Many Travels – Chicago, Part Jo and Suitcase

This will be a mostly pictoral adventure.

P1030621

Here’s Suitcase at the train station, taking a little rest after trundling all the way from Tina’s apartment.

P1030628

Jo-Jo and Suitcase grab a quick nap on the train.  It had been a tiring time for us all – exhaustingly fun, like being around me often is.

P1030631

Samba-stepping Jo leads Suitcase to an empty grassy area for more dancing!

P1030632

Finally both Jo-Jo and Suitcase collapse from shaking it.

P1030635

Suitcase takes a rest and poses with the giant reflective bean.

P1030641

Jo, Suitcase, and giant Chinese dinosaur.  Big Red was part of a sculpture exhibit of modern Chinese works.  I’ll leave the naked people/pig/red wrecking crane sculpture to your imagination.

P1030646

Suitcase makes a final stop at Cosi for lunch, and then he’s off to the Plains states.

Advertisements

Many Travels – Chicago Part 1

There are people who intersect your life not without impact, but without disruption.  A part of it has to do with knowing someone well.  Time passes, and regular communication may lapse, but still there is a strong connection.  Another part of it has to do with the pattern of a contrasting life.  Knowing someone parallels you in certain ideas, in humor or behavior, or in any number of other small kernels allows for you to walk in step with certain people more easily.  Jo is one of those people for me, so of course I went to Chicago to see her while she was in this country.  And it was good.  It was as if I’d spent no time away from my Jo-Jo.  It also allowed me to relax and for awhile not stress about all the life changes I have to worry about from moving cross-country.

The first day I was late to pick her up at the airport because I failed to correctly estimate how long it would take me to get out there on public transportation.  Point one against me.  Then we went into the city and just sat down to coffee and tea before we were supposed to meet some of my friends, Dave and Allie, for dinner.  Of course, then I totally messed up where we were supposed to meet them, and made them walk twenty minutes out of their way to find us.  Point two.  Still we had a lovely dinner at a reasonably authentic Mexican place, and Jo had a beer.  it was the first time I’d seen her drink alchohol in my life, since she’d taken a break from it while we were working together in China.  So here’s the shocking proof:

P1030605

P1030606

Then we headed out to Oak Park, to meet with Tina, who was our host and hotelier for the next few days.  Yay Tina!

The next day we went to Buzz Cafe, which is a breakfast place just around the corner from Tina’s.  Jo had never eaten pancakes before.  Evidently the crazy little island (GB) doesn’t have real ones – they just have crepes or dense Scottish-type things.  So she was all about the diner experience – we wanted to get her an asthmatic, cranky waitress named Dolores.  Alas, our waitress was perky and totally not embittered.  Still, she did get some delicious fluffy pancakes.  And then we were on to the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Robie House.

Tina had been to the Museum before, and I had as well back in the days of my youth, but she had not seen the coal mine.  Jo thought it would be fun as well – I guess that coal mines are a rarity now in the UK, like pancakes.  I did remember the giant bug from the first part of the exhibit, but I did not remember the other extensive part of this exhibit, which is waiting in line forever.  Let me share:

P1030609

P1030611

And it just gets better from here…

P1030610

We decided we deserved, nay, needed ice cream afterwards.

P1030614

We ended the day with a visit to the Robie house, a visit to the Trader Joe’s, and a nice evening of wine, bread, cheese, salad, and hanging out on the back porch overlooking Tina’s garden.

The next morning we were on our way when I discovered this sign.  I had to imitate:

P1030622

(The sign says “Danger – Keep Off Tracks.  High Voltage”  The figure does…what I am doing.)

The trip culminated with a morning at Millenium Park doing samba (yay free samba every Saturday), a visit to the Chinese sculptures, and lots of pictures with the reflective bean and the spitting fountain.  I’ll leave you with a few.

P1030635

P1030645

P1030644