Monday, August 02, 2010

Chicago Walking Tour - Making the Noodle Happy

I am very late getting this ready for today. Bagel breakfast started at 8 AM (EEK!) and then class at 9. So, I'm behind.

Yesterday was all about Chicago. The Great Windy City that hosted the 2010 SpragueFest. Jenn's husband Tim was so gracious to offer his history buff-ness for the walking portion of the tour. He even did vast research to make sure we hit all the highlights with great information in hand. He started off with a walk down Wacker towards Fort Dearborn. Then we headed straight down Michigan. Can you imagine over 30 people all walking down the street with camera viewfinders attached to their heads? It was fun!

Our next stop was the Millenium Park with its beautiful fountains and water areas. The most exciting part was seeing the Chicago Bean. I think it has an actual correct name, but it is a huge bean shaped mirror that was so fun to just walk around. I got some amazing shots of the city skyline that looks like I took it with a fisheye lens. We lost Jess to a NineWest store for a bit, but with her being such a good shopper, she was back with us soon.

On towards the Picasso Horse statue and some beautiful stained glass outdoor museum. Next was the Theater District and the original Chicago theater sign. People started to disappear around this time. We found them later at a popcorn store. Meg and I were getting hungry around this time so we headed towards the Noodle House for some rice noodles and curry!

The next few moments were about to make us very UN-popular with the SpragueMates. As we were walking back to the Hyatt, we happened near the Transformers 3 set. It's hard to miss since it takes up like three city blocks. Anyways, people were screaming and pointing and I thought, "Hm, I'm going to take a picture now and figure out why they are so excited later."

Turns out Patrick Dempsey was right across the street waving to his adoring fans. O_M_G! I start snapping away and then my D90 just stops working. WHAT? My card was full and the security was yelling at us to move along. So Meg stepped up and took up the slack. We made many people very mad later when they discovered our secret rendezvous with Mr. McDreamy.

Back to the hotel for a brief 15 min shut eye, then down to the lobby. Wendella Boat Tours wanted us on site a half hour early before the Architecture Tour was to leave. Jana led us all over across the river to the meeting place. We boarded and then spent the next 90 mins calmly floating along the Chicago River, through the locks and out into Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful sunny day for doing this.

We got back a little later than expected so we walked immediately to the restaurant, Italian Village. We took over with all FIFTY of the Spraguers plopped down right through the middle of the place. Linguini and clams was yummy. But apparently nothing like Kristen's cream sauce experience.

I had saved myself for gelato, but made the mistake of telling Carina where we were going. What started out as an innocent gelato run quickly became a night of feral debauchery. Including wild taxi rides, noodle attacks (which Joan continues to deny), flying through the sky with just chains attached, 30 foot skyline turns, and finally begging for ice cream. We made it back to our rooms exhausted, but alive.
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