The end of July took us to Chicago to visit J.D.'s youngest daughter, Angela and her husband Nick. We decided to drive since it really isn't that far from us. It proved to be a nice scenic trip and not a real long and tiring one. I especially enjoyed seeing the miles and miles of wind turbines along the way. It did have the look of being futuristic and I thought of all the homes that they were supplying clean energy to. It sure is a far cry from my the days of my childhood and seeing miles and miles of open top railroad cars hauling coal from the Kentucky and West Virginia coal mines. As the train moved along to it's destination, the wind whipped up clouds of coal dust leaving black residue, almost like fingerprint evidence of the lung disease and global warming that would someday result from it.
As we entered the hustle and bustle of the Windy City I was keeping my fingers crossed and saying little prayers along the way that Maggy (our GPS) wouldn't get her usual attitude going and start sending us off on side trips that we didn't want to take. As we rounded one corner we came to a sudden stop due to road blocks and what looked to be the results of an explosion or a terrorist attack. There were big pieces of buildings spewed all over the street. Later we found out that we had come upon the filming of the newest "Transformers" movie.
The last time I had been to Chicago was 40 years ago, not even a week after Theresa was born. Her paternal grandfather had been living in Iowa at the time and had passed away following a battle with brain cancer. We were flying there from North Carolina for the funeral. There had been a flight delay leaving Atlanta, which put us into Chicago just late enough to cause us to miss our flight out by minutes. As a result we spent the night at the airport until we could catch a flight out the next morning, on what looked like a toy plane. It's seating capacity was about 10 and as I looked out the window of the plane while we were waiting to take off, I am certain that I saw them winding up rubber bands attached to the propellers. I think they call them puddle jumpers. On that trip I was not impressed with Chicago in any way, shape or form and I hadn't even left the airport.
Angela did an excellent job as tour guide and hostess. We saw quite a lot of the city during our visit and tasted many of their wonderful foods. My favorite tour of course was the Museum of Art. I am sure that I could have spent a week just roaming the exhibit halls and soaking in all of that rich culture. When I look at art, I don't just see the piece of artwork in front of me, but also mental visions of it's creator and the hardships endured during the creation. I feel as if I need to memorize every little brush stroke and even the tiniest of lines. To say that I feed my soul would be a pretty accurate description. With that said, you can understand why I would need more time there.
We didn't get to see as much of Nick as we would have liked to while we were there. He was still settling into his new job at BP during that time though. Our visit came to an end and it was Home Sweet Home here we come. I would highly recommend Chicago to anyone wanting to take a trip to a big city. Do they give out "Clean City Awards" ? If so, I nominate Chicago.