Friday, August 15, 2008

Chicago, Day 2 – I'm so full!

David and I are having a great time in Gotham City (no Batman sightings as of yet, though). Chicago, like Dallas, is one hour behind Toronto, so we woke up pretty early. But that meant we could get a head start on our little faxing chore. When we shipped our boxes last week, we thought we had all the paperwork covered, but after the boxes left Mailboxes Etc. on Queen Street, the UPS people called to say they needed a copy of our visas. Well, we wouldn't have documentation even remotely resembling a visa until we'd crossed the border and gotten a stamp on our I-20 forms. So, this morning we had to send that, only the fax number we'd been given didn't work. Long story short, it was a bit of a saga, but now our helpful friend Larry at Mailboxes says that our papers have gotten through and our boxes should be on the way to Dallas. Hooray!

With that covered, we wandered around downtown and saw some of the sights. (No pictures yet, unfortunately, as my camera cable is in a box in Mississauga somewhere). We saw the Cloud Gate statue (known to Chicagoans as the bean), which true to its name is a giant reflective bean-shaped thing in the centre of Millennium Park. It's very cool to see how it bends the reflections, especially up inside the middle of the structure. I thought it was funny, though, that you could see kind of mop marks up near the top, where they hadn't cleaned it all the way up (blech). We also saw the gorgeous Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the bandstand designed by Frank Gehry.

After a bit more walking (including a stretch down along the river) David dropped me off at... wait for it... Macy's! I spent a couple of hours there and lucky me, they were having a big one-day sale. I got a grown up wallet. David met me afterwards and we crossed Wabash street to go to an office building that has a Cajun restaurant on the seventh floor called Heaven on Seven. Everybody's table had about fifteen different bottles of hot sauce on it, and the walls were covered with shelves of bottles boasting 1,320 varieties ("For display only – do not touch. May explode.") I recommend Tabasco's smoky chipotle sauce. It was a tasty lunch, but very rich and both of us had way more food on our plates than we could eat. After we left the restaurant we both realized we were unbelievably full! We're not sure how people do it here.

After lunch we went for a ride around the Loop – I know I looked like a total tourist taking in the view as we rode above the streets of the city, but it's very cool. David says the older architecture is mostly neo-Gothic, and it's amazing to see it up close and personal from the train. The presence of the El tracks really changes the look of the downtown city – it's almost like the whole town is under construction. Chicago feels like an older and wiser Toronto.

After that adventure, we were both completely wiped and pretty much crashed in our hotel room! I think we're pretty tired from the preparations that got us this far. We're recharging for what's to come!

1 comment:

shortbreadannie said...

Chicago is a place I have always wanted to go - it sounds wonderful - and I love Macy's! I ended up googling Gotham City as I always thought it referred to New York City but there are references to NYC and Chciago and a fictional city in New Jersey!