Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Chicago! Chicago!

On Saturday we all caught the train to Chicago. TR was very impressed with the double-decker trains and of course we all sat upstairs. The train was a little slower than usual as there were thunderstorms in the area, so we had to travel at 25 mph for part of the way. However, we got there OK and jumped in two cabs for American Girl Place.

TR and Mr Ruby relax on the top-deck.

The M Bunny's eighth birthday present from us was a voucher to spend on clothes and accessories for her American Girl dolls. She and I were very taken with all the little clothes and shoes and suchlike. While we immersed ourselves in the American Girl experience, TR, Mr Ruby and Dr Norton went to the Lego shop next door. Blondie and Dr X bought a new outfit for Blondie to wear on her first day in middle school. After much deliberating, Bunny chose a figure-skating outfit, complete with the cutest little pair of ice skates. Man, I want a doll to dress! (Bunny insists on picking out her own clothes these days and TR's really not interested.) She also picked out some doll-sized jeans and a notepad.

Felicity (the doll) models her new figure-skating outfit.

After our shopping experience, we caught another cab to 'The Elephant and Castle - English Pub'. I reckon they made a pretty good job of that. Bunny had fish and chips and TR chose bangers and mash - pretty good English pub fare.

We then walked to the Sears Tower. Well, OK you're supposed to call it the 'Willis Tower' now, but it seems a bit silly to rename such a significant and iconic landmark. One older lady, who approached the tower just ahead of us, summed it up thus, although I'm going to have to leave you to supply the last word for yourselves: 'Willis Tower? Willis Tower?! What a crock of....!' Dr X and I were in hysterics.

We went up to the 103rd floor (we took the elevator - not the stairs) and a good look at the view of Chicago. It was funny to look down at what appeared to be train sets and Hot Wheels cars far below us. Most impressively, we saw a flypast, as there was an air show on at Navy Pier. It was weird being taller than the jets, too!

A new addition to the tower is some retractable glass balconies. The kids were utterly fearless about these, but the grown-ups were all seen to step out rather gingerly! I tell you, it is not right to be suspended so high above the city, in little more than a glorified reptile tank!
Blondie, doing yoga, while suspended over the city.
Take a closer look - yep, all the way up there!


After defying the laws of physics, we walked back across the river to the train station and caught the express back 'home'. The thunderstorms had cleared by now, so we had a clear run back and were home in time for tea.

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