Welcome to Chicago

I am sitting happily watching downtown Chicago from my hotel room's picture window. The city's steel and concrete buildings push ever upward; the windows of the 20 or so buildings which lie directly in my view have a calming symmetry. They both protect and free us. There are straight lines and squares everywhere; the buildings, the windows, the squareness of their features. To the west, if you can bring yourself to look down, there is one snaking street among many straights ones, and I am fascinated to watch the taxis and buses trickle down this concrete tributary. To the east, though I cannot see it from this angle in the room, is Lake Michagan, defying mankind with its curving edges. It looks frozen, though I do not know if this is possible. We arrived in Chicago yesterday. I do not know what time, as I try to forget such things while on holiday. I do know our plane was late leaving Memphis. After an uneventful cab ride into the city from O'Hare, I was happy to find that our hotel is elegant and roomy with a wonderfully friendly staff. Since it is my mom and dad's 35th anniversary, the staff kindly put us in the highest floor of the hotel, the 26th, which is a priority floor. Everyone on staff has been amiable and incredibly helpful.

After we settled in for a bit, we ventured out to find lunch. The temperature was only a few degrees above zero, and of course we are in the Windy City. The cold was nearly unbearable, and after walking for about 3 blocks, we tucked into a TGIFriday's to eat simply because we could not bear to walk any further. We were just off Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile, which still has lights in all the trees and was really quite charming.

After a longish but good meal at Friday's, we walked briskly (double entedre intended) back to the hotel, stopping quickly in a Starbucks to warm up and grab Dave a cup of coffee. We jaunted right back up to our room to warm up.

Which proved a bit difficult. Because it was so cold outside, the windows simply continued to chill the room. I was still fully clothed and in my hoody when I crawled under the covers to warm up. Eventually, I had a nice little warm nap. Unfortunately, we simply cannot leave the curtains open at night because the air is simply frigid. In fact, we found ice coating the indside of our window! Who knew we would need an ice scraper for our housing?

We lounged about for several hours, and at one point Dave and I ran downstairs to make the arrangements for our trip to Blue Man Group and dinner afterward. I will tell you more after that experience! Then, about 8:30, we headed out for Giordano's, the original Chicago style pizza joint.

I am happy to say that we had a great time there! Dave said, "I don't know what I was expecting, a dive I guess, but this place is really great!" We had a great ethnic waiter, who happily warned us that our stuffed pizza would take about 45 minutes to cook. We unhurredly munched on appetizers and had some good conversation. The huge pizza arrived, and though I could only eat one piece, Dave managed 2 and Daddy chowed down on 3 pieces! We grabbed a cab for the 3 or 4 blocks back to the hotel, and it was worth every non-frozen penny to not have to walk in the frozen terror!

Today we are off for a day at Navy Pier, including shopping, some fun things, a couple of meals, and Polar Express in 3D at the Imax Theatre. More later!