Chicago Vacation

Trip Start Aug 07, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

After our show at Calumet City High School on Thursday, we had the weekend free!  Our free shuttle from the airport to the train stop saved mileage however shady the van may have been.  Really, our white windowless cargo van is a Hummer Limo compared to the Super 8 "Trolly" van. 

Anyway, we took the train to Chicago Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Friday we didn't go much further than Millenium Park.  We took a book and paper pad.  Michael sketched while I read a romantic history novel in the grass.  We just relaxed at the park.  We had ice-cream cones and saw all the scultures there are to see in Millenium Park.  Then walked less than a block before stopping at Noodle and Co. for dinner before heading back to the hotel for the night.  Our Trolly Driver that night was a psychic.  So that was weird.

Saturday we slept til almost noon just because we could.  That evening, we had great plans to go to a chinese circus, eat dinner out and see navy pier fireworks.  That was until the "trolly" from Super 8 went missing and got back too late for us to have made the train.  We took the next train into the city.  We missed the circus, but got to eat at the Rainforest Cafe.  We then treated ourselves to dessert at the Melting Pot - chocolate fondue - AWESOME!!!  We thought we were closer to Navy Pier than actuality, so we saw the fireworks go off between skyscrapers as we walked down Grand Ave.  When we did get to the pier the fireworks were done, so we sat to wait for the Navy Pier Trolly to take us at least a little closer to the Metra.  While sitting on our bench who should walk by but Erik Strebig!!!   We had wanted to call him since he transfered to a conservatory in Chicago from CU.  But I have a new phone so we didn't have his number.  Alas, our poor timing for the fireworks put us in prime position to find Strude in an otherwise huge crowd.  We got back to the train in time for the 11:30pm.  Too bad I read the schedule wrong.  It had left at 11:00 to get to our destination at 11:30.  Oops.  So we sat in Millenium Station for the next Train at 12:50... sigh.  Good thing we had Little Computer to look up a church for the morning, and cards to play cribbage and make the time fly by.  We did make it back to our hotel and slept very well.

Sunday we had decided on a church to visit.  Hungry for fellowship with other believers, we were ready for church.  The "Trolly" doesn't run Sundays so we had to get ourselves to the train station.  We left the hotel on time.  We got to the train on time.  We got up from our seats when we heard our stop was next.  Only then did we find out that our stop was a request only stop.  We also found out we needed to request at the front car.  We were about five cars back.  We RAN!  We made it to the conductor at the front car just in time to watch the train station fly by the left windows.  Next Stop: 30 blocks north.   sigh.
We rode into Millenium Station deciding to give up on church.  We'd already planned for an 11am service and no one meets after 11:30 - when we arrived in downtown.  We plopped down in the grass at the park for lack of anything else to do.  I cried for the frusteration of it all.  Finally, we got up and went to a shaded table and decided to read through Ruth together outloud. 
It didn't take long for a ruggid older man to walk up, notice our Bible and ask "Are you Christians? Could you spare some change?"
Clearly, we couldn't say no after having been identified with Christ.  We also have a policy not to hand out money.  So we offered to take him to lunch at the Park Grille.
Kim has a start on his premed degree, a mental dissorder, an unsupportive family, a skattered, shattered past, and an impressive recall of Scripture.  I had cried in the park at our loss of opportunity to meet with fellow Christians, and here was a brother at the Park Grille.  We needed encouragement, he needed a meal.  We both were blessed.  Praise God for changing our plan B's into His Plan A's.  Mike and I left lunch encouraged, stretched, challenged, and hopeful.  I pray we did at least as much for Kim.
We walked down to Navy Pier and got to see the Chinese circus afterall.  Cirque Shanghai was well worth the ticket price.  Every act was new, impressive and excitingly creative.  We were on the edge of our seats watching these artists bounce, twist, fly and spin their way into seemingly impossible positions.  Wow - it was a good show to say the least.
We got back to Millenium Station with a craving for ice-cream but only 13 minutes to spare.  SO we got on the train, went to Walgreens on the way back to the hotel and had a pint of Ben and Jerry's while watching Harry Potter in our bed. 
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