Chicago in 36 Hours

I made a split decision to attend a writer’s workshop at Columbia College hosted by MuseWrite on May 22 only days before.

With a sick pooch at home, my husband insisted I take a couple days and go enjoy myself.  I called my college friend and fellow artist, Cheryl to accompany me on the trip.

The ride up to Chicago was frustrating, with two accidents on the highway and two traffic jams.  Starting at 9:30 a.m. from Wentzville, Missouri we finally arrived at 7:30 p.m.   We placed our bags in the room of the ‘pretentious’ hotel at which we were staying, freshened up, and high-tailed a cab to Navy Pier.

The cabbie’s name was Tofook (not sure if I am pronouncing correctly).  He was a pleasant and personable young man who had been in Chicago for five years, living the American Dream.

Navy Pier was chilly that night.  At 9:15 p.m. not much was open, but found a restaurant at the end of Pier that served delicious food.   Making our way back to the entrance, we took time out to view the lights strung above the Pier, listen to the boats in the harbor, and gaze at the beacon emminating from the lighthouse.   Although it had been a stressful day, Cheryl said this part was very enjoyable.

One of my guilty pleasures happens to be cappucino’s.   I love cafe mochas.  Unable to find a coffee shop on the Pier, Cheryl offered to get me a Haagen Daas ice cream.  No such luck.  Closed.

Tired and worn out from the trip up, we made our way back to the hotel.

I slipped into the bathtub of our two bathroom lakeview room to relax.   As I stepped out of the tub, I heard repetitive audio coming from the TV.  Cheryl said apparently the TV was stuck on the hotel channel, and so was the volume.  I would rather listen to a dog bark, than the sound coming from the idiot tube.  We called the front desk requesting this be corrected.  Fifteen minutes later, the noise stopped.

I had a nice surprise planned for us in the morning, so off to slumberland it was….at least for awhile.  We both had trouble sleeping.  I made myself some chamomile tea, and Cheryl read me a story.  Yes, you heard me.  She read me a story.   The last time anyone read anything to me was my hubby.  It was a book of poetry.  Very sweet.

We arose in the morning to a continental breakfast in the Club Level dining room of the ‘pretentious’ hotel.  I attempted to use the cappucino machine and caused it to overflow.   The attendant assisted in my need for a caffeine fix, and reset the machine.    Pleasantly surprised, the taste of the mocha was above average.

We ate a healthy breakfast and were on our way.

“Millenium Park, the Bean Sculpture, please,” I instructed the cab driver.

The park was alive with people.  There was an Art Institute graduation commencing in the amphitheater area.  Birds were hovering overhead as we viewed the Bean Sculpture.  The architecture set against a foggy morning was calming.  The symmetry of the rows of lined trees reminded me of college Design class.  The interactive water-wall was inspiring with children frolicking.  The scupltures nearby, were….let’s just say….interesting.

Once again, Cheryl said she was enjoying the morning and the Bean sculpture made her happy.  If Cheryl was happy, I was happy.

We struck up a conversation with a local artist/painter named Frank deLoach.   Artist, teacher, archaeologist, Frank has done it all and lived in many parts of the world.  What a lovely and personable man.

All in all, it was a great morning at the park.

With my conference slated for 1 p.m., we made our way back, darting in and out of stores that piqued our interest.  A quick lunch at the hotel, I made my way to the conference and Cheryl was on her own.

After an informative writing conference, Cheryl and I met up.  She spent the afternoon at the Art Institute and strolling along Michigan Avenue.

After the conference, the valet parking attendant retrieved our car.   While still in the hotel valet drop off area, I was yelled at by a rude bellman.  Apparently, I wasn’t moving my car fast enough for the cab driver wedged in the area to my left, and another driver behind me was irritated.

I did not let that stop my love for the Windy City.  A quick stop at Buckingham Fountain to snap some photos.    Many scenes unfolded — a  wedding, two lovers, a family with small children, some fifty-something women all enjoying the beauty of the fountain.   Sailboats in the harbor (sigh).  Wish I had time to linger awhile.   A definite stop with hubby on our next trip.

Manuevering through the streets, we made it to the highway.  Whew!  Chicago in 36 hours.  Don’t try it unless you have a pair of rollerblades or a skateboard!

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