Did you ever have a day that just makes you smile? Yesterday was that day for me!! We were out of the door on time for the school run with the minimum of fuss (always a good start!) & by 8.30am I was in the pool at the gym, doing my regular 30 lengths. It was quite a hot day yesterday & coming out into the sunshine after my swim & sauna felt so good!!
I headed off to my Weight Watchers meeting not knowing what to expect, as I have avoided stepping onto my own scales at home & am truly having no problems thus far in sticking to the plan!! I was more than pleased to discover I had lost another THREE LBS!! That really made my morning!!
On returning home I logged on to find another surprise…my LO for TAAFOMFT Favourite Toy challenge had been chosen as the winner!! There were so many gorgeous entries for this challenge that it really was a surprise! I am now looking forward to receiving my prize, supplied by the lovely Jana…& that really made my afternoon!! Don’t you just love days like that?!!!
We woke to an overcast, dull day & Karen commented that we wouldn’t be needing the sunscreen today & we made sure we had our pac-a-macs stowed in our bags…how wrong could we be?
After breakfast we headed out of the hotel & into a humid & muggy morning!! Setting off to the train station in Skokie to catch the ‘Skokie Swift’ we wondered if we’d see anything of the parade to honour the Chicago Blackhawks victory in winning the Stanley cup. Little did we know…Our plan had been to stroll down to Millennium Park & hire bikes to take in the shoreline. Park & Navy Pier, so we were amazed when we arrived at our destination to find what seemed like ‘the world & his wife’ crowding the train station exit & the streets above. Everywhere was a sea of red & there were congratulatory flags & banners on every building, motor vehicle, boat & even a small plane trailing a banner back & forth across the sky!
Supporters were all shouting ‘Go Hawks’ & thoroughly enjoying the day. It was amazing to be in the midst of all this…sweltering heat notwithstanding!!! We didn’t get to see the team, but could see the back of the stage where they were being interviewed & the cheers & applause just rolled around & washed over us…amazing!!
We were now sweltering, what with the press of the crowd & increasing humidity… the air felt thick & damp! With streets closed there was no way we could get up onto Michigan Avenue & we later learned that there had been 2 million people there, cheering on the Hawks as they passed in an open top bus, showered with ticker tape!
Unable to go up, we went down!…to the sub level, under Michigan Avenue, hoping to find a way up from there. All we found were a fleet of emergency vehicles & every exit to street level absolutely blocked by fans…
Undeterred, we stayed underground & eventually found our way back out into the heat of the day & into Millennium Park.
Having given up the idea of hiring bikes….too many people & much too hot!!!…we set off on foot to explore the park. As there were so many people in town, there were barriers around the ‘Bean’ that meant we couldn’t get as close as we’d hoped…
…but it was still an impressive sight! What a mammoth task it must be to keep it so clean & shiny!! We laughed at some pigeons perched on the top & wondered why they didn’t just slide off?!!
And this poor guy must have been melting inside that full face & body lycra suit!!
We strolled through the park, down to the shoreline & looking back the sky looked as if the mother of all storms was brewing…well, we were Ok, we had our pac-a-macs!!!
On reaching Navy Pier, with 80 degrees showing on the clock, we decided it was time for a drink & went indoors to the food court for ice cold soda’s & pretzels! Now this is what you call luck…while we were enjoying our snack, the heavens opened outside!! We were oblivious until it was time to move on…after the downpour had stopped!….so we didn’t need our pac-a-macs after all!!! However, the sun had come out full force, now that those storm clouds had moved on & it was HOT!!! So we bought some tickets for a riverboat cruise & prepared to enjoy the view…& hopefully a nice cool breeze!!
Indeed, we were granted both wishes & a very pleasant hour was spent seeing Chicago from the river & learning a little about it’s architectural history from our very knowledgeable & informative guide. By the time we were back on dry land we were all a nice shade of pink…no sunscreen, you see!!!
Then we took a stroll in very blustery winds, to the end of Navy Pier, with a stop off for a bit of souvenir gift shopping & of course, a photo opportunity!!
To round our day off & all looking rather heat worn & dishevelled, we took a cab to a restaurant Karen recommended, called ‘Wild Fire’, where we enjoyed a delicious dinner AND dessert!!! A short stroll took us back to the train & an easy ride back to Skokie, to ‘turn in’ exhausted after an amazing & enjoyable day!
There’s one more instalment to complete the tale of our trip, which I’ll save for another day!! Thanks for stopping by & hanging in there to make it this far!
To my US friends, have a great Independence Day weekend!
Blessings to All!! :)