excellent.  It was a good pick.  M had an autumn salad that was fresh and delicious.  I had a tuna wrap that was also fresh and delicious but M’s salad looked so good that I regretted not ordering the salad.

(Skyline from Millennium Park.)

After lunch M and I were strolling around Millennium Park when two women asked us if we would like  two free tickets (they couldn’t use them for some reason) to the Art Institute of Chicago.  Well, I was on my way back for an afternoon break and M was due back to the conference in about an hour or so, but it didn’t take much to talk us into it.  We took the tickets and spent a little while exploring Impressionism.  I let M pick where we would go because I’ll be going back on my own to spend most of the day there sometime before we leave Chicago.

We parted somewhere on Michigan Avenue and  I slowly made my way back to the hotel where I now have my feet up and I’m getting in a bit of a rest before meeting friends for dinner.  We’re going to a Greek restaurant tonight (OPAA!) where they set the cheese on fire (“flaming saganaki cheese” flambed tableside).  Tomorrow I’m meeting up with a friend that I haven’t seen in over 20 years.  We’ve kept in touch all this time but haven’t managed to get together.  I’m really looking forward to it.  (Note to those that don’t know:  M and I used to live in the Chicago area, a long, long time ago.)

(American Gothic in Chicago.)