We arrived in the windy city late in the day – it had been raining buckets throughout Indiana and most of Illinois but as we neared our destination the clouds opened up and began to clear. Our GPS received it’s first strike so far on this trip – it lead us to the wrong side of town – the south side when we were to meet my cousin Eric on the North side at his apartment. All turned out well and we arrived at his house in the early evening. I have to say it had been a while since I last saw my cousin. I remembered fondly waiting for the bus with him and talking about whatever it is kids talk about. But I always have this nice memory when I think of him – most of my dad’s side of the family doesn’t communicate with one another so it was nice to have this bond with him. I couldn’t wait to see him again.
Eric has been living in Chicago since January – he had been in Boulder for the past few years and moved out to the city for school. His apartment was sweet! I didn’t realize when he said he had a lot of room that he meant three bedrooms plus some room. It was lovely to have a place to stretch our limbs and take a shower – we had been in the car 10 hours that day.. plowing through the rain from Ohio to Illinois. He took us to a nice Irish Bar for some fish n chips and caught up on all the things life has brought us up until now.
He had a bike and suggested we all get up in the morning and take in the city by bike. Rory and I were psyched and super pumped that he had a bike. After that long trek in the car we were dying for some bike time. I also find that riding a bike in the city allows you to truly take in the essence of a place; the sounds, the colors, the shops, the parks and the people. You notice a lot more when you are walking or on a bike – there’s no hassle with parking and you are just free to observe and be.
On the way in we stopped at a Swedish Bakery in Andersonville to indulge in some freshly made swedish treats. We also stopped by Wrigley Field and observed the fans as the game was about to start as we got there. It was so alive. Everyone dressed in blue, vendors selling peanuts, people playing catch & street musicians filling the streets with their mighty bass drums. Afterward, we made it downtown to Lake Michigan and took the Lakeview Trail around the coast of the city. I feel like I always somehow manage to find the most natural parts of the city.. I guess I just gravitate towards that energy more so than the designer shops and all of that. It was so strange riding up to the lake. It looked and sounded as if we were at the ocean – the choppy waves, sandy shoreline and looking out and not being able to see anything beyond the horizon line. But my nose knew better… for it did not smell like the sea but it was beautiful to look at nonetheless.
We headed to Gino’s East for lunch to try some Chicago deep dish style pizza. I have to say it was pretty tasty.. a little pricey but worth the experience. We continued to ride our bikes down the trail to the observatory where we had a private view of the beauty of the lake and all of Chicago. We all just sat there for a while taking it all in watching the sailboats sail past… It was really cool. The energy in Chicago was really nice. It’s so huge too – probably 5 times the size of Boston – you’d probably need at least a few weeks to discover it all. We would both like to get back there someday and take it all in.
Eric showed us a really excellent time – we hit up some sushi for dinner after a long day of bike riding and talked a bit more about ideas and life philosophies.. it feels really good to connect with people but even more so when they are your family. I hope to see him again sometime soon.. it felt good to reminisce about life and be in the moment. It was nice to just laugh at the little things and connect in Chicago…