Chicago counts as the C in my travel A-Z goal.
The photos are over on Flickr.
Day 0073 dawns but by the time it does I have already made my way from Minnetonka to Minneapolis-St Paul’s Airport. Three days ago my passport went missing so I’m flying to Chicago without paperwork, something that required a lot of phone calls to American Airlines to organise. I’m tired but relieved – when I mention the Customer Service Manager by name I am whisked through the check in and security check without a hitch. From this point onwards my stress over the passport, getting a replacement etc is over. I have an appointment with the British Consulate on Monday but until then I can enjoy a weekend of playing tourist, museum surfing and art gallery mooching. Hurrah. :)
When I land at O’Hare it’s coming up for 11:00 so I whizz through Arrivals, catch a train and scuttle off to see the 2009 St Patrick’s Day Parade. St Pat’s is a big deal to the Chicagoland folks and they make an entire weekend of the celebrations. Sometimes it synchs with the actual day but this time round it was four days early. No matter. They dyed the river green and sold Irish kisses:
And drank copious amounts of Guinness, whisky and wore lots of silly hats. It’s a total carnival of a day and you can see some fabulous pictures over at Chicagonista.
Of course going from the smallest town in Minnesota to a city of more than 9.5 million people is a shock to the system and after watching the parade, wandering about to see the dyed river, taking lots of photos of sculptures and snarfs (what’s a snarf?) and having a couple of drinks I will confess to be being a little dazed. So I headed on to my hotel to recharge my batteries. Given that I was staying on the 12th floor and I am still taking the stairs everywhere it was just as well I went home early or I might have been found having a nap in one of the service cupboards halfway up the staircase!
My hotel was a little odd: some luxury, mostly hype. I got to try the designer mineral water, Voss. It comes in a glass flask and looks very pretty. It does however only taste like water. Luckily I had a guide book for Chicago to whet my appetite and plan the next two days…