By Leslie Parks - Saturday, August 04, 2012

Reflections of Chicago

 Originally I had planned on a few posts of our trip to Chicago but life has a way of changing plans.  John and I enjoyed the few days we were there.  Some of the highlights were the Art Institute of Chicago.  I really felt like it was one of the world's best art museums.  They had rooms dedicated to specific artists or time periods. They didn't try to cram in all of the world's best pieces of art but instead show cased the artists well and had explanations behind the works.  I saw some pieces that I really never in my life expected to see in person as well as other works that seemed to jump off the canvas because of the colors. 
Another highlight was the Museum of Science and Industry.  We took in the German U boat tour.  It was an incredible story of how two sides were mortally opposed to each other and years after the war both captains came together to talk about the capture of the German submarine and reconcile with each other.  The fact that both sides put aside their past.  I cried. 
We also did some typical things in Chicago such as tried to find the best Chicago pizza - Giordanos was almost unanimous by the native Chicagonians. The verdict is still out on that one.  The Sears Tower which is now called Willis Tower and the Skydeck.  Best investment ever is to get the GoChicago passes.  It allows you to skip lines at the Willis Tower and some other attractions.  We should have gone at another time for the Willis Tower - too many people on a Sunday.  Of course we took an architectural river tour after we forced marched through Chicago on a balmy 100 degree day.  A beer never tasted so good but I really wanted a Mike's lemonade. 
The El trains were so easy to use and having a CTA three day pass made it a breeze to use.  Taking the bus was a little more difficult in that we didn't really know the stops.  Best dollar spent - information from homeless men about the bus schedule.  They know the city, the attractions, the schedules of the buses and trains.  Others know their corner but the homeless men/women know the city itself intimately.
Something that we thought was crazy was to watch a man rollerblade down a busy street near dusk wearing black without a helmet. 

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