The second Chicago visit

Ok, this is really not the second one. It’s actually the fourth! It’s just that I had two visits within the space of one week, which isn’t normal. Four visits in one year isn’t normal either. But I’ll take any chance I can get to head back to my “other hometown.”

This trip was for a conference, but I snuck in a day with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages as well.

I got there the afternoon before the conference started and I had arranged to meet a friend for dinner at Lady Gregory’s (my favorite!). It’s in Andersonville so I thought I’d walk a bit and then hop on the Red Line.

I started my walk along Michigan Avenue, cutting over to Oak Street Beach to walk along the lakeshore.

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Lots of cool city scenery to snap…

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This is the view from the bridge that crosses Lake Shore Drive.

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Then I ambled through the areas around the zoo.

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I didn’t take any more photos after that during the walk. Not sure why. I was enjoying it. The weather was nice and it was great to wander though places I hadn’t been in so many years. I kept saying to myself, “I’ll walk to Belmont and catch the train there.” And then I’d walk right past Belmont. So maybe Addison? Nope. Sheridan would have been the best bet after a while, but I bypassed that, too.

That’s when I realized that I was either going to walk the entire way or catch a cab. When I made it to our old neighborhood around Clark and Montrose, I had begun to flag and headed to Clark to catch a taxi. I felt a bit defeated after challenging myself to go the entire distance. But I stood on the corner for a moment and realized that there weren’t that many cabs around. So I put one foot in front of the other and walked the last mile.

Nine miles total.

I’m such a goober. But it felt great. I was only a little bit soggy from sweating when Lisa arrived and I got there five minutes before her. We had a great dinner and chatted quite a bit. And I definitely took a cab home!

These are some pics I took in the mornings before the conference. It was at the Gleacher Center, right on the river, and the sunrise was beautiful. I had no luck finding a decent local coffee shop so I went with Starbucks both days, getting up bright and early, and just ambled along in solitude.

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This one was after the first day of the conference. Loved the light. And where did I go for dinner that night? I skipped out on the after-conference gathering and grabbed a salad at Trader Joe’s.
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Then I had a Google Hangout with my kid. Good times!
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Shots from the morning of day two…
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Thursday after the event was over, I jumped in my car and crawled through traffic on the Dan Ryan before finally breaking free around Evanston and zooming the rest of the way to Antioch. Dan and Renee bought a new house in the country this summer and it was such a contrast to the city. Very peaceful and beautiful. And they have horse neighbors!

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And their cat Lizzie…

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And now Dan has even more room for his trucks, cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers and other machines!

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They made me dinner the first night and then took me to dinner the next at a nice place called The Shanty. We basically just hung out and I relaxed before having to get on the road early the next day.

I visited with the horses both days. Because they were cool. And that is all!
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