Chicago was awesome! We got there about noon on Friday and found our way to the hotel with no problems. The college is about 9 miles from where we were staying so we left early since we didn't know how long the traffic would take us to get there...ended up being about an hour! We took interstate most of the way but then ended up in the main streets of Chicago on the way to Loyola and drove through some really interesting neighborhoods. One block was all Jewish businesses, the next was Greek, then some Indian, some Pakistan and a little bit of Chinese. Got to the college, parked in the parking garage and made our way to the new library building. Gorgeous! Built right on the lake with two sides made of glass, the view is awesome. Becky had her interview for the big scholarship and then we had the reception with the president of the college. Tall round tables set up all around the room, several tables of food and lots and lots of people! The girls and I hit the dessert table first, Dan tried most every table and discovered he does not like sushi! Being a catholic college and a Friday night there was of course no meat served, the food was interesting to say the least! After listening to a couple of speeches Becky decided she had enough and we went back to the hotel...stopped to eat at Denny's on the way.


Saturday was our day to explore the city. We went to Navy Pier first, parked about two blocks away in a parking garage...on the 11th floor! Cold and windy day, downtown is a definite wind tunnel. It was fun to walk around Navy Pier, saw a botanical center on the top floor and lots of little shops everywhere. Took some pictures of the lake and the big ferris wheel. After we went back to the car (and paid our $14 for parking!) we drove around downtown to see the sites. Since it was so cold we didn't get out to explore, but did see the Bean in Millennium Park, the Equitable Building (where Cyrus McCormick invented the reaper) and lots and lots of cars and people! No patience for Chicago people, if the light turns green and you don't IMMEDIATELY move you will be honked at! Some of the streets go underground under the buildings, that was cool to drive through. Saw a mime on a street corner, a homeless person and a dog tied to a signpost. Also saw a HUGE statue of the American Gothic couple, that was pretty cool. The girls took lots of pictures, although it was so cloudy we couldn't see the tops of most of the buildings. In the afternoon the girls and I found a mall and did a little shopping. On the way back to the hotel we even drove through a cemetery because they had some interesting headstones and you know how that fascinates me! Took a picture of the mausoleum and also one of the columbarium...which I have no idea what it is. (The dictionary defines it as a place for public display of urns).

Saturday night we had a Scholars Night at the Museum of Natural History. We got a fancy meal and were give free rein to roam around the museum. It was amazing and I am sure if everyone's feet hadn't gotten sore from so much walking we would have stayed even longer. Displays of animals...huge elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, whales, bears...you name it, they had it. Better than going to the zoo because you could stand right up close and see how huge these animals really are! The food at this event was more plentiful than the night before and we had fancy sit-down tables. It was a fun night!

Sunday we went back to the college and of course it was snowing and even colder than before! The lake on Friday was a beautiful blue, Sunday it was gray and had big waves...but still beautiful. Becky checked in and we went to see the dorm she will be living in. Nineteen floors and enough beds to house the entire population of Albert City! We could have gone on a tour of the campus, but it was snowing and so cold Becky decided we should just call it done and go home. We had already walked around most of it Friday anyway. 

Becky loved Chicago and the campus and after seeing it I feel much better about letting her go there (like I had a choice in the matter!). The campus is small and closed in, the only time you even see the city is if you walk between two buildings that border the street, and the one building is mostly offices so she won't be doing that often. The train makes a stop on campus so she has transportation if she needs to go somewhere. Everyone was very helpful and talked alot about security, so she will be safe. Seems like a good college and I am sure she will get a good education there, plus it gives me four years to have excuses to visit and see more sights of Chicago! All in all we had a good time and Becky is anxious to move there.

The pictures are of the girls at "the beach"...taken in the museum. For more photos you can check them all out on Facebook or www.snapfish.com (let me know if you need details about how to work snapfish). I was pleased with how well the drive went and whenever we had somewhere to go it seemed that the traffic wasn't very bad. I guess they saw the Iowa license plate and felt sorry for us! We also did the three days "on the cheap"...between the hotel, gas, shopping, parking fees and food we spent less than $400...not bad for the big city!

date April 1, 2009

3 comments to “Chicago Story”

  1. Deb
    April 1, 2009 at 3:37 PM

    I wanna visit too! I've never been to Chicago, this is our excuse!!

  1. isumom
    April 1, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    I say go, you will love it!

  1. The Hohensee's
    April 1, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    Sounds like an awesome weekend!!

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