Friday, June 01, 2007

Five Days of Bad Hair or My Kind of Town

Chicago skyline from the Ferris wheel on the Navy Pier.I do not know what it is about the Midwest. Any further east than the Rockies, and my hair goes pffft. Other than coiffure anxiety, though, my trip to Chicago last week was delightful. Thanks for asking.

Frank Sinatra sang that Chicago was "[his] kind of town," and I'm rather convinced that it is mine, too. More imbued with a feeling of history and significance than Seattle, more congenial and intimate than New York, Chicago has a lot to offer -- far more, in fact, than our five days of touring could encompass. But we tried our best, and we saw a bit, and it was all good.

Jason and my dad went to Wrigley Field.  Gum has brought much good to the world.  I was at Flicka's.It helped, I think, that the weather took a turn for the cooler when we finally hit the tarmac of O'Hare. Being as web-footed as we are, temps in the 70's were a trial for our packed wardrobes (which had anticipated a much higher degree on the thermostat), but a boon for our psyches. If you're going to be walking around outside the tender arms of air conditioning, an unseasonal cold front helps immensely.

I think my favorite thing about the city was the public transportation. I know; who chooses that? Well, for someone who hates to drive as much as I, getting around by walking and on the subway and the El and the buses was a fantastic dream come true. If there were a way to get into Seattle without a car from the 'burbs, I'd do it all the time. But, West Coast public transportation sucks.

The Museum of Science and Industry -- the only building left from the 1893 World's Fair.We saw some cool places, such as the Field Museum, the Navy Pier, and the Children's Museum. We ate cool food -- deep-dish pizza at Pizzeria Uno and Chicago-style dogs from a vendor. Jason and my parents got to see more in the city than Sadie and I, because, as I hinted before, we went on a train out of town for a side trip to go visit Flicka Spumoni. That was the highlight of my vacation. And, yes, she's every bit as amazing in person as you would expect from her fabulous writing.

The Ferris wheel described to the right.Look at this picture Jason took of a Ferris wheel at the Navy Pier! Did you know that the Ferris wheel was invented for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Chicago World's Fair? The original was far bigger than this one. Surprisingly, we saw a lot of U.S. Navy servicemen at the Navy Pier. I had thought that that was just an historical name.

All good things must come to an end -- except the best thing, which will never end. But this trip was not built for eternity, so we came home on Tuesday. It's just as well, for the treacherous weather was making another turn-around and getting rather St. Louis-y (i.e. hot and humid and double-dose-of-deodoranty). So, we're back in my lovely, homey, wonderful Pacific Northwest, and my hair is back to normal, and Sadie's sleep schedule is back to normal, and Rylee is here, and life is good.

Sadie: Homeschooled and Wild.For, as Frank Sinatra also sang, "It's very nice to go traveling, but it's so much nicer, yes it's oh so nice, to come home."


Flicka Spumoni said...

I forgot to tell you, the Field Museum has the "killer Lions" that killed out, like 40 men, in the 20's I think.

I butchering the facts. But their story was made into a film with Val Kilmer called, "The Ghost in the Darkness." Great film. You should watch it now. But they were encased in the Africa section I think. They don't look like much. But when you know what they did - they become monsters.

joelle said...

Sounds like you had a great trip! I can't say I'm one for visiting big cities for "fun". I'd much rather escape to nature - though nature in a "civilized" form! lol

What fun to get to meet Flicka. :)

Justine said...

Flicka -- Catching a glimpse of "The Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo" was the reason I insisted on going to the Field Museum! It's fascinating to note that the lions as they appear in the museum are in fact smaller than they were in life, because the taxidermist had to recreate them out of beat-up old rugs that had covered the floors of the house of the man who shot them. I got a kick out of that tidbit of info -- it's so unsentimental and ordinary for lions who took so many lives and wrought so much terror -- and so very British of the man who finally shot them!

Though I thrive on the cultural amenities and the vibrancy of city life occasionally, I love to escape to "civilized" nature, too, Joelle. I can hardly wait for our annual "camping" trip to Camp Barnabas in Beautiful British Columbia next month!

Of course, I'd have traveled to Timbuktu to meet Flicka (and you, too, for that matter).

Flicka Spumoni said...

I was completely unaware of that piece of trivia. That explains how small they look! They really don't look capable of all that bloodshed there in the display. I wonder what size they really were! 25% bigger maybe?

That is a great piece of trivia.