9:56 PM

Ahh, finally, I can tell you all about the Chicago trip!  It was indeed amazing and truly good for the soul.  I'm going to make this post more of a picture album of events, so let me start from the beginning; the train:

Riding the train up to Chicago was just as exciting as I remembered it being when I went as an 8th or 9th grader.  The seats were indeed a bit uncomfortable and some of the other passengers slightly obnoxious, but honestly, I was too excited to really sleep much, and there's nothing like watching the landscape roll by from state to state.  The picture above is a shot I took at sunrise around 6:30 am and the one below is a close-up.  I can't really decide which one I like better.  Don't those silhouettes look like slow-herding elephants?

The first thing we did  once we pulled into Union Station in Chicago was to walk east toward the lake.  Joey and I had a few "to do's" on the list, but basically we were going to enjoy the city and play it by ear.  One of the first things we ran into was the Willis tower, formerly, and more famously known as, the Sears tower.  As soon as we spotted this man-made wonder of architecture, I was commenting on how amazing it felt (temperature-wise), and glanced down at my camera to shoot this picture and realized that somehow my button up shirt had popped open down to my belly-button.  As a side note, I was also wearing my most ratty bra as ratty bras usually tend to be the most comfortable.  I realized then that I wasn't sure just how many blocks it had been that I had given all of Chicago's pedestrians and traffic a free show.  Oops.  From then on I told Joey that he was my "boobs police" for that shirt.  Regardless whether or not I was appropriately buttoned, the breeze did feel absolutely perfect :)

The Willis Tower - 103 stories high

I often have panic attacks where I will suddenly have the sense of falling off of a high structure, usually a building.  I also wake up on a pretty normal basis from nightmares of falling off buildings and/or other people falling off buildings... sometimes another person and I falling off buildings together.  Anyway, you get my point.  I have a phobia of heights.  However, I'm pretty good with them as long as I stay away from the edge and think of my happy place underwater when other people are near them.  So, it was a bit of conquest going up to the top of the Willis Tower, however, I knew that once I got up there, I would not be disappointed with the photo-ops.  So up the scarily fast-paced elevator we shot, and onto the "sky-deck" where I stayed a very safe distance from the edge of the windows at all times.  Joey is the brave one.

Louis was up there.  He really is quite funny.

And then there were these awful things.  Glass "decks" that jut out from the building so that you can "sense the feeling" of being suspended in mid-air outside of the top of the building.  CRAZY?  Yes, I totally agree.

And, yes, Joey tried it out. 

Then, we walked over to Michigan Ave.  It was a brilliant street for people watching and an even more exciting street for parks and Art.  The first piece of Art we ran into was Crown Fountain in Millenium park,  an awesome interactive sculpture involving two building-like structures with faces of Chicago residents projected on the facing walls of each tower.  The faces observe and smile, and then, as every 10 minutes goes by, they form their mouths into a pucker and spit at one another.  Awesome is what it is.

It was awesome when the fountain began to spit.  The kids at the fountain FREAKED!!!  They were stoked.

After the fountain, we saw a few more sculptures and then decided to save the rest for when we met up with the rest of our group, so we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the city by foot.  Our friends Garre and Greg, who we were meeting up with for the concert picked us up at the Art Institute where we then headed to the hotel to drop our stuff off and get ready for some Eels action.


After the concert was pizza, beer, an epic train ride back to the hotel, and then a really good (and much needed) nights sleep.  Then, it was time to put our brains together to figure out how to best attack the next day of our time spent in Chicago.

Unfortunately, if you're not accustomed to how the trains operate, then you will experience an epic train journey much like ours where we hopped from one line to the other, never quite finding our destination.  However, we did pass by Chinatown and experience a variety of subway tunnels.

Finally, when our stomachs protested loudly enough, we gave up and went back into the heart of downtown where we could walk to most everything.  We ate at Lou Malnati's, which was Deeelicious!  And then we began to walk.

The giant mirrored kidney bean was a ton of fun for everyone... especially for everyone's camera's.

After the bean, it was back to exploring downtown.  A lot of these photographs I like a lot, but I would like to turn into black and white photo's via photoshop.  I think the contrast of this picture of the three buildings would look amazing in B&W.

Buckingham Fountain.  Beautiful park, beautiful fountain, beautiful views of the lake, and bikes for rent to enjoy it all!  We didn't have time to rent the bikes, but I thought it was cool that the option was available.

After the fountain, we began walking with a pub in mind.  We eventually found one, Excheque, and I enjoyed a most excellent extra dirty martini.  

After the pub, Joey and I's time in Chicago had expired, so we headed back to the station.  Once on the train, I took a ton of photographs playing with the lights from outside.  

Early in the morning, the train slowly pulled into Memphis.  Home sweet home.

The trip was amazing and one of the best birthday presents, if not THE best, that I have ever gotten.  For everyone that helped to give me that present, THANK YOU SO MUCH; it was incredible!!!  Our weekend was fantastic, the company great, the sights unforgettable, and I am definitely very blessed to have been able to experience it.  You all are wonderful!

Love to all!

P.S. - I'm a photo nut, I know, so thank you for putting up with the exact play-by-play of the weekend.  I'm not very good at summarizing.

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images