Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patty's Day in Chicago

As soon as Andrea heard of Brooke's business trip to Chicago, she decided to tag along:) Not only to check out the city a little more, but to spend time with her friend, Liz, and her brother and sister-in-law!

Welcome to Chicago!
[our self portrait]

How cool is it that there is a giant mirror bean in downtown? It kept us amused for quite a while.

We stayed right across the street from the John Hancock Building (definitely one of the coolest of the tallest, if you ask us.)

So what better time than the evening to check out the glow of the city? We headed up to the John Hancock Observatory late Thursday night.

Welcome to the flat midwest...where the lights go on...and on...
[observed from the John Hancock Observatory]

...and on...until you hit Lake Michigan. Then complete darkness hits.
[observed from the John Hancock Observatory]

We were able to get out and check out the city a little. The Art Institute of Chicago was a great visit (thanks Doan!) where we spent most of our time in the Thorne Miniature Rooms exhibit.

Art Museums rock.

Andrea's brother, Steve, and his wife, Maura live in Chicago, so we were able to stay with them after Brooke's conference. In the meanwhile, we had to get from downtown Chicago to their home in Wicker Park via public transit...which included multiple blocks of walking through downtown streets with our rolling luggage.

The 'El' (train) is a popular way of transportation around the city.

Cruising by a hundred miles an hour.

One thing we do miss about the Midwest/East Coast are the beautiful old buildings.
[pictured above is the Chicago Tribune Building]

Holy Crap! Do you see this stuff? They dye the Chicago River neon-nuclear-powerplant green!
[to our environmentally conscious friends: do not worry. whatever they use to dye the river does not hurt any being. thanks for asking]

Andrea and Steve sporting their green flare.

We grabbed Chicago style pizza at Giordano's, and couldn't resist the green beer to wash it down. The pizza was excellent and the beer smooth.
[Andrea, Brooke, Steve, Maura]

Yay!...Andrea loves St. Patrick's Day! Especially since she gets to wear her Blarney Boppers!

Brooke...I know it's only noon, but it's time to stop drinking for the day.

Steve and Maura made sure we got in plenty of tourist we made the walk down to Navy Pier to check it out. It was sweet!

We took some time to view the Stained Glass Museum located in Navy Pier.
This was a favorite.

We had seen enough buildings and walked enough miles, so we decided to sit down and relax a little. We met up with some of Steve and Maura's friends at an Irish Pub, where we spent the rest of our afternoon/evening/night drinking Guinness and green beer, talking, and laughing.

Steve loved watching his green bow tie light up.

Andrea and Maura...Irish sisters:)

St. Patty's Day fun!

The bar suddenly got cooler as soon as these guys showed up! They rocked that place, it was great.

Overall, it was a great trip to Chicago! The buildings were huge, the bustle was fast, but the time with Steve and Maura was much needed. Thanks, you two, for putting us up and showing us around! Can't wait for your visit out to Seattle this summer!

Now...let's get back to the mountains....