LAKE MICHIGAN: UP CLOSE AND ON HIGH

27 Sept 2014
We were in the mood for excercise, so dressed for the gym we headed out towards the park and the lake front. It’s Saturday morning and there was a vibrancy in the air, people were out enjoying the morning sunshine. In the park we came across multi-media fountains with projected images of people’s faces changing expressions. Set in a shallow pool, people had their shoes off and were wading in the water.

By the time we reached the park, we blended in with the other morning joggers and followed them towards the Lake shore. People were out on bikes, walking, jogging, and boating on the lake. We turned north and followed the lake shore past a calm marina and over the river entrance towards the Navy Pier. We were both feeling good, so much better than yesterday! I could feel the impossibly good mood that comes with excercise. The pier was packed so we had to slow our pace to the speed of the crowd until we reached the end of the pier. When I was here in June the wind was incredible but today there was just a gentle breeze. We looped back to the hotel from the pier.

For lunch we tried the Italian place a few blocks along the street that a blogger friend of Mum’s recommended: (I’d provide a link if I knew how). Quartino, on W Ontario and State Street. Inside it’s an American version of an Italian bistro which to my Australian eyes, looked somewhere between a sports bar and a trattoria. An American football game was playing on monitors over the bar and a 60’s film set in Italy played silently on TV’s around the dinning room.  We were shown to a tucked away table next to the wine shelves, and decided to celebrate our Anniversary again.

The food was delicious. We ordered too much of course, well what do you expect? We ordered a giant anti-pasta platter, crispy calamari, caprese salad, and a quatro staggioni pizza. And a bottle of Chianti Classico.
“Hey Carol, I’m having the best time ever!” announced my pickled husband.
“Hooray! Me too!”
“Time is a weird thing.” Uh-oh he’s getting philosophical. “One moment I’m sitting at my computer and I can’t imagine being on holiday; next minute I’m in an Italian bar thinking soon I’ll be sitting in front of my computer.”
“Let’s enjoy the moment and remember this day” I said pouring the last of the wine.

I messaged my sister to see how she was feeling, and we started sharing ridiculous photo-booth photos. It was hilarious giggling away in the restaurant. Was I making a scene? She brings out the  silly in me.

After lunch I took Dave ‘window’ shopping in Cartier and Tiffany’s – he’s a little drunk and in a good mood: you never know…
“I could buy you something but we might have to cut the holiday short.”

I noticed the Hancock tower up ahead. “Excellent, let’s go up and watch the sunset over Chicago!”
It’s not as tall as the Willis Tower, but it’s not far off. It cost $18 each which I think is a bit steep. Luckily it’s a fast trip to the top. I tried not to think of the increasing distance below the lift, I tried not to remember every elevator nightmare I’ve ever had, unsuccessfully. Think of the engineering, the counterweights, the breaks. I’m an interior designer, I refuse to let super-tall elevators give me the heebeegeebees.

The view at the top is impressive. Long shadows stretched out over Lake Michigan, which if I didn’t know better, I’d swear was the sea as far as we could see, see, see.
“We are specks on the surface of a dot in space, look at the people at the beach down there.” We had our foreheads pressed against the glass looking down noticing how small we are against the city.

We enjoyed the change of perspective looking over the city; rooftop pools, miniature traffic, tiny boats out on the lake, and long glittering roads disappearing into the horizon. On the southern facade people were lined up for the ‘Tilt’ experience: a section of the facade that tilts forward like a pop-out.

“I’m not sticking around here all afternoon; let’s go.” Mr Impatient. I guess there was another few hours before sunset. Back at ground level, the street was buzzing with the early Saturday evening switch from shopping to partying. That night we set up our travel-cinema and watched Hotel Budapest. We both loved this movie, with it’s beautifully stylised cinematography, great writing and direction, and a brilliant cast.

It’s been an action packed day. We made a pact to start more days like this. If we don’t, at the rate we are eating, we’ll turn into a couple of emense-oids! And that does not work with the manifesto!

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2 thoughts on “LAKE MICHIGAN: UP CLOSE AND ON HIGH

  1. I’m so glad that you are blogging it is so much fun going along on the trip with you. Glad you found the media fountains. The views from the tower are great. The food sounds awesome..keep running.

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