We checked out of our room this morning, walked the four blocks to the L train station, bought a couple of passes at the nearby currency exchange, climbed the steps up to the platform, jumped on our train when it showed a few minutes later, road out to the second to the last stop on the Orange line, got off the train and walked about six minutes to the Carlton Inn Midway, asked for and received an early check in, arranged for our airport shuttle at seven in the morning, dropped our bags in our room, walked to the corner to have some Greek food at a hotel recommended place (which was great), and then came back to the room so Kev could do laundry and we both could just chill for the rest of the day. We’re tired. So busy, in a great way, the last couple of days, and before that it was drive drive drive. Chillaxing today is awesome!
About the restaurant we went to for lunch… the Greek place. I did something I’ve wanted to for a long long time… when the time was right… and it so was today. This restaurant… The New Pindos was just down the street from our hotel and recommended by the staff as a place that’s “family owned and been there for 30 years”. It was great, but then I love places like that. It had this old vibe, but it was clean. The waitresses all looked like they’d worked there all of those 30 years. Ours was awesome… new her stuff, was funny, nice, so very attentive, all the good things you want in a waitress. I liked her. We both did. So when it came time to leave, Kev picked up the bill and I laid a $20 on the table as the tip. We walked up to the counter so Kev could pay and our waitress, who was such a cutie pie older lady, came up to me and quietly said… I think you made a mistake. I smiled and said no, I didn’t. She then said, in a bewildered voice, I’ve never gotten a $20 tip before… are you sure? I said, yes I was absolutely sure and told her to have a great day. She just smiled and said again… I’ve never gotten a $20 tip before. It was awesome, that look on her face. Money is money, not the end all and be all of happiness, but man… the look on her face. She was shocked, and happy. That’s a little extra happiness out there in the world. Maybe she’ll pay it forward somehow, but even if she doesn’t, she’ll be sweeter than she already was, and I bet she’ll be smiling all day. Which, really, if you think about it, is paying it forward. Smiles pay all kinds of joy forward.
We’ve had a great trip… eventful at times, but great. I think Kev has had a great first Chicago experience. I think he loved it. The architecture alone had his head on a swivel the whole time we were downtown. It was sweet. Great views, fantastic things to do and see, yummy food, great vibe. Chicago is, I will say once again with only a little redundancy, my kinda town. LOVE it. Chi-Town, I will be back… and I think, if I’m not mistaken, Kev may just be back as well.
One more post tomorrow as we travel back to the Northwest. Flight is early… 8:40, but it’s a straight shot. Then… back to my Oregon home, my honey (who I’m missing very very much), and my pups, who I’m also missing very much. My little family… here I come!
The second to last shot I took in Chicago. The only thing connected with Chicago to blog after this is… the wedding. Yes folks, there’s a whole lot more coming. Hope you enjoy looking/reading as much as I’m going to enjoy blogging about it. LOVED the whole experience of it.
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.
We, Karen and Mary included this time, walked down Michigan Avenue to Millennium Park today so Karen could see the bean, otherwise known as Cloud Gate, and a bit more of the city. It was a great day for a walk. Cold out. Forecast said a high of 20 today and it felt like it out there. Colder actually when the wind was blowing. But man oh man was it beautiful. The color of the sky was amazing. I think I took about 220 photographs during our two or three hours out. Not bad considering I took this same walk a few days ago and took photos then as well.
We are having an excellent time here. Karen is doing much better. Still improving all the time. I think the walking we’ve been doing, in moderation of course, has been good for her and for the lungs. Opening them up, stretching their capacity a bit.
Today Becky, one of the bridesmaids, and Ulf, a friend of Mary and Martin’s from England, who is actually German, and moving to Chicago for a year, arrived. We had a really nice dinner out with them at Vong’s Thai Kitchen. It’s Mary’s favorite Chicago restaurant and it’s closing in it’s current location tomorrow. Nice that we got in and were able to get some tasty vittles before it shut it’s doors.
Tomorrow a lot of family starts to arrive. It will be great to see everyone. Only four days to go….