Black Friday! Black Friday in Chicago! Black Friday in Chicago on Michigan Avenue? Wow! I know women who would’ve loved to be in that position. We slept until noon. You honestly don’t think I’m walking 2 long blocks to get trampled on the Magnificent Mile, do you? No way!
We did walk the lower level from the hotel to Michigan Avenue, where there was very little foot traffic, and had lunch at Billy Goat Tavern. Wonderful experience! It’s been in the same place since it opened in 1934 by a Greek family and it looked it! There were pictures and clippings all over the walls. Nothing but hamburgers … “Ya wont cheez on dat?” … and hot dogs and a bar. The ambiance was everything that I expected, but I was disappointed with the food. We have much better hamburgers in Texas, sorry.
The only time I set foot on Michigan Avenue was after lunch, when we crossed it to walk back toward the hotel. Instead of going straight back though, we passed by the hotel and went to the movie theater next door. Yes, we went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. I really thought I was going to fall asleep waiting for it to start but I persevered and stayed awake for the whole thing. That may not seem like such a big deal to you but the last time I went to a movie in that particular theater was years ago with my project team. I think I slept through the entire movie. The seats are very comfortable, to say the least. I can’t even remember what we went to see that time but I thoroughly enjoyed Harry this time.
Saturday morning and we finally made it down in time for the complimentary breakfast. This was not your normal, hotel continental breakfast either. There were omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, pancakes and warm syrup, along with the normal, hotel continental breakfast stuff, like fresh fruit, cereal, juices, coffee, milk, toast, bagels, and oatmeal. If you don’t get there in time, you have to share a table and we lucked out. I sat down with an older couple and their adult daughter and where were they from??? Brenham, Texas! The daughter was living in New York City so apparently they met in Chicago for Thanksgiving.
After they left, I noticed an Amish woman looking for a place to sit so I waved her over. She and her husband were from Indiana and she was a joy to spend time talking to. We never met her husband (he was in the long omelet line!) but we smiled and waved at him occasionally. We needed to get on with the day’s activities so it was off to the Field Museum for the day. I wanted to walk a little ways just to get the kinks out of my legs. Unfortunately, it was all uphill and totally wore Ed out so we caught a taxi from the next hotel.
The Field Museum is definitely worth a visit, if you have the time. We really wanted to see Sue the dinosaur and the 3D movie about her/him. No, they don’t really know the sex of the dinosaur but they named her/him for the woman who originally found the fossilized bones. It’s a great exhibit and I’m sure the other exhibits are just as well done but you could literally take a month and not see and absorb everything in that museum.
We did go through the gemstone exhibit and that was fabulous. We saw not only beautiful gemstones set in gorgeous settings, we saw uncut gemstones and stones still in the rock formations in which they were found. Then we went through the Gold special exhibit. I learned way more than I ever wanted to learn about gold and it was fascinating. While Ed went to take pictures of Sue, I hit the gift shop.
I know what you are thinking … “but you HATE to shop!”
That is true, yet this shop was not crowded and there were not hundreds of decisions to make. I wanted a Christmas ornament of Sue to add to my other ornaments that I’d picked up traveling. I found it, along with another ornament related t the Gold exhibit that I just could NOT resist. Of all the people I know, who would appreciate this ornament the most? Daughter Kim, of course! Only the best for Ed’s little girl!
That just about did us in for the day. Poor Ed was dragging! We went back to the hotel for free drinks at the daily Manager’s Reception and collapsed for the evening.
… to be continued