A Sunny Day

A nice, sunny day in Chicago. Wind chill was -20°C. But it was sunny. So we decided to stroll down Michigan Avenue.

Cold, but sunny

One of the major problems in going anywhere in Chicago in the winter is deciding how to dress. You can either dress for inside, and freeze when you’re outside, or dress for outside and roast when you are inside. So you must determine if your trip is going to be an outside one or inside one. Or resign yourself to significant discomfort. We chose to dress for outside and limit our time indoors.

We stopped in at The Drake, a Chicago landmark for 100 years. They have a nice gift shop; there were lots of rabbits (not real ones, of course).

We visited Hildt Galleries there at The Drake. They had rabbits, too, although they were not in our price range.

A rabbit at Hildt Galleries

Since we were getting warm in our coats, we went back outside to walk around. Soon we were at the old Water Tower/Pumping Station. My grandmother always pointed out the Water Tower to me when I was a tot, remarking that it was one of the few structures to survive the Great Fire of 1871. The Pumping Station still pumps water for the city (Chicago sucks a billion gallons of water out of the lake every day).

Pumping Station and Water Tower

Sixty years later, I finally got to go inside. Not much to see; the functioning parts aren’t open for public view. But finally I can say I was there, and check off another required-for-Chicagoans task item.

What we did not get to see

Nearby was the Lush store, always worth stopping in for a sniff.

We walked past the line of people waiting in the cold to get into the big (35,000 square feet) Starbucks. There is always a line outside.

I can’t imagine what is there that is worth freezing for, and I guess I will never find out.

Further on down was Garrett’s Popcorn. CVH informed me that this is a Chicago tradition. People were waiting outside for it, too, mostly tourists, I guess. We waited a little while ourselves (remember we were dressed for outside), and bought some Pecan Caramel Crisp.

I was leery about paying that much for popcorn, but after I tasted it I will allow that it is very good.

We ended our trip at the Wrigley Building, a favorite spot for wedding party photographs, and today was no exception. The men had on tuxes, which provided some protection from the cold, I suppose, but the women in their gowns must have been freezing. I can only imagine that the excitement of her big day was the only thing keeping the bride in her backless gown from succumbing to hypothermia.

Thirty years from now, he will still remember how cold it was

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