Our meloncholy visit to pay respects to my Aunt Felice came at the end of July. It was nice to spend a couple of days in Champaign catching up with old family and meeting others for the first time; another generation ready to take on the world! Brendan did well holding out with all the adult activities; his favorites were the hotel room and the ice cream shop...and helping out his second cousins. He also loved wearing a suit; made him very important, like an adult!
After Champaign we had a room for three nights in downtown Chicago...woohoo, the high life for us! Okay, 4th floor but we had a great view of Navy Pier and the lake. Have you ever seen electric curtains? Dang, Bubba, took us ten minutes just to figure it out it had to have a switch! And how about those mini-bars that automatically weigh the contents and bill you for anything removed? Who knew? All we did was take out the cashews to make room for Brendan's chocolate milk! Best of all, we went swimming and rode treadmills, on the 42nd floor!
But Chicago is great...not worth the expense as a tourist for three days, but I'd love the opportunity to live there for a month (in a penthouse apartment...yeah, that's the ticket).
We ate dinner twice down on Navy Pier whilst people-watching from our patio tables. The notorious Chicago summers went easy on us with cloudy days and reasonable temperatures, most of the time anyway--it was miserable when the sun came out. The other big hit of the city was the Museum of Science and Industry, though we didn't get to explore half of it as thoroughly as we would have liked.
Twice in the mornings we got rained out from completing our hop-on-hop-off double-decker bus tour, the one seeming conspiracy against us on this trip. On the last day we headed north to Gurnee to meet with old friends (from Tucson!) and spent the afternoon at an indoor resort-bound waterpark, followed by a fabulous dinner at Olive Garden. All in all it was a successful trip...and I would like to leave at least one more visit on my bucket list.