This week-end we, with friends, traveled to Chicago to attend the "Taste of Chicago." This is an annual event held downtown. It features many eateries making their secret blends of herbs and spices..., wait that is KFC. Anyway, there is a great deal to indulge in.
I don't typically like to travel anywhere on three day week-ends. Too much traffic, too many people. I would prefer to stay at home, go to a movie and simply watch all the traffic and crowds on TV. However, our good friend Scott is the CEO of International Teams (ITeams). This is a inter-denominational missions organization. So he and his wife invited us, along with another couple (The Haymonds), to make the trek to join them on this adventure. So we did.
In preparation for The Taste (this is how the locals refer to it) I ran eight miles prior to embarking on the journey. We took the train from Elgin right into Union Station in the heart of Chicago. This is only the second time I had been on a train outside of Disneyland. It was my first train trip with a ticket. My first time on a real train I did not have a ticket, but this is for another time.
Disembarking from the train we made the 10-12 block walk to The Taste. The tender inside the Taste are tickets that you purchase...twelve tickets for eight dollars. You then exchange these tickets for full portions, or "tastes" of offerings at a variety of booths. And I do mean a variety. There is much to choose from. All kinds of ethnic food are on display. My personal favorite was something with a very fancy name. What it turned out to be was a lump of dough deep fried and sprinkled with powder sugar. Now that is what I call healthy and tasty. I determine long ago I will pretty much try anything deep fried.
Once making our way through the various taste venues, we ventured down Michigan Avenue, part of which is called the "magnificent mile." This mile is littered with many stores all providing you the opportunity to spend money. Fortunately we resisted. The one store that really caught my attention was called a Basement. Here is the interesting thing: We took an escalator to gain entrance into a store known as a basement. Does this stike anyone else as a bit odd? Once there, I spent my time looking for the way down to the attic. Made perfect sense to me.
Other week-end highlights: Riding in a water taxi, eating at Cheesecake Factory, walking with friends, Starbucks stops (twice), sitting in the shade looking out over Lake Michigan, laughing, almost getting separated from the others and me the only one without my cell phone, deep dish pizza, Burnt Toast (a restraunt, not a bread's condition), making fun of Scott for how he backs up a 15 passenger van, Fair Oaks Farms, memories that will last most of my life, if I don't forget.