Chicago - the Windy City

Trip Start Nov 16, 2005
Trip End Apr 11, 2006

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Where I stayed
Harry's place

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Tuesday, March 14, 2006

10th March..... Chicago - the Windy City

I left Maui at 5.30 pm on 9th March and arrived in Chicago at 5.30 am on Friday morning, to a bright sunny day. Harry was there to meet me at the airport and took me back to their house - this is about 20 minutes drive - they live in a suburb of north western Chicago called Oak Park the home of Frank Lloyd Wright - the world famous architect of houses and buildings.

I have known Harry and Grace for 20 years, having met them in Florida when we were holidaying on Longboat Key. We had some great times with them - Harry was a very talented and stylish golfer and was a scratch player in his younger days. He is now in his late eighties and has as much stamina as someone much younger than his years.

During my 4 full days in Chicago, he took me everywhere and was well able to keep up with me! I went to the Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago's equivalent of the London Eye, up the Sears Tower, the Art Museum, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, St. Patrick's Church and the Holy Name Church, the shores of Lake Michigan, the Frank Lloyd Wright home and the other houses he designed, the home of Ernest Hemmingway and Marshal Field's store (Chicago's "Harrods") where we had coffee in the Walnut Room.

Harry and I set off each morning after breakfast and spent the day doing all the above - he made sure that I did not miss a thing! The Planetarium was fascinating, as was the Shedd Aquarium. We watched the Parade on Saturday for 2 hours along Columbus Ave - the Chicago River was turned emerald green for the occasion! It was 66 degrees, with the sun shining, on that Saturday, which was a real bonus as it could have been 6 degrees!! I was so lucky with the weather the whole time I was there - clear blue skies and unseasonably warm. My first experience of Chicago was a good one and would tempt me to go back there again.

Harry's wife Grace was not up to walking around with us but, she did all the planning for what I should see and, planned my visit to F L Wright's house tour. She did, however, join us for dinner in the evenings when we went out. They took me out in the country on Sunday for dinner and I got to see some of the area outside Chicago, including all the marvelous stately houses in their neighbourhood.

They gave me a wonderful insight into the history of Chicago and it's development - the advantage of staying with 'the locals'. Thank you so much Harry and Grace for all your kindness and hospitality during my stay with you.
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