Well, we've had a busy couple of days! We're now wrapping up day 3 in Chicago and it's been fabulous. I could live here for sure, if given the dumptruck full of hundred dollar bills required to take up residence in this area! We've just returned from Blue Man Group and dinner at the famous Chicago Chop House. Dave and I secretly made arrangements with one of the hotel staff (Darron, thank you) to hire a limo for the evening. Mama had been asking about where we might go to dinner, etc, and I did my best to act completely uninterested each time she broached the subject. So this morning, as Mama and Daddy went down the lobby to people-watch and read the newspaper, we had Darron come over to them with a note requesting them to be in the lobby at 3pm. Of course, we played dumb, but the point was that we had a car waiting for us for the evening.
But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. This morning, we all ate at the hotel resaurant, a lovely breakfast buffet with fantastic service. At the next table were a family whose children felt the need to talk at an unreasonably loud volume - not yelling, mind you - and whose two daughters had brought their entire doll collection down to breakfast with them. However, the creepy little menagerie was nothing compared to the group of lively northern ladies who sat down next and proceeded to loudly discuss the differences between and habits of tranvesites vs. transexuals.
But I digress. While at breakfast, Daddy and I discussed the idea of riding the El around the downtown loop. After a few directions from the concierge and a bit of digestion, we headed down to the corner and CTA bus #66. We wern't sure where to get off the startlingly clean bus, but some kind and helpful Chicagoans gave us some clarification. We debarked the bus at the proper stop (Franklin) and after a bit of walking in the wrong directions, went into the train terminal and up the stairs. We must have looked pretty foolish trying to get our transfer cards to work. You'd think the big red arrow pointing one way on the card would give us a clue! The station and stairs were so old, obviously original to the El, and it was quite shocking to see such history in everyday use.
After a few chilly moments, we boarded the train and took in more magnificent sites of downtown Chicago. It really is quite a beautiful city with wonderful buildings, both old and new, and it is easy to see why Chicago is known as a home of stellar architecture. I could not believe how quickly the doors opened and closed - there is not a moment for indecision! In fact, when we were to have gotten off, we hesitated a moment because the name of the street was different than what was written on our directions. We wound up going quite a little bit out of our way, while I thought, OK, well, we'll just grab a cab and go back. Luckily, once we got off the El, we were able to simply walk back underneath and up again without having to buy another ticket.
We made it back to the hotel without much more incident, though the bus was much more crowded this time around. So that this particular post doesn't get ridiculously long[er], I will continue today in my next little post.