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.
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.
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.
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.
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."