Friday, January 27, 2012

Chicago in an Hour and a Half

My daughter had a meeting in Chicago today.  Originally she was going to take the El train into the city, but since we didn't really have anything specific to do today, we decided to drive in with her with the intention of dropping her off and going to do a few geocaches.

We left at 8:55 am.  We got onto the expressway which is literally 1 minute from our house.  The office she had a meeting at in downtown Chicago is 16 miles away.   Here's what traffic on the Kennedy Expressway going into Chicago looks like at 9:30 am......

It took us an hour and 35 minutes to get her to her meeting.  We ended up getting off the expressway 2 miles short of where we were supposed to get off and we were flying down side streets.  One of the bridges we had to cross was blocked due to construction and we got routed back onto the expressway, going back towards home.  OMG!!  Mario Andretti My husband was on a mission and let's just say that we miraculously pulled up in front of the office with 2 minutes to spare.  I hate driving into Chicago.  Ugh!  Here's a tip - take the Metra if you can!

We dropped her off and drove down to Belmont Harbor where we decided to go for a walk along the lake front.  It was extremely overcast today and the threat of snow is in the air.....

I was surprised to see several fisherman casting lines out into the open water at the mouth of the harbor....

We walked around to the inside harbor.  The current was pushing sheets of ice into the harbor and when they hit the stationary ice, it sounded like thunder.

We got back into the car and drove down to Montrose Harbor.  There were several fishermen out on the ice in the harbor, sitting on buckets and fishing for perch.  One guy caught one while we were standing there.  The ice was at least a foot thick here which surprised me because it really hasn't been super cold this year.

It was cold down at the lake today!  You can tell because my jacket is zipped and my gloves are on.

Then we walked over to the Bird Sanctuary which is right on the lakefront.....

and hiked over some of the trails.  They were pretty iced over so we just took our time.

We managed to find a geocache hidden there in spite of the frozen snow cover.

We had a list of 7 geocaches we wanted to do, but the parking situation in Chicago, as well as the heavy traffic, makes it almost impossible to drive and park anywhere near caches.....

The 2 round buildings are the Marina Towers....

Here we were sitting on the bridge over the river.  We were this close to a cache, but couldn't find a place to park.  I just stared at where I thought it was with a sad face as we pulled away...

This is Wacker Drive....

World famous Morton Steak House....

After Chablis' meeting we took the streets back towards home.   We were sitting at a light at the Belmont Train Station and I liked this face on the piling....

We slowly made our way to Roma's, located on Cicero, in an area of Chicago called 6 Corners.  Roma's is known for their hot dogs and beef sandwiches and has been in Chicago for almost 40 years.  It's a small place, no tables, just a short counter along the windows with a few stools.  In the summer, the line is often out the door.  I used to work around the corner from there and we would walk over for lunch.  I love their excellent beef sandwiches. Chablis got a meatball sandwich today and she said it was the best one she's ever eaten.  Conveniently, there was a geocache hidden in the parking lot, so I made the grab while Louie was getting lunch.  Maurie the Hot Dog TB posed for a photo!

That was our day in Chicago.  I like going downtown once in awhile, but slap me upside the head the next time that I suggest driving in.


  1. Funny, the skies over Alicante have been looking just like that these past couple of days! But definitely not laden with snow, just some weird fog/mist that blocks out the warm sun and increases the humidity so it finally feels like winter, lol!

    I hate traffic like that! UGH! So grateful not to have to deal with it! When I lived in Belgium, in Liège, about 100 km away from Brussels, most people I knew who worked in Brussels would go on the train instead of by car or car-pooling because it was much faster! A usual trip to Brussels by car could be done in about 45'-1h (and on the train 1h-1h20' depending on the train), but if you left Liège between 6:15 am and 8 am then it could take you anywhere up to 3h!!! HORROR!

    Love the shots of the frozen lake! :o)

  2. Holy Hell Batman!! Could you and I be any more opposite in our lives? I cannot even imagine taking that long to go a few miles. I'd be pissed off beyond belief... to think I freak out at the tree huggers driving 42 miles an hour into town. I'd be insane in that traffic. And then not being able to park to do what you love? WTH? Too many people living in too small of a space. We ought to have a square footage wait... that means they'd all come to Alaska so scratch that! LOL

    I hope Chablis' meeting was fantastic and for God's sake take a train or whatever it is next time. That is insane!!

  3. Big city traffic is a nightmare! That reminded me of living in DC and the traffic, I mean parking lot that the beltway becomes during rush hour. UGH!

    Glad you had time to cache!

    Haha! My cousin nicknamed me Della Andretti about 8 years ago! I have NO idea what he's talking about...I've never had a ticket in my life!

  4. The scenery is nice along the lakefront. Traffic not so nice. Looks like a fun day tho

  5. Yep, traffic sucks. We gets lots of congestion here in Portland, too, but I take the light rail whenever I want to go downtown. I've never been to Chicago, but I've heard it's a great city. Someday I'll have to visit. The guys ice fishing remind me of ice fishing with my hubby when we lived in South Dakota.

  6. 1. I promise I will *never* drive in Chicago or any other large city - yowza!!! 2. However, since you did it, I sure enjoyed the pics; never been to Chicago and the downtown is really beautiful. 3. How fun that you and your hubs Geocache; thought at one time my husband & kids might do it but it just sort of never happened. 4. I'm your newest follower :) stop by to visit me any time. Hugs ~ Mary

  7. I bet Louie has all the side roads dialed in. I would never go to a city of that size without a good guide. I bet that hotdog was awesome.

    PS - brrrrrr

  8. I hate driving Downtown Chicago and it takes forever some days. I always seem to hit peak times when we go. :) Love your shots, Chicago is so pretty and I can't believe how much ice you have, way more than we do. There is no ice fishing anywhere by us. Glad you got a few cache's!

  9. Some cool pictures. I never would have thought Chicago would have a bird sanctuary...nice!
    Looks too cold for me though. :)

  10. Brrr!! Despite the weather and the traffic, seems like you still had a good time! ;-)

  11. Your husband wasn't channeling Mario Andretti. He was channelling Elwood Blues from the Blues Brothers, which is entire appropriately on a run into downtown Chicago.


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