We spent 6 nights in Chicago. It felt good to stay in one place for a while. We've also got some good friends that we wanted to visit. After coming through the vast spaces of the western states, it was also a little bit of a shock to get to Chicago. That said, we had a wonderful time.
We visited with our friends the Forans. Michael (17, a junior in high school), Kevin (13, in eighth grade), Jim (working on refurbishing a couple senior-housing buildings in Chicago), and Jane (keeping all of these men honest) are all doing great.
We spent a day with the Forans and went to see an exhibit by Dale Chihuly at the Conservatory in Garfield Park.
The Conservatory is a large indoor plant conservatory at a wonderful park. The buildings of plants were huge, and full of interesting plants. Chihuly, who has currently has exhibits in Israel and at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, did a brilliant job mixing his glass into the plants to surprise and entertain us. Here are a few pictures:
We also saw an exhibit called Earth From Above. These were all pictures taken from a helicopter from places all over the world. To see for yourself, try this link to the photographer's web site.
Finally, we spent a lot of time with the Fagan and O'Connor families. Here is the whole gang: Shaun and Bridget are down front with us. Shaun's mom and dad, Debbie and Mike are on the couch with Kelly (Shaun's sister), Dan (Shaun's brother-in-law, Chicago's newest police officer), and Kiera.
Oh, and yes, we spent plenty of time on Michigan Avenue. Shopping on Chicago's Gold Coast takes on a whole new perspective when your house and closets are as small as ours. But yes, we did find space for one more pair of shoes. (No, of course they're not Mary's.) The highlight of Michigan Avenue was the window at Cartier's. They always have amazing large gems in the window, and this time was no exception. There was a square diamond that we estimate was about 8 carats. The price tag was flipped so we could see it, and it said $610,000. No, that's not a typo.
On to Indy for the F1 race!