7 September - Chicago
Slept well until 3 am, when I expected the recruiter to call. She hadn't by 4 am, so I called her. We have an offer. Start on 3 Oct. Yippee. Means I can really enjoy the rest of the holiday now. The early morning calls are all forgiven.
Lot of walking today. Had a lighter breakfast just cereal and toast. Hot water received after asking only once. Getting there.
Beautiful day again. So far been very lucky.
Left the hotel at 8 as we were going to buy ourselves hopper tickets with a local sightseeing firm and wanted to be sure we got there in time. Well, we got there at 8:45, exactly where they said, for a start of 9:00. Bus turned up at 9:45. Not a good start. And we should have gone to the first stop we walked past to get to stop 1 to pay?! Anyway it was $35 well spent in the end.
Each bus has a driver and a tour guide. They have a pre-determined route with 14 stops from Soldier field in the south, to Hancock Tower in the north, to Willis Tower in the West. The $35 pass gives you access for 3 days. Very useful.
First stop for us was Down by Soldier Field, The Field Museum. Odd mixture of natural history, anthropology and history. Couldn't quite work out what it was.
Anyway, met Sue the largest and most complete T-Rex skeleton yet found. There was also a 3D film discussing the find and T-Rex in general. Not sure what the 3D added and I was also sceptical about some of the content, but that's me being me. Daughter refuses to watch the news with me anymore cos I have too many opinions. Humph.
Some of the exhibits are exactly what I would like to see in a natural history museum showing taxidermy animals off, showing species families and some contextualisation. Other areas were pandering to the instant fix that yoof seem to want. They do nothing for me.
Had a coffee and a couple bottles of water in the restaurant. Gave a $20 and was given change for a $10. Wasn't born yesterday, just be warned. Server knew that I knew that she knew that she'd just tried to scam me. Bitch. I'm out of work! Until 3 October ;-)
Next stop was Hancock Tower. Little shorter than Willis Tower and a lot less packed. What I didn't like was the way they'd put a cafe right in the corner with the best views back over The Loop to the Willis Tower. Stop whingeing.
Back on bus and last stop Willis Tower to exchange the T-shirts from yesterday, of course. Then back to stop 1 for tour over.
Walked back to the hotel from stop 1 through Millennium Park and the Loop in rush hour. Very busy in Canyonland, ducking and diving through the crowds. Far more regimented than London though, less of a free-for-all.
Now I hadn't realised that I have had a lifelong ambition to visit Chicago until seeing the Honourable J Daley Plaza. It all came rushing back: "It's a 106 miles to Chicago. We've got a full tank of gas, half a packet of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses!". "Hit it!". It's my favouritist film, up there with "Some Like It Hot".
Felt like wandering across and asking for directions to the Assessor for Cook County's office to see if Spielberg was still there. I was giddy. Sad I know, but took me back to being a 15 year-old in St Helens watching a wacky comedy with some of the best Rhythm and Blues artists ever. Daughter thinks she is Aretha franklin.
Back at the hotel there was a huge tour group from Brazil checking for, I assume, Route 66. They all had identical Harley jackets with "Eagleriders" on the back. Roll on, friends.
Dinner was the Klay Oven again. Service not so good...stop it now, start enjoying the hol! We have a job.