Chicago marathon and river cruise

Trip Start Sep 07, 2009
Trip End Nov 17, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Sunday, October 11, 2009

We were staying just a couple of blocks from the 12 mile mark of the marathon, which was due to start today. Our hotel had been very busy since we arrived and most of the people staying here seem to be here to either take part in, or watch, the marathon. For us, being in Chicago during the marathon was just a coincidence, but, as Jim had taken part in the London race, we were eager to check it out and compare the atmospheres of the two.

The Chicago marathon starts a lot earlier, 7.30am (!), so we made our way to the 12 mile marker around 9am. It was so cold, and most of the runners wearing hats, gloves and fleeces. We were freezing watching the race, but still cheered the runners on. As in London, some of the runners wear their names on the front of their shirts, so you can cheer them on by name Chicago style - 'Way to go John!' etc etc. The atmosphere was great and we warmed up after with a hot chocolate at a local cafe. We were both inspired by the runners, but Jim had no aspirations of joining them this time!

After lunch, we made our way down to the river for the architectural tour. We wrapped up warm as we knew it would be colder on the water. The cruise was brilliant and the tour guide (a volunteer from the Chicago Architecture Foundation) was very good. The history behind the skyscrapers and other older buildings was really interesting and not something we had thought much about before. The trip lasted around 90 minutes and was well worth the money - probably the best way to see Chicago's architecture in all its glory.

We went to Chilli's for dinner, which was fast becoming a favourite of Jim's. Although it is a chain, the Mexican style food is great and really cheap. They have a good bar too, that shows all the sports games. The bar-staff are really friendly and you get free re-fills too (not alcoholic drinks though!).

Yet again, another fab day....!
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