Friday, September 27, 2013


We left Chicago today after a two night one day stay. Boy oh boy, did we cram a lot into yesterday. We rode the bus into town (the marina where we stayed was about 4 miles from the centre of town), went for a boat ride through the city highlighting all the different architectural styles of buildings built along the river and surrounding area, visited the Cultural Centre, the Zoo (free) and saw "Evita" on stage last night. Oops, I nearly forgot - the first night we saw the play "Million Dollar Quartet" which was about a meeting of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash in December 1956. The men did a great job with their songs especially the young man who played Jerry Lee Lewis.
The boat trip was very nice and had a very knowledgeable person (Bill) giving us info about many different buildings.

My Mum always called me a "Penny Watcher" because I am inclined to look down when walking. Well, today Mum I looked up and saw two beautiful buildings with gilded trims.

After the boat ride we went to see the "Bean", a sculpture created by Indian born British artist Anish Kapoor. The sculpture's correct name is "Cloud Gate" and it was created in 2004-06. It comprises of 168 highly polished stainless steel plates welded together with no visible seams. It measures 33 x 66 x 42 feet and weighs 110 tons. We were quite impressed with it.

Near to the "Bean" was a flower bed in which there was a castor bean plant. This brought back memories of when I moved to the States 33 years ago. I had a terrible problem with voles eating all my flower bulbs so my Mother-in-Law suggested using castor beans. She sent me some via mail from Missouri and I duly planted them in my garden. The bean is the size of a dime maybe bigger and the plant it creates was about 8 feet tall. When my Mother-in-Law came to visit that summer she asked me what the tall plant was. I said it is your castor beans that you sent me. She started to laugh and told me I should have placed the poisonous bean in the vole hole not planted them!!!

I do not know what the above flower is. Can anyone help? It looked a little like a dahlia but with those buds shooting off from underneath the flower I do not think it was.
After the "Bean" we went to the Commerce Centre and what a place that turned out to be. All we wanted was a map of Chicago and a restroom. The inside of the building had a wonderful mosaic ceiling and stair rail with mother-of-pearl inlaid in the centre. My camera could not do it justice. Upstairs, there was a room to commemorate the civil war. At the centre in the ceiling was a wonderful stained glass window and around the wall adjoining the ceiling were different plaques to commemorate the war.
When I was leaving the building this teenager came to me and asked me to take his photo. He was surprised when I said OK. So here is a photo of Jesse (I think that was his name) looking studious at a boring plaque on the wall.
Gary and I split after the Commerce Centre. I went to the Zoo and Gary went to go to the History Museum. The Zoo which required a bus ride was free and worth a visit. I took several photos but will only show you five so as not to bore you.
                                      Chicago skyline from the Zoo.
            A variety of ducks (mallard and wood ducks male and female).
                                      An interesting drinking fountain.
 A pair of African wild dogs (I was trying to get the reflection of one of them in their drinking water).
                                 Giraffe with purple tongue sticking out.
When I was finished at the Zoo I walked to the Conservatory but unfortunately it was closed. I did pass some flower beds and took quite a nice photo of a finch.
"Evita" was very enjoyable. I had seen the stage play years ago in London with Elaine Paige playing Evita. This Evita was good but I liked Elaine Paige better. The young man who played Che was great. He had a lovely singing and speaking voice.
So, that was our stay in the Windy City - named for it's politicians not the weather. I wonder what we could nickname Washington, DC!! Gary did not get to the history museum. He, instead rode the El (train that runs above the streets of Chicago) back to the boat.
We have had a terrible time with the NOAA weather forecast. It has been wrong most days so we have reverted to old fashioned ways of forecasting the weather.
The first is the "Will-o-Meter". It has four white beads attached to it and they can forecast the intensity of the UV rays. If the beads turn different shades of pink then we are in for a high UV ray day. It also has a dual purpose as a waterproof key holder.

The second object is a weather rock. If the rock is moving, it is windy. If it is white, it is snowing. If it is wet, it is raining. If you cannot see it, it is foggy - you get the gist!!!
 Watch out Jim Cantore, I may ask for a job at the weather channel.

No comments:

Post a Comment