8 September - Chicago
Lie in at last. Hotel really getting busy. Was like a ghost hotel on Monday.
Asked for boiling water this morning and got it first time with some 'French Gourmet' teabags. What do the French know about tea?
Up and out by 9am.
Short blog today as promised Wifey a shopping day so shopping day we had. Walked to Madison and then north to Bloomingdales, well she wanted a bag. She couldn't find anything but I got a nice pair of Simon Carter cufflinks. To add insult to her injury, they came out half price! So at least she got a Bloomingdales bag. Probably their smallest, still she got one. Salesman was very good. Took his time, showed his favourites, was witty, got to know his customer's likes and dislikes, really treated us well. Shows how service can be done without being overbearing. Nice man.
Bimbled across the street to North Face under the Hancock Tower. New shirt for Boy. He'll love it. H&M jacket for her $10 - bargain, but then Topshop and Topman were just opening shop with catwalk ceremony so I suppose H&M had to do something to draw in the punters.
Quick in-and-out at Macy's and the Apple Store and back to the Harley shop for me.
Headed back over the river to Millenium Park and had lunch at the Park Grill under clear blue skies and scorching sun. Handily they had large umbrellas. I had the American Kobe Steak, yum yum, and Wifey had a salad. Well, some chicken and bacon and, I kid you not, half an iceberg lettuce. I also had a 32oz Bass. Could have slept all afternoon.
We then went back to the first bus stop and took the complete bus tour +1 stop. Kevin was definately the best of the tour guides. Funny, sarcastic, bantering with workmen to be quiet as he was trying to talk. Very good. Got our first rain of the trip, hopefully the last. Open top bus, in rain. But Kevin to the rescue with ponchos all round.
Glad we weren't staying at the Hyatt as they had strikers outside.
Did some more gift shopping then ambled back to the hotel ready for registration.
The guys from California Sunrider were just setting up. Will go back at 6pm for registration then there's a talk at 7pm about rules and regs. A little more later.
Ok, so registered and had brief. Met a couple from Oxford and another from Halifax. Bear from California Sunriders is the tour guide. Lots to mull over from the brief. Remember petrol pumps and pre-payment being a bind so expect more of the same. Sage advice about wearing glasses when filling up. Explained echelon riding and stopping to wait when people miss the lights or have problems. Explained the typical order of march. Two rider briefings per day, one before the ride one after.
Brief meal in the bar afterwards and early bed. Am I excited?