Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chicago Part 2 - buildings!

We saw some pretty neat sights while we were in Chicago - some from WAY up high - and others closer to eye level. It was a really fun city to adventure in, I'd like to go back with a bit more adventuring time, there's a lot I'd still love to see.

Our first day - looking out the window - we were in the midst of a cloud. It's actually kind of creepy to look out the window and only see white. The following days - we had much better views. The buildings in Chicago are neat. It's not that old of a city - but it seems that buildings have been kept - rather than just torn down for a new development. They're also REALLY tall! Due to the downtown airport here, there has been a height cap in Edmonton, so it was very unfamiliar to have so many giant buildings.

This is one of the views from up where we stayed for the first couple days!
 In 1871 - the Great Chicago Fire burned down a good portion of the city, especially the downtown. I was told it left over a 100,000 people without homes. There are a few buildings that survived - one of which is the Chicago Water Tower
It's surrounded by so many other big buildings I couldn't get far enough back to get it all in...
This is from across the street on the other side. I love that it looks like a castle!
Another one of the surviving building is the pumping station - which also houses Sara's theatre company, Lookingglass.
You can see the Into the Garden poster!

The pumping station is still functioning in a different area of the building - Sara told me some crazy stat on how many gallons of water pass through there every day. I remember thinking, Wowza! but the number didn't stick in my head... :)

There was lots of gawk at all over the place. Chicago also seems to have a crazy number of fountains and gardens... some that spit at you, some that look like something magical might happen, many that seem to commemorate something.

This garden smelled wonderful!
The face looks at you for a bit and then...
Spits at you!
It was a blast to watch the screeching excited little people splashing around!

Tia and I went for the Architectural Society's architectural boat tour one morning. The rain threatened, but didn't really fall - which was great.  It was interesting to learn some of the things that makes buildings look the way they do - like the ones with recessed portions, because of bylaws or structural issues (like what goes over the subway/train lines). I would recommend the ride!

 I loved all the bits of decoration on lots of the buildings. Beautiful little details! 

On the Opera House - can you hear him?

There are SO many bridges in Chicago - and they seem to all be bascule bridges
(they can be raised up so large boats can pass) so they have these fabulous bridge houses.

Isn't this a massive building? "short" by comparison, but GIANT.

The guide on the boat asked what we thought the top of this building looked like? Apparently some think it looks like a battery, and other think the top of a bottle of champagne. What do you think?
There were LOTS of cool structures, but I won't make you look at them all, plus some I just looked at. I hope you're having a great day! 
peace ~

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chicago (part one - which means there will be more parts...)

This past week - I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago, to celebrate a wedding of two absolutely wonderful people. One, a friend who I have know a relatively short time (but feels like someone I have know forever), and her sweet-beau who after getting to know this week - is also becoming a lifelong friend. The whole week was filled with delight, love, and joy.

Sara is someone I got to know at UPeace - she expanded my learning, challenged my understandings, encouraged me, teased me, and stretched me, and totally became one of those people who I feel gratitude for having in my life. You may remember Sara from posts like: Weekend Wandering, Festivals,  and Shouldn't have worn it swimming, to name a few. It felt like such a privilege to attend her wedding and to meet the folks who are the cast of her stories.

Those incredible people welcomed me and Tia so completely as we just fell into their world. The first day we went for Chicago deep dish pizza. Would you believe I didn't take a picture? We left for the airport at 4 am - and by supper time I didn't think of it. Anyway - no pictures. It was good, but I don't think it's something I'd want to eat often. One piece felt like eating half a pizza!

Our second day - Marty and Mele hosted a James Bond themed Bachelor/Bachelorette party - that was a riot. I had SO much fun. The invitation suggested that you dress up as your favourite Bond inspired character and join for a night of gambling and cocktails.

The fancy invite!

Going in - I was a bit nervous. I don't know how to play really any card games, much less ones where you gamble, and I wasn't sure just how "costumed" Sara's theatre friends would be...  thankfully no one new the games - so we learned together and after knowing her friends for moments, it would be impossible to find them intimidating - they're just too sweet. It was great. So - those are the pics I will put in Chicago part one. Ready?

These are the two we were gathered to celebrate. Aren't they cute?
Queen and King of hearts. Tee hee
Peace activist, but fierce when needed... 
Tia came with me - which was so much fun!
She also wins the prize for one of the most amazing outfits!
It's a totally knit 'outfit'!
Thank goodness for awesome hand-me-downs that can double as a costume
Let the games begin!
A fierce Bond moment - you want your martini prepared how?
The three dapper-dans!
A great party? or holding a glass for me? You decide (maybe both!)
I have a series of these photos. They're all hilarious.
Looking at this photo - I found myself pondering if Jason is a lefty... what do you think?
He looks a bit puzzled by his hand. I think shooting is not his thing.
There was a feast!
and of course chips for everyone!
These are our lovely hosts for the evening.

It was a great party - and a wonderful way to get to know some new folks.

peace to you ~