Greetings from chicago il saturday - what a ...

Trip Start Jun 02, 2002
Trip End Apr 01, 2003

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Friday, August 9, 2002

Greetings from Chicago, IL

Saturday - What a better way to learn about the Windy City than by taking The Untouchables bus tour. Our driver and tour guide were dressed up in fashionable gangster wear complete with suspenders and cap guns. They arrived in a black school bus with bullet hole stickers on some of the windows. During the tour, they handed out silk flowers to all the women and passed out so-called gangster cigars to everyone. As they took us through the city, we learned how it was divided with the Irish gangs in the North and the Italian gangs in the South. The main event that fueled the gang fighting was bootlegging during prohibition. They told us about all the famous players, including Al Capone, and took us to where famous events took place such as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

The tour was not only informative, but also totally hilarious. For example, we were driving through a deserted flood gate when our tour guide leaned outside the door claiming to see city hoodlums about to attack the bus. In order to protect his bus and us, he quickly shot at them first with his cap gun revolver. Meanwhile, the rest of us played along by ducking our heads down below the windows. Thanks to our brave guides, we survived the tough streets off Chicago and can live it up again.

We walked to the Sears Tower in an attempt to go up to the observation desk of the world's tallest building. However, the line was long and we didn't feel like waiting. Besides, we've been to the Empire State Building and the CN Tower and we didn't think we would not be missing much.

So, we jumped in the truck and headed to Frank Lloyd Wright's home in the city's suburbs. We paid for the self-guiding audio tour, and with map in hand, we headed out to tour the surrounding neighborhood. We were not allowed to enter any of the houses, because people actually lived in them. The tour lasted about two and a half hours. Many of the houses were built based on his prairie style architecture. We learned about lateral lines, the effects of window placement, and how a particular mood can be achieved by placing the house not in the center of the property. However, some of the things the narrator spoke of like roof lines causing tension with the front porch columns flew right over our heads.

Sunday - We drove into Wisconsin to meet up with a friend of mine in Milwaukee. Clint and his father, Dale, were in town to attend a weekend seminar about Herbalife. We headed into the downtown area for some cocktails and dinner. We sat outside with a view of the Milwaukee River. I mentioned during dinner that I had just seen a pink fish with big fins jump out of the water. They used this statement to make fun of me the rest of the night. Dinner was followed by a visit to a bar packed with college students. We had a lot of laughs catching up with each other and reliving prior experiences. There were at least one bachelor and two bachelorette parties stopping at the place and we had a good time watching them try to achieve the night's goals set by their "good" friends. One last toast at the tavern across the street took place before we ended the night with goodbyes and a long drive home for us.

Monday - We took our friend Sarah's up on her recommendation and went to the Museum of Science and Industry. It was filled with hands-on exhibits with pages to turn, buttons to push, cranks to spin, and puzzles to solve. Not only did it provide us with interaction, it also had some of the neatest displays. Such as an underground mine located on the third floor! We followed our miner guide into an elevator that supposedly took us down hundreds of feet into the earth's crust. He then had us climb into a mining train which took us to the front lines where all types of mining equipment demonstrated how the ore was extracted. F-14 flight simulator, a fifteen foot human heart, and a large display of time pieces were some of the other exhibits we visited. We were also blessed with witnessing baby chickens peck their way out of their egg shells and take their first breaths. It was interesting to watch those baby chickens who were already out of their shells hop over and help those who were still trying to get out of theirs.

We were hungry and since we were in Chicago, we decided on some getting some famous Geno's East pizza. We ordered the deep dish with pepperoni. The waiter informed us that because it was so thick it takes 35 minutes for it to cook. We ordered the sampler appetizer to hold us over till then. We could not believe our eyes when the pizza arrived. The crust was two and a half inches high and there was so much cheese. We were only able to eat a slice and a half, but we didn't care because leftover pizza is always just as good and this pizza was extremely good. Actually, we thought it was so good that we had them ship 3 pies to Jenn's father as a birthday gift. We could picture him eating it with his friends and family on his birthday and everyone enjoying Chicago pizza in Florida. It turned out that he decided to save them all for himself. Things may not have occurred as we planned it, but we really couldn't blame him.

We headed out to Navy Pier to watch the sun go down, also one of Sarah's recommendations. We could not resist taking a ride around on the giant Ferris wheel. As we reached the top of the slow revolving wheel, we noticed that we were surrounded with a painted sunset sky to our right and stars and planets shining through a darkening sky to our left. The wind blew across Lake Michigan and distorted the moon's reflection on the water. It was a perfect time to hold close the person I love most.

Tuesday - We attempted to walk to the Chicago Stock Exchange and take a tour, but September 11th changed everything. They would no longer allow a tour unless you've made previous arrangements or if you knew someone who worked there. We didn't have either, so we had no choice but to walk away empty handed.

We kept our heads up and walked over to the Museum of Contemporary Photography. There were three floors with a different artist's work on each floor. Some were very interesting in how the artist composed the subjects, selected the background, and used the light and shadows of the environment. I find that I enjoy photographs much more than I do paintings or sculptures. Jenn does not have a preference, but tells me that what matters to her are the emotions she feels when observing art.

Well, our tour of the Windy City has ended. Jenn says that she really likes Chicago and that so far it is her favorite city. Our next destination is the state of Wisconsin for another week of adventures and cheese.

With wind in our sails,
Love Dave and Jenn
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