August 10, 2013

America '13 Chicago

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Have more accurate words ever been spoken, or misquoted? As I sit on my sunny verandah, watching the kids ride their motorbikes, it's hard to believe just a few days ago the landscape looked and felt very different.

 I'm back on the farm, back to the drudgery of housework, school lunches and not being in America.  Let's face it, we all need a holiday once in a while to recharge, to change up our routine, and to look forward to something.  It's just the coming back and fitting into the old routine which is tedious.

Saying that, I missed my family, and I was so happy to see them.  I'm sure the kids had grown taller, and the house was clean and organised so thank you Hubbster for that one!

So about my holiday, let's begin with Episode One - Chicago.........

I arrived at the Sheraton, with a genuine plea for reception to give me a room on a high floor with a view, and they certainly delivered.  My room was on the 32nd floor with an amazing view of Navy Pier, a gorgeous Chicago skyline, and Lake Michigan which I mistook for the Atlantic Ocean geography fail.

Lake Michigan is one of the five freshwater Great Lakes, and the only one completely within the United States.  They are big.  Very big.  See above geography fail.

I had three days to myself before Blogher13 began, so I wanted to see as much of Chicago as I could.  I started with an architectural river cruise along the Chicago River which runs through the city, and this was relaxing as well as informative as I garnered a new appreciation of how a city is put together.  Our tour guide explained the history of each skyscraper and it was so interesting as I saw the beauty in each steel and concrete innovation.

I loved this.

After the cruise, I strolled down Michigan Avenue and window shopped along The Magnificent Mile.  I wandered into Victoria's Secret, purely for the experience and friends, I beg of you, if you are ever in Chicago do not go in there.

It was like stepping into this weird twilight zone, where you get yourself deeper and deeper and just can't get out. I was led into this dark corridor leading to the fitting rooms, with black doors and intricate painted scrolls on the walls.  My personal attendant fitted me into 16 different bras, from the bedazzled to the silky black, and after 2 hours I emerged with only the bra I was wearing, along with 6 new cotton hipsters in a fancy bag and an appetite!

Chicago is beautiful. So clean, and sunny and the riverwalk is divine. I remember sitting at a little outdoor cafe just watching the boats on the water, and people doing their thing, thinking how lucky I was to be in this exact moment in time.

Over the next two days I visited Willis Tower, The Adler Planetarium, The John Hancock Observatory and Navy Pier.  As I was by myself, I had time to soak up each moment within my own time frame. I dipped my hands in Lake Michigan as I strolled along the bank, and had a picnic overlooking the water with the Chicago Skyline in perfect view.

All the time feeling so grateful to be in a city I had dreamed of visiting for so long. And one that I long to go back to.


Mimsie said...

Glad you arrived back safely and what a fantastic time you had. I hadn't realised Lake Michigan was so huge but I guess they don't call them the Great Lakes for nothing.
Thank you so much for sharing not only your beautiful photographs but also your feelings about the places you visited and the city itself. I felt I was right there with you. I so look forward to the next instalment of your visit to the US.

Domesblissity said...

The photos look absolutely magical Michelle. What a wonderful experience. I mentioned to Leslie (Bearded Iris) that I knew you and she said how wonderfully friendly you were and were all Aussies like that. I told her yes but us Qlders are even more friendly! LOL Can't wait to read more of your adventure.

Anne xx

fromsophiesview said...

This IS quite lovely Michelle. To be able to make your dreams come true really is the essence of life. I had to snicker about the geography FAIL re: Atlantic problem with that at all Lake Michigan is so big, but someday you'll visit Canada, won't you and you can dip your toes into the Nova Scotia waters (friggin' freezin' but so refreshing as we always say...the 3 F's). I guess there was no Oprah sightings...oh well...I guess she was in Switzerland getting into some trouble. The Victoria's Secret visit sounded sort of scary at first. I'm so glad you were able to find your way out of the labyrinth of corridors. At least you found something you liked. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more of your trip. Now enjoy your little Eden and inhale that beautiful air. Ron

Norlin said...

So freaking envious that you went but so glad you had ball!!! :) Was living vicariously through you with the images you posted.

LisaW said...

The view from your hotel is amazing!! I'm going to love reading your US wrap up. I so wish I was there to experience it with you. Loving this first snippet...bring on more!

Farmers Wifey said...

@ Mimsie the Lake is huge! I honestly thought it was an ocean!

@ Anne I was so lucky to sit with Leslie and chat to her, she is so warm and funny!!!!!

@ Ron I wished I had time to "duck over" and see you all xo

@ Norlin, I had so much fun, maybe next year again..for all of us??

@ Lisa, I was going to blog every night but I was just exhausted!!!!

Carly Findlay said...

Love this post!! So glad you had fun. Look forward to the next instalments. Love you xx

jeanie said...

Wow - that is the thing about cities that we just don't get here - the sheer verticality (and that so is a word) of it all!