Monday, July 14, 2008

Chicago (cont)...

When I left off on the last post, we had just finished watching the fireworks with over a million people! Well, those 1 million people had to get home somehow, and since the Chicago public transportation is the primary source of transportation, we rode back home with what felt like a million people. We were so packed in the subway that at one point I couldn't even fit both of my feet on the ground. And we were packed in so tightly that there was no need to hold on when the train started because no one could move anywhere! In fact, Matt was at the door and someone was pushing him trying to get on the train but there were so many people not one more person could shove in. I wish I had a picture, because I'm sure it looked pretty crazy!

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed, and we had a good time just enjoying the city. Friday morning we slept in so we could recuperate from the all night drive the night before. Then we headed down to Wrigley Field for some pictures.

After Wrigley, we went back to the commune for a cookout. (Side Note: I just realized I may not have previously explained the commune. It's where we were staying during this trip to Chicago, and where Matt was planning to live when he moves there. We call it the commune because it actually used to be a commune in the 70's, but now it's an "intentional community." The easiest way to explain it is dorm-style living for adults. The people that live there are all really nice. They live in this dorm place and have a janitor that cleans the bathrooms and a cook that cooks dinner every night. They "share resources" so it's more economical and environmentally friendly. Matt found out about it because a guy that goes to the church we visited on our last trip to Chicago lives there. I know it sounds weird, and it kinda is). Anyway, we stayed at the commune and they invited us for a 4th of July cookout. So we went back (free lunch can't be passed up) and helped get things ready for the cookout. The only strange part of the lunch was, instead of saying a prayer, some guy started talking about our reason for gathering and asked what spirit we should invite to be with us for the occasion (me, Matt, Kayla and Stephen all had the same about the Holy Spirit?!?). Anyway, that was strange and we all just kind of looked at each other, but it was free and certainly a cultural and educational experience! After the cookout, we headed downtown so Kayla & Stephen could visit the Field Museum. Matt & I had already been, so we just walked by Lake Michigan and chatted. It was a beautiful day outside, although slightly chilly on the lake!

Matt thought I looked funny wrapped up in his sweatshirt!

There were SO MANY boats on Lake Michigan!

We took a water taxi over to Navy Pier where there were tons of people! We decided it was too crowded & we were starving so we headed over the Giordano's (the best pizza ever) and decided to go back to Navy Pier on Saturday. If you ever get the chance to go to Chicago, you should DEFINITELY eat at Giordano's! i can't even describe how good this pizza is, but it's amazing!! Saturday started with a trip to IKEA!!! If you've never been to Ikea, and you like decorating, you should DEFINITELY go! I could spend an entire day and a TON of money in there! Those of you who know me know that I don't generally spend money on anything, but take me to Ikea and I'm in trouble! Since Matt's planning to move to Chicago, and we thought we had his living situation figured out, we had a few things that we needed to buy and this was the perfect opportunity. We got some curtains and storage boxes and a few other things and it was so fun! Kayla loved it too! Then it was back over to Navy Pier for a ride on the ferris wheel and some putt-putt golf for Matty's birthday. Oh yeah, Saturday was Matt's birthday! I got him a new digital camera that took all the pictures in this post (I gave it to him when we got to Chicago, a little early).

In the Botanical Gardens at Navy Pier

Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier--Stephen didn't tell us he was scared of heights until we were at the top!

Top of the Ferris Wheel...

Playing Putt-Putt

Our last day in Chicago ended with dinner at Cheesecake Factory and one last train ride back to the commune. It was Saturday night that made me decide perhaps the commune was not the place for Matt to live (especially if I am going to join him in January!). While we were all trying to sleep, several people were having a fight down on the street corner. We could hear them yelling for a couple of hours. Although the commune seems safe, the neighborhood made me pretty uncomfortable. So, when we got home, Matt started looking for a different place to live. He found an apartment, closer to downtown in a really good part of town. It's about the size of a shoebox, but I think it will be better all around. Matt will be closer to school (only 3 train stops away, instead of 12) and it's in a really nice part of town. Here's a link to the website...
If you go to the site and click on "virtual tours," his studio apt should be like Studio 2 on the virtual tours. Check it out! And, I mentioned it earlier, but I think I'll be joining Matt in Chicago in January. I had thought about not going up there (it's really cold, and will be harder to figure out the school systems for substituting or getting a job), but I really don't want to be away from Matt for longer than I have to be. And, he really wants me to come up there. So, I guess I'll brave the cold & head up to Chicago after Christmas! Well, this post has been pretty long, so I guess I'll end here. Our trip was great fun and I'm glad things are finally coming together for the Fall! Love you all!


Melissa Lester said...

Hi Lori, I just discovered tonight that Regina has a blog, and in looking at hers, I discovered that you have one too! It sounds like you have had a lot of exciting times lately. How sweet that Matt is so full of surprises!

Unless Joe saw you guys yesterday at church and gave it to you, I still have Matt's graduation gift in my purse. I have been carrying it around forever -- to Tennessee,Georgia, Florida and back to Alabama -- so I need to give it to you when I see you.

Ben, Kelly and Sophie said...

Whew! You guys had a whirlwind trip! I SO, SO want to visit Chicago, having never been... you would think you two being there would be ample opportunity, but seeing as I'll be about 8 months prego in January, I doubt that will happen. I forgot to tell you when you emailed me the link to the apts that I checked them out - looks cozy and fun! How exciting to live in Chicago!