…a blast! The city rolled out its finest spring weather for our arrival – seventy plus is wonderful anywhere, but in Chicago? Miraculous! The whole city in a good mood.
Highlights: my Segway tour was terrific. No one else had signed up for Friday morning, so I got a private tour.
Riding that thing was SO much fun that I checked our local Craigslist ads yesterday to see if there are any available. Just thinking about it…
After the tour I had a pizza lunch at Lou Malnati’s as several readers suggested. Very good, but I confess I’m more of a thin crust type at heart!
Next time I visit, I want to take the pizza tour. Apparently you get to sample from several restaurants and even see how it's made.
Naturally I visited a couple of thrift stores. We all do that, right, go thrifting in any new city we travel to? The only souvenir I bought came from one of them, a lovely pair of sterling earrings inset with lapis.
My friend Marcia, who used to live in Chicago, told me not to miss the Cultural Center, and she was so right. It's in the old Public Library, and the building alone is worth a visit.
Where else are you going to see a Tiffany glass dome in the ceiling over walls decorated with glass mosaic while you listen to a chamber music concert – for free?
But the really exciting thing for me was they currently have an exhibit of Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests –
amazing kinetic sculptures that I have wanted to see for years. I even got to walk one!
We took the architectural boat tour, another not-to-be-missed activity.
Linda and I spent our last day doing something we’ve decided will be a tradition on our trips together. It started on our trip to New England; on our last full day we drove from New Hampshire to Maine…for gelato. This time we spent the day going from fabulous bakery to bakery to patisserie.
Molly’s Cupcakes (not your usual bakery cupcakes, believe me!) and Vanille Patisserie (picture actual edible gold decorating a dark chocolate confection) got our top votes.
We can hardly wait to go on another trip and see what food we decide to pursue on our last day!
Really enjoyed the train trip home, though I confess that the upper bunk was not the most comfortable place I’ve ever slept. (Though certainly not the most UNcomfortable either!)
Something I didn’t expect was that after two full days of nearly constant movement, when we arrived in Portland it took quite a while to stop feeling a bit dizzy. Whenever I stopped moving, the floor seemed to be gently heaving up and down, like when you’ve been on a boat for a while.
Thinking back over the trip, it strikes me that the real value in travel goes beyond the things you see. (And eat!) I was forced out of my comfort zone and did a number of things that I would normally never do. And succeeded at them, which is pretty much guaranteed to bolster your confidence. It’s awfully easy to stick with what’s familiar when you get to my age, and I confess to some trepidation before we left home. If I hadn’t already paid for that Segway tour, I might have chickened out.
Thank heavens I didn’t!