Friday, October 03, 2008


Hello! I had a 25 hour layover in Chicago so Clayton flew in to join me in exploring the city. We had a wonderful guide in Clayton's old friend Tosh. He has been living there for over 7 years and knew all the ins and outs. We took the train into town and met up with him at the Art Institute of Chicago. We had about a half hour before the museum opened so Tosh showed us the Millennium Park about a block away. They have some great public art pieces like this giant chrome jelly-bean. You can walk all the way under it, and take some crazy pictures.

Here is my self portrait of Clayton and I.

And here are Tosh and Clayton under the bean. It reminded me of James and the Giant Peach.
Here Clayton and I are in front of the Art Institute's bronze lions.
There are hundreds of notable works here that even the least knowledgeable person would know. Like American Gothic by Grant Wood.

Sadly an entire wing was closed for renovations so we didn't get to see a few key pieces that we were looking forward to. Like The Old Guitarist by Picasso. It is Clayton's favorite piece ever. Oh well, next time. Still there was plenty to enjoy. Like John Singer Sargent, one of my favorite artists. I thought I would take my four month tummy shot next to this one, but we didn't quite get it all in the shot. Um, ya- cuz' it's that big. Sure I'm kidding, but not really. I am getting bigger by the minute. I may just have to blog about my belly button alone... but I digress. Back to the art.

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat. Can you believe he was only 26 when he painted this? Makes me feel like a slacker. Non-art fans may recognize it from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Which is required watching for a trip to Chicago. As is Adventures in Babysitting. Oh wait, is that just me?
Downstairs they have an entire exhibit of about 60 miniature rooms. Like doll houses on acid. These were incredible! Every fabric was hand woven , every chair hand carved. They looked so real. Pictures don't do the least bit of justice, but I included two so you could see the scale next to Clayton's gigantic head. I'm kidding- his head is normal sized, I'm the one that can't find hats that fit.

They had ones done in every major historical style of decorating. Did I mention they were amazing?

After the museum we walked downtown a bit for lunch. We hit the Billy Goat Tavern, a Chicago staple. They serve great burgers. It's a famous place due to the the eccentric former owner Billy Sianis. He actually owned a goat and in 1945 bought seats for himself and his odd pet for the world series at Wrigley field. They denied entrance for the goat, and Mr. Sianis cursed the Cubs that they would never win a championship as long as he lived. And they never did.

After lunch we headed up to the Hancock Center. We decided to go to the top there instead of the Sears Tower as it is almost the same height, and Tosh knew a secret to get us up free. (Completely legal.) They views were astounding. If you are headed to Chicago it is totally worth it to make time in your schedule for this. Here are Tosh and Clayton.
Here is one of the views of Lake Michigan. Note the sand at the bottom of the picture.
Well here we are on that very sand! A beautiful little beach in downtown Chicago. It is such an amazing city. After the Hancock Center we walked along the lake to the Navy Pier.

Here are Tosh and Clayton enjoying the view at the end of the pier.

We took a Ferris Wheel ride on the pier to rest our legs and enjoy the views.
Here I am next to the elevated train (the El). It is loud.
And here are Clayton and his tired, pregnant wife in front of the Sears Tower (sort of). We did it all in about seven hours and I still had to work my flight home that night. We walked our legs off- like we do in any city we are trying to conquer in one day. It's worth it for the experiences, but oh, we hurt today. A million thanks to Tosh for his expertise. We had a great time!
And here is the Sears Tower from the ground. It's a bit tall. You can't even see the top from this angle. We loved Chicago. It's like New York with a Seattle twist. Of course we had the most beautiful fall weather ever. I've heard the winters can bite, so maybe we will have to try it out then to get the whole feel.


Mark & Sarah Turpin said...

okay i don't think i have commented on your blog in a long time so here it goes.. you are having a baby!!! yippee. We are so thrilled and we really really need to get together soon, because come dec we are moving far away (who knows where) and 2nd thing your hair is soo cute!! I am loving the bangs of course!

leigh said...

Oh man! I love Chicago, there's so much great stuff there. (Carrie and Todd live there too.)

Boy names: I really wanted to name this last guy Joe (I was unsure about it fitting with our last name) I almost changed his name after we left the hospital. Also in the running was Max. I also love Oliver, Alex, I can't think of the others now, but Dan has some suggestions: LeRoy, Terrance, Lamar, Kwame, Alonzo . . . I'll send some over when I think of some more. you should email me so we can figure out a time for you guys to come over sometime. leighlou5 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Matt and Michelle said...

Wow. I think you guys are awesome!! We need to get everyone together sometime when you guys are here for more than a couple days!

Tiff said...

What Fun! I love Chicago, however, we have never been there with such a great tour guide! Take Care! You look so great!

Wendi said...

Chicago looks great but my favorite picture was of you and your cute belly. I had the biggest "outee" belly button of all time. I am thrilled for the two of you! Are you finding out if it's a boy or girl? Keep us posted!

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