Sunday, July 02, 2006

Well, we are here in Chicago! This is Diane letting you know about our trip.

On Thursday we flew into Chicago. We took the "L" train from Midway airport to within a couple blocks of our hotel. We spent the afternoon at Navy Pier. Navy Pier is a long pier with a ferris wheel and rides, shops and restaurants, boat tours of Lake Michigan, theaters with touring shows.... We walked the whole length of the pier, ate lunch, watched the boats and seagulls, and listened to a band playing classic rock (Led Zeppelin etc) in the beer garden.

Our hotel is right across the street from Grant Park where the Taste of Chicago is from Friday to July 9th. Gregg thought we had free wireless internet at the hotel and that we could add to the blog every night but they charge daily for wireless internet so he will probably get it a couple of days.

On Friday, we went to a Cubs game. We took the train to the game - it was crowded with people going to the game and wearing either Cubs or White Sox shirts. Wrigley Field is the second oldest stadium in the country. It is surrounded by bars and souvenir shops, also people selling souvenirs from tables on the sidewalks, or selling bags of peanuts on the sidewalk. The houses on the outfield sides of the stadium have bleachers on the rooftops to watch the game from. The streets are only 2 lane so they are very close. The game was sold out and the streets were buzzing with people 2 hours before the game. After we checked out the souvenir shops, we went into the stadium. The main concession area is under the seats. They offer a lot of options for food. We then climbed up several ramps to our seats. We were in the 5th row of an upper level, between home and third base, but the stadium is so small that we were fairly close, like being in the back of the lower level at KC's Kauffman Stadium. The stadium is so small there is no video board. There is a large scoreboard, where the runs are updated by hand. It was a good game. Probably half were Cubs fans and half White Sox fans. There are 2 former KC Royals playing with the Chicago teams Jermaine Dye for the White Sox and Neifi Perez for the Cubs. During the game the seagulls flew above the stadium, and about the 7th inning all the seagulls hanging out there decided to congregate on the center field grass or fly above that area. The White Sox won 6 - 2.
After the game we walked around the stadium and went to the Goose Island Brewery. Then we took the train back to the hotel.
We went to the Taste of Chicago for dinner. They offer small tastes and also meals. The Buckingham Fountain is also in the park. This is the fountain that is in the opening credits of the TV show Married with Children. The Budweiser Clydesdales are at the fountain area while the Taste of Chicago is going.

On Saturday, we went to the Art Institute and checked out some of the well-known American paintings like American Gothic and Monet's waterlilies. In the afternoon, we walked to the new Millenium Park. It opened in 2004, with water towers and Cloud Gate. It was sunny and very hot. It was a nice park. We took the trolley back to the hotel then walked over to Buddy Guy's Legends for dinner (catfish or BBQ ribs and cornbread and collard greens) and acoustic music.

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