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(Photos are above, in case you’re in a Reader and can’t see them)
Tuesday, Tim and Cathy and I went to go play tourist in Chicago for the day. I had a number of things on my list, and yet my list was vague — I wanted to see the big silver bean (but would totally survive if I didn’t); I wanted to see the city from up high; and the most important was meeting two sets of friends for dinner (that was a must). If we got to a yarn store; great. If we got a trolly tour; great. Whatever we did, it would be great. And the day? Perfect. Everything worked out wonderfully, with the minor exception of about ten minutes of traffic and navigation issues. By the way, I really need to do a post just on our GPS system. Holy crap.
We had heard that the big silver bean might be off the menu (so to speak) because there was a giant food event going on in the same park — but then one of the cousins told us that it was really scaled back this year, and then we found out that it ended the day before we were going. So our first stop was the Big Silver Bean. Now, I wanted to see it for two reasons. One was that it seemed like the tackiest thing I’d be able to do that trip unless we got to South of the Border (I mean, really? A giant silver bean? How weird is that?!). The other reason is that there was a big hullaballoo when it opened about local park cops stopping photographers and either making them erase their photos or even hand over their photography equipment (there were many stories about this on BoingBoing and I’m sure you can find them if you search through the archives). There was a combination of “this is private art and you can’t photograph it” and “only terrorists take photos so they can figure out where to set the explosives” and while I’m normally not that confrontational I was oddly curious about what might happen. I mean, how blog-worthy would an argument with a cop be, right? Or a Chicago jail story? HOWEVER. Not only did nobody seem to care that there were about 50 people photographing it, but then it actually turned out to be less tacky and more beautiful than I had imagined. The photos seriously do not do it justice.
After that we decided to walk to the Sears Tower, to get a good view of the city. The weather was clear and dry, not a cloud to be seen, so it was perfect viewing weather. However, when we got there and started to get in line, we found there was a three-hour wait. Now, I wanted my Ferris Bueller photo op, but not enough to wait three hours for it. It’s not my favorite John Hughes movie, so fuck that! We walked over to Loopy Yarns (we did a LOT of walking this trip) and did some yarn shopping… and discussed the next plan. Amanda had suggested we come by the Lorna’s Laces yarn fun factory, and while I wanted to do that because I LOVE LORNA’S WITH BIG HEARTY HEARTS I also didn’t want to intrude — we’re closing Hanks, so I couldn’t place an order, and I hadn’t really made an appointment, so I chickened out. And then one of my Twitter friends dropped me a message saying that if Sears was too long a wait, we should try the John Hancock building. We decided to check it out since we still had loads of time before dinner, and took a taxi over there. Not only was there no wait, but it was like half the price of the Sears Tower. IN YOUR FACE, ROOM OF GLASS THAT I WASN’T GOING TO GO INTO ANYWAY. As you can see from the photos, I went a little nuts with the tiltshift photo setting on my camera. The best/funniest part? Walking out we checked the time, and even factoring in the walking and the trip to the yarn store… if we’d stayed at the Sears Tower *we would still have been in line.*
After that it was a leisurely walk back to where we’d parked the car at the bean, and then off to meet friends for dinner. I really appreciate my friends (Denise and Tarrant, Amanda and Derek) coming out to meet us for dinner. I know meeting someone doing a one-day whirlwind trip through town isn’t always easy, and that they would take time out of their day to come hang out was just really wonderful. They hadn’t met before and [hopefully] all got along, and I can’t speak for anyone else but I had a great time at dinner!
I had a great time overall – the three of us said many times on the drive back that the day was completely perfect. Thank you, Chicago! Except for your traffic, you’re lovely, and I adore your architecture and history!