The Windy City

 

I first saw Chicago from the east side of Lake Michigan. We drove up from South Bend, after visiting Notre Dame University, which put us at the lower southeast side of the big lake.

Of course, we had to stop because the kids had to get their little doggies in the cold water. And I did not want to disappoint them. Being the servant that I am, it was vital that I not get in the lake because I was on photo duty.

Weirdly, when we pulled up to one of the little park areas, there were these swirling dandelion, floaty things covering the car. Totally odd. It felt like a reenactment of Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds movie.

I found a couple of folks sitting on a bench who looked like indigenous people, so I asked them what that stuff is. They said it was from all the cottonwood trees. The lady said it would kill her husband if he were here because of his allergies. I sneezed and then said, “Thank you for letting me know.”

Chicago Sighting

We could see Chicago from across the lake. The tall buildings were tiny and enveloped in all the mist and haze from the lake, but there was no question what we were seeing. We snaked our way around the bottom of the lake and back up the west side until we arrived.

We decided to drive downtown and knock off seeing Soldier Field where the Chicago Bears play. Then I texted my friend in Scottsdale, AZ to find out the best place to eat Chicago deep-dish pizza. We ended up going to Lou Malnati’s.

Please do not tell him that we did not enjoy the pizza. It was okay. It was not world-beating. Honestly, we liked Lombardi’s better in Little Italy, lower Manhattan, which is also the oldest pizza place in America. Chi-town’s deep-dish did not sit well with me.

We drove around a bit more to get a feel for the place and then headed to our hotel, which was about an hour outside the city. But first, I wanted to drive by the United Center to pay my respects to MJ. He played most of his career for the Chicago Bulls, and they have a statue of him outside the building.

It was on the way to the hotel, so we drove by to find out that they built their offices around the statue, which put the landmark inside the United Center. The kind guard said it was free to enter, though they were not open at that time. So we decided we’d come back the next day to pay respect to a fellow Tar Heel.

Tomorrow, we’ll see the city.

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