6 September - Chicago
There's a line in the Blues Brothers regarding the El track.
Jake: "Do they go by often?".
Elwood: "So often you'll not notice".
Elwood was right, but so tired got to sleep quickly.
Woken at 3 am by a recruiter telling me she was to have a call in 10 minutes with the man I was interviewed by last Thursday to get feedback on the interview. Wasn't best pleased. She knows where I am. Still, if the job comes off...
As I couldn't get back to sleep up and out early, 5 am, to watch Chicago come to life. Wandered down the Riverwalk for half-an-hour and back.
Found the Chicago Harley-Davidson shop and Bloomingdales. No doubt we'll be visiting later.
Was accosted by the town drunk.
"If you in Chicago and you from England, you must have money".
I mentioned my money was in the hotel.
"I'm cold and you got a coat," was his response.
At that point my little 'bump of trouble' started itching.
I had gone out in my leather bike jacket. He then proceeded to give the jacket a closer inspection. He noticed the big badge on the back that says TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLES. Then said good morning to me and made a hasty retreat. Does this mean I'm a proper biker with proper biker kudos? Course not, be he don't know.
Got a Starbucks opposite Michael Jordan's Steakhouse (like their steakhouses in this Burgh) and wandered back to the hotel.
Love watching cities come on stream. The slow trickle of people and mounting traffic. The workmen in their hardhats. Rubbish trucks waking you up at the back of the hotel at 4 am - sorry, getting mixed up with France. The fresh produce being delivered to the bars, restaurants and hotels. Hopefully, now the public holiday weekend is over some will be open.
Will just do some photo processing and post a couple of night images shortly. Later.
Shouldn't have worried about the breakfast voucher being enough to cover us both. The breakfast buffet is included, the $20 voucher only required if you order from the menu. So filled up on scrambled eggs, sausages, Canadian bacon, cereal and toast. Light breakkie. Asked the waiter for a pot of boiling water so we could make some tea (Twinnings' English Breakfast). You would have thought we were speaking alien. Third attempt he got it and we got two pots of lukewarm water. Perfect complement to the tea was the UHT milk.
Walked to Bloomigdales. That is Bloomingdales Home. Wifey thought I meant Bloomingdale's first ever department store, i.e. their home store. Wasn't until we walked in and she saw the soft furnishings and cooking implements did it slowly dawn. Quick exit made, I don't think they noticed.
Both Bloomingdales and the HD store open at 10 am so we went to another Starbucks and watched the world go by whilst sitting next to a family from Yorkshire.
Bought a tee-shirt and bandana at the HD store.
Walked past Michael Jordan's gaff again, past Marilyn, the Wrigley Buildings, over Madison Avenue (deSable) Bridge to the dock for an architecture river cruise narrated by a member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation on the "Chicago's Little Lady".
Hour and a half on the river having the waterfront skyline explained was most informative and enjoyable. Trump Tower, Wrigley Buildings, Willis Tower, 4 types of architecture. Interesting.
Stopped for lunch at a bizarre 'French Cafe' about a hundred yards up from the dock. Hot Dog and Brattie mit pommes in plastic baskets, no cutlery and two humungous ice cream cones. Still stuffed as a write.
We then wandered down to Millennium Park, past the Bean and library to Adams, where we start Route 66 on Friday. Along Adams to the Willis (nee Sears) Tower. Took about 30 seconds in the lift to the top of the Willis (nee Sears) Tower, way quick. Packed on the Sky Deck, but views very impressive. I didn't get a feeling of height like I did up the CN Tower in Toronto. Maybe this was due to the fact that the CN Tower sways, and you can feel it. Or maybe it's because there are more tall buildings in Chicago. Puts Portsmouth's Sail in the shade. Wifey finally found a souvenir store so tee-shirts and fridge magnets all round. Won't step on the glass floor they have though. Even I call me a wimp, and I've even visited the the old Pilkington Museum in St Helens where they showed how strong glass could be made.
Then back to the hotel via a 7-11 for some essentials. Not quite as Wifey remembered the 7-11 that used to exist on Stanmore High Street.
As we were walking back Downtown was draining again. The corporate footsoldiers trudging their way back to Suburbia. Started to feel as desolate as last night, couldn't possibly come close. Almost expected to see tumbleweed last night.
Got back to find a missed call and email from the recruiter asking me to call asap. As it was 16:30 here it's 22:30 there so will have to be tomorrow. Bet I get another 3 am call in the morning.
Off to the hotel bar in a bit, too tired to walk far as walked for 7 hours today. Doubt I'll write more tonight so I wish you bonnie nuit.