There is a good reason why there are songs about Chicago. The weather may suck dead slugs through a straw, but it is an incredibly vibrant and beautiful city the first of June. I was up for a show at the Prairie Arts Festival over Memorial Day and instead of driving right home, I stayed for a little vacation.
Dave flew up a couple of days after the show (Jessie drove up with me) and we stayed with his parents in Montgomery. A couple of days we lounged and relaxed (reconfiguring a home network and networking computers counts as that for me) but two other days we played tourist. The first day Dave and I took the train in, had lunch at Frontera Grill and then met up with the rest of the family at the Shedd Aquarium to see the Lizards. (Lizards ate my spouse!).
After seeing the dolphins, lizards, sea otters, beluga whales and (nesting/courting) penguins we took the free trolley to the Art Institute (didn't go in this time) and then headed for Millenium Park just north of Grant Park and the AI to see the art and gardens.
I will say one thing for Mayor Daley 2, the city is really coming alive under his tenure. The following pictures are of the sculpture affectionately called "The Bean" by the locals (it's really the Kapoor sculpture), Crown fountain and Lurie garden. It is impossible to capture the size and feeling of the Pritzker Pavillion so I am just linking to the official site for it. The official Millenium Park site is also worth a look.. We finished the day with dinner in Greek town at the Greek Isles before driving home with the parents.
The next day we again took the train in, but this time we went early in the morning and checked into the Westin hotel on Dearborn just north of the river. For Chicagophiles this used to be the Nikko Hotel... very nice. It was till pretty nice, and purchased on priceline.com, could not be beat. After getting settled we took a taxi to Watertower place on north Michigan Ave. and shopped our way back to the hotel. After a quick lunch we cabbed it to the Field Museum for our reserved tickets to the new King Tut exhibit. Very disappointing. If you were alive, sentient and saw it in '77, don't bother. If you weren't, get a good book.
After a nap, dinner was back at Frontera with Stuart & Andrea. We ate continentally (dinner after 9:00) and tumbled into bed like a pile of kittens (for the prurient, just Dave and I) to sleep until riding to catch the train back to the parents.
Sunday morning we packed up and headed for Nashville. Monday morning at 7:30 in Nashville we picked up the Odyssey and its shiny new transmission and coasted on home