Friday, May 11, 2007


A week ago today we were in Chicago, one of our favorite places to visit. Ameridad attended a convention and I went along and planned to go out in the city on my own. This, as I will explain later, was easier said than done.

While we approached the city, fog was coming in off Lake Michigan, hiding the tall, lit buildings. It was such a beautiful site. We watched the buildings disappear and reappear in a matter of seconds. As many times as we have visited Chicago, this is the first time we experienced this. How fortunate for us that we arrived at this particular moment.

We headed directly to our hotel, The Palmer House, and checked in. The Palmer House has been a Chicago landmark for over 125 years and currently features 1,639 guest rooms and 66 suites. It is the longest continuously operating hotel in North America, with turn of the century ceilings containing 21 large paintings and murals recently restored. It opened its doors as a twenty-five story hotel with 225 rooms on September 24, 1871. Thirteen days later it burned down in the Great Chicago fire. On November 6, 1873 it reopened with nearly three times as many guest rooms. The new hotel was constructed of brick and iron and claimed to be the first fireproof hotel in the United States. The new Palmer House was also first to have electric lights, to have elevators, and to have a telephone in each guest room. The Palmer House is now a four star hotel with renovations currently underway. When this work is done the hotel is hoping to have a five star rating.

On Thursday night of last week we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Miller's Pub. This is located next to The Palmer House and since I was still in a wheel chair, this made the location extra inviting. The walls of the restaurant are filled with pictures of stars, famous people, and politicians who have eaten there. You can enjoy these photos while looking through the menu and trying to decide what to order. The menu choices are difficult to make as all of the food there is great. For the expats who read this blog I am including a picture of the food we ate--sorry guys. I do want to mention, though, that there were three of us at dinner; I don't want anyone to think that Ameridad and I ate all of that ourselves.

On our trip to Chicago I had planned to tour Millineum Park, visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, and while Ameridad was busy at the convention, wheel myself around town. The first evening I realized that this wasn't going to be a trip for those planned activities. I came to this realization while trying to get an elevator in the hotel. I would push the button for the elevator to stop at my floor but by the time I got to the elevator that arrived, the door would close and off it went without me. Ameridad didn't mind pushing me around the city but there were too many pot holes, and I mean on the sidewalk. This being the case, we visited Friday morning with some old friends and then headed for the van to get out of town before the mad rush hour. We were on the road heading home around 2:00 pm and even with this early departure there were construction delays. Nevertheless we arrived home at a fairly early hour and were happy to be there instead of back in Chicago fighting the Friday night dash. Even with the difficulties the visit to Chicago was a nice trip and it's always fun to get away for a while.


Cynthia Rae said...

I am so jealous! Chicago is always a fun city to visit (well unless of course it is a bitter, windy winter day). Sounds like you guys had fun inspite of not having the chance to see much.

We will take a trip there this summer when Danilo and I are home. Will visit all the places you didn't get the chance to see!


Scott&Emily said...

Great pictures of the fog rolling through the skyline!

melusina said...

I have never been to Chicago, but I did have a friend driving down (to Nashville from Chicago) bring me a Chicago pizza once. It was goooood.

That hotel sounds fabulous!

What a shame you didn't get to do much. I can't imagine how frustrating the elevator thing must have been. Ironically, at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival last month there was a documentary from Holland where that kept happening to a group of old ladies. Of course, you are not old, you are just in a wheelchair. These women moved SLOW. It was a bit funny though, so I am ashamed to say I laughed. But I don't think I would be laughing if it was me, and I move pretty slow myself!

Hopefully next time you go to Chicago you will get to see all the things you didn't get to see this time.

amerimom said...

Cyndi-Knew you would feel the pangs and want to be there with us. Just think soon Chicago will be a trip we can take this summer.

Scott,Emily & Cara-You know from being in Chicago many times that every time you go there something new is to be found. Our timming was perfect for the fog event.

Melusina-You are so sweet saying that I am not an old lady. Hate to let you know but you are wrong I am one of those old ladies. Not old old though. It was funny at the elevator and I must say that after I was in the safety of my room I did see the humor in it. Next visit you can believe that I will be getting around much better. While we are there we will toast you with a piece of deep dish pizza

Kim and Victoria said...

Never been to Chicago either, but now, if we're ever there, we'll know where to stay and where to eat! Thanks for the pics.

amerimom said...

Kim & Victoria-Chicago is a great place to visit. Always something to do. Hope you get to visit there someday. Also be sure in check out the plays in the city when you visit.