Day 253 Second day out in Chicago

The day started early, but not as early as yesterday!  Knowing that we had a couple of hours to fill in before ‘things’ opened at 10 am meant we ate breakfast, got organised and got a train into the city to see some sites that didn’t have a time attached to them.  First stop, the Millenium Park. Check out the Cloud Gate sculpture.  It really was a cool thing to see and the boys loved it. We have no idea how it was made. I wonder if it needs to be polished.

The Kentucky family we met yesterday had mentioned they were going to a comic book store in Chicago. We thought that sounded cool but didn’t get there yesterday and by chance came across it today.  We had to wait for the store to open at 10 am; you’d think the boys were standing on a hot tin roof waiting! The store had a great range of comics but mostly for people that were diehard collectors and avid readers.  I promised Harris that we’d find some comics for him at a better price … little did I know we would find them in Calgary 2 days later!

One thing Steve wanted to do in Chicago was go up Willis/Sears Tower.  I’d gone up there in 1993 so knew the view was great on the right day and luckily today was such a day; just as well we hadn’t planned on it yesterday when the visibility was really bad. When the weather is at its best you can see parts of four different states!  We bought tickets and waited for sometime before it was our turn to go up the lift for 103 floors.  This was the tallest tower in the world for 25 years until the Taipei 101 Building took over; which we have also been up.  Now a building in Dubai is the tallest.  These clear viewing platforms are new since I was at the tower, obviously trying to add something to the tower now that it isn’t the tallest.  It was pretty freaky looking down at the streets below.  Here are some photos …

There was one more place in the city that I wanted to see that had not been open when I was here in 1993.  Navy Pier opened in 1995 and is a very long pier with restaurants and entertainment. We picked a brilliant day to be there because there was special free entertainment for Halloween.  We got to see some street performers and a guy practicising his Houdini act! 

After our Navy Pier tour we decided to go on a search for a place we had seen on tv in Spain.  The tv series ’Kid in a Candy Shop’ is hosted by a guy that showcases stores that make amazing sweet food. We really took a liking to the show and when they featured an icecream place in Chicago called ‘I-Cream’, that makes your own icecream right in front of you using liquid nitrogen;  we had to find it for ourselves. The boys thought it was a great adventure as we had to get a train, bus then walk.  We had googled the directions and had a good idea of where we were going.  On the way the bus stopped at a shopping area and I spotted an ‘Old Navy’ store, guaranteed to have good priced clothes for all of us.  We detoured here for a good amount of time and $200 later!  We all walked out with new items and finally my children were starting to look a little more coordinated and respectable, rather than looking like lost backpackers! 

The boys had definitely earnt their ice cream stop by now and as it was getting late it became an entree.  We found the shop and then the next dilemna … ice-cream, pudding or a shake; what flavour; what colour and what mix-ins did we want.  Steve chose the pumpkin pudding, which is hot; I chose the peanut butter OMG icecream; Patrick had blue caramel with candy and Harris had a purple vanilla shake with cookie dough!

After ice-cream we still had to get across town to our hostel.  We walked to the bus stop and got a bus as far as we could to our area and got out just near a small supermarket.  We grabbed a few items for dinner but didn’t need too much after our dessert before dinner!  Back to the hostel and we had to get ourselves ready for a big day of travel the next day. 

My job was to get our clothes washed, so with every piece of dirty laundry assembled I set off to the other side of the huge hostel to the basement to start the laundry.  I put 2 loads on at $2 a wash and set myself up in the tv room with the laptop and waited.  40 minutes later the wash was done and then it was going to be 50 minutes for the drier.  I was really tired by now and the thought of having to be awake until 10.30 pm was not good.  Back to the tv room to wait.  After 50 minutes I checked the wash and …. it wasn’t dry yet!!! Aaah!  Another 50 minutes in the drier and back to the tv room.  My eyes were hanging out of my head but I had to stay up.  You just don’t leave your clothes unattended overnight in a hostel!  Finally back to the drier and …. they still weren’t 100% dry.  I was over the washing by now and wishing for my lovely laundry at home more than ever.  Everything was bundled into my bags and taken upstairs.  I then spent the next 10 minutes creatively hanging damp clothes all over the room on every hook, coat hanger, light fitting, bunk bed and rail.  Sorry I didn’t get a photo but I was hardly in the mood.  Luckily our room had a ceiling fan because by some miracle, everything was dry in the morning so we could pack it and catch a plane.  I was so glad to fall into bed after the epic laundry outing.


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