After a quick re-pack, we just arrived in Chicago for a few days. It’s always so much fun to be in the city and we haven’t been here in a couple of months so I’m really looking forward to our stay. This trip is for a conference that Big Daddio is attending – I’m just going along as the trailing spouse. From experience, I can tell you that there’s nothing better than being a trailing spouse at one of these events. You get all the benefits without any of the work!
There are only a couple of expectations of me this weekend. I have to attend several very elaborate and expensive meals, I need to get spa “experiences” at least a couple of days and I should also do some shopping. I think I can handle it. In fact, I’m just the woman for this job!
We checked into our very nice hotel. It is a little south of the river, in the “loop” area. This is actually very nice, since this is more of the business area of the city and that means it’s not too crowded on the weekend. But there is still plenty to do and see in this part of town, so don’t feel bad for me even if it’s a little bit of a walk to the Magnificant Mile.
We are staying at the JW Marriott Chicago. Here is a link to the official website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chijw-jw-marriott-chicago/. The hotel is in an older building that has been renovated into a beautiful hotel. Apparently the designer of the building is “the renowned Daniel Burnham”. I’m not sure who he is, but the hotel is very, very nice.
After enjoying a really good lunch with the other conference attendees (the beer cheese soup was excellent), I headed out with a friend to discover the local shopping sites. I’m pretty familiar with the North Michigan area, but haven’t been on State street too much. I knew that the old Marshall Field’s store (now Macy’s) was there, but was surprised to find lots of other great stores including the largest DSW shoe store I’ve ever seen, Anthropologie (one of my favorites) and a Nordstrom rack. In other words, plenty of shopping with no need to walk any further. Which is good because the weather is pretty crummy here today.
The evening festivities included a fabulous dinner event at a local corporate facility. The food was amazing and the views of the nighttime skyline were magnificent. It was really a treat to be there and all of the food was very innovative. I had a chicken roulade with some kind of cheesy risotto that was out of this world. Of course, I ate and drank way too much and will be paying the price next week when I can’t fit into any of my clothes!
I’ve included a few of my favorite pictures, but the whole place is such a feast for the eyes that I hardly know which ones to choose. I did have one additional thought on my comments yesterday about drawing analogies from photography into life truths. Here we go – me being deep again!
I have noticed that I often see things that don’t look like they will make a good picture because they’re uninteresting, unappealing or just down right ugly. However, if I focus in very closely on one specific attribute of that unattractive thing I can often find some bit of beauty. There seems to be a life lesson in there somewhere and I wonder how often we could find something beautiful in a person if we just took the time to look closely enough.
Sorry, don’t mean to get all philosophical on you. Just had that little nugget rolling around in my head all day!