26. I am thankful for beautiful architecture. I’m fascinated by building. Not the building I have done, which is none, or might do, which is also probably none, but by the amazing structures all around me. Capturing form, light, and harnessing the marriage between use and beauty, I am constantly in awe of form, everywhere. From amazing mid-century modern homes to the Natural History Museum in London, Tower Bridge to La Sagrada Familia in Spain, I’ve been lucky to see some wonderfully gorgeous buildings and structures. The minds of humans are fantastic and astounding.
9. I’m thankful for the visual world. I am made breathless every day by something I see. It seems everywhere I look there’s beauty and magnificence. It constantly amazes, enlightens, and nourishes my soul. Leaves blowing from trees, blue sky, rain drops falling just so, structures made by man, light in all it’s forms. Everything has history and a story to tell. All of it inspires awe and is magical.
Well… here we are in the Second City. We started the morning by dropping off Mary’s car at Charlie and Jennie’s place and then getting a ride from Jennie in to the train station. She was wonderful. Took us to the train station, went inside with us as we checked in and got our boarding passes, then took us over to Cafe Kopi for some coffee and really nice conversation until it was time to take us back to the train station. Jennie is great and it will be good to sit down with her for tea and coffee again.
Our train was a bit late, an hour or so, which wasn’t really an issue. We had no time schedule. Once on and rolling it was smooth sailing to Chicago. Both of us with our individual head phones on playing our own music. Kev working on his laptop, me mostly just staring out the window. A nice mellow ride… and we didn’t have to drive. Yay!
We got in to Chicago, oriented ourselves (with the help of the iPhone GPS) and walked the 20 minutes from the station to our hotel. We checked in, dropped our bags, and immediately went in search of food. Not just any food, but Chicago food. Pizza. That’s right… Lou Maltani’s pizza. So good. I mean… really good. We loved it big time.
Then it was walk time… had to walk off some of that pizza. We walked over to Michigan Avenue and took a stroll up to Millennium Park. All kinds of stuff going on near the Art Institute, at the Jay Prytzker Pavilion, and the Crown Fountain. We saw tango dancing, heard Dennis DeYoung (lead singer of Styx) singing with his band live and for free, took our photos at the bean, and marveled at the beauty that is Chicago architecture. That’s just day one.
We are now comfortably ensconced in our room, hooked into the internet, TV on, loads of water here for the drinking to combat the humidity. It’s supposed to be rainy today here, but wasn’t and isn’t. It was humid, but beautiful. A few clouds, but loads of blue sky to go with. They say thunderstorms tomorrow, but who knows… hopefully we’ll get more of what we had today. And if not… s’ok. We will still be out exploring more of this gorgeous city.
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion. An amazing outdoor concert area designed by Frank Gehry. The metal “net” over the lawn is designed to be a sound system. There are speakers attached to it all over. The idea is that you get the same sound, sitting out there on the lawn, that you’d get from being in a great auditorium. Pretty cool.
Karen took this one in Glasgow. The buildings in Glasgow, like Edinburgh and London, were beautiful. Glasgow is a larger and more modern city than Edinburgh, but still lovely in it’s own right. Once a major industrial center for the U.K. it’s still a thriving and improving cultural city.
What can I say? Westminster Abbey is an impressive, massive, and gorgeous piece of architecture. Amazing.
I wonder what’s behind door number 2? Monte Hall… do you know? What if, some day, we just wandered up to it and knocked. Who do you suppose would answer? Strange scientists doing secret experiments? A rock band renting the space getting ready for it’s next international tour? A guy making donuts? Elvis?
On Saturday we had dinner at a great place called Silk in the Pearl. It was Maggie’s choice, being that it was Maggie’s birthday and all, and so she picked Vietnamese. This place was awesome. Not a bad dish in the bunch of what we ordered. Not a bad appetizer. Not a bad drink. It was fantastic actually and we will definitely be back there for some tasty grub.
After dinner we walked a couple of blocks and then hopped on the Portland Streetcar to go over to the concert venue. What a great way to get around town. No worries about having to park over by the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
I took this shot as we walked from Silk to the streetcar stop. Just one of the condo buildings in the Pearl. They each have their own distinct personality. I liked the round windows at the corners in this one.
The Parliament Building in Victoria, B.C. Quite stunning against the bright blue sky. One of the tour guides fell in love with Weston. She even offered to babysit while we were taking a tour. We didn’t take her up on it, but it was a nice of her… even if she just selfishly wanted to snuggle with our dog.