Friday, April 25, 2008

operation chicago: friday

das and I left bradley international airport (listed as hartford, CT but not actually IN hartford... in fact, it's closer to springfield, MA probably) at 8:45a-ish on a direct flight to o'hare (as opposed to midway). it was such a turbulent flight, not just in chicago either, but the whole trip. ugh. I tried to sleep, but it was fitful at best. it was a shame that it was too cloudy for a great view when we landed; I could see the lake, but unfortunately I missed a good view of the coast. anyway, o'hare was a great airport to get around in; we didn't have any issues finding our luggage or the chicago transit authority (cta) signs. because das's sister (S) and brother-in-law (M) were working, we had to take the blue line (which ends/originates at the airport) to addison then pick up the bus to get to their apartment. their apt is beautiful; it is the top floor of a brownstone-looking home. so, M lets us in (he's an author/researcher of children's history books and works at home), gives us some general information, and we are on our way into the heart of chicago! we start off at millennium park which is totally amazing. they had some spectacular fountains with the lighted faces of chicago residents (see picture), plus other fountains. we even saw a wedding ceremony at one after we left morton's steakhouse for lunch (which was absolutely amazing). so after we ate lunch and walked around the park some more to admire the beautiful artwork, we decided to pop into the art institute of chicago (museum), where S/M were members (so we got in for free - yay!). of course the day we decide to visit is the same day that what seemed like 800 chicago/illinois schools decided that *they* would have field trips. it was a bit distracting in some of the lobby areas, and even some of the exhibits, but for the most part we just dealt with it. we saw a fantastic photography exhibit of the work of ed ruscha plus a graphic design mini-exhibit from a design firm in london. we perused the ancient chinese art exhibit and quickly made it through the ancient egyptian exhibit (there were a lot of loud children there). there were some special exhibits, too, but we didn't get to see them (winslow homer / edward hopper). we thought we had to pay extra (turns out we didn't), and we were running short on time as we needed to meet up with S. I would have liked to have seen the winslow homer exhibit, but such is life. I'm mad because I didn't get this fantastic blue tshirt that I wanted thinking I'd either a) be able to walk by again and pick it up before we left chicago, or b) find something better at another store. BUT, neither happened and now I'm SOL without this awesome blue shirt. :) so we met up with S at a bar in the city (the name had elephant in it, but I can't remember)... had a drink. got on the el, walked around her neighborhood, thought it was going to rain so we ducked into a bar... had a drink. met up with M at a restaurant nearby, had some fantastic nachos... and a drink. :) let me tell you... the beer gardens in chicago are so cool. I wish that CT had more of them... but it's just so different, I couldn't see them really thriving here. something I'm glad that CT doesn't have, but chicago does... ridiculous rainstorms! oh sure, every place has them... but these were flash-flood-rain-coming-in-sideways type rainstorms. we almost got flooded out of our beer garden! but then... it just... stopped. and so ended our first day in chicago.

No comments: