(Westin Chicago River North lobby)
September 11, 2014
I never noticed it until day three. No, it was day four because JC, Erin and Shin mellowed out at the Green Mill that night, while I stayed in and wrote postcards. Eighteen all together, and one more the next morning! No way could I pass up an opportunity to use this lovely. Well, I meant to use it but first JC, and then Erin handed off my two stacks of cards to the desk clerk on our way out, but I would have given another chance. Okay. Backing up . . . I wrote nine postcards two nights in a row. The first batch happened while my daughter slept hard after completing The Women's Half Marathon and 5K. The second batch came into being on my one night alone. The last, written to Alex, was mailed after our return home. *sigh* Thanks, Erin.
We have been back for almost a week now. The vacation/birthday trip glow is fading quite slowly and gently. I try hard not to clutch the memories lest I crush them, or they scatter beyond my recollection. Our time in Chicago has been the best leisure time we've ever given ourselves over to. The most difficult part was trying to decide what to do, and in what order.
I felt like a stranger in a strange land yet oddly at home. How can that be? Texas is known for it's cowboy hospitality and southern charm. I have never been a cowgirl, and I am not very hospitable. I want to be, hospitable not a cowgirl, yet lack the necessary sustainable social graces required to fit the definition. I am good at being semi-hospitable. Translation: I am friendly and generously receptive and entertaining for a few hours. Then I begin to wind down and withdraw. Well, Chicago was on twenty-four seven. Chicago wins. No matter. We had two moments that cast a shadow on an otherwise special time. I was accosted once but the doorman took care of everything since I didn't know what to say in response. Besides, I didn't understand what the poor thing was saying anyway; the last incident happened on our way to the Art Institute, but by then I didn't even care. I was one of the seasoned citizens. I felt that way anyway, as I walked right on by without blinking an eye.
(Masked Limner falling for Chicago.)
So. I fell in love with a city. It did not matter that I engaged in some of the very touristy things I swore I wouldn't be caught dead doing. I bought postcards! We passed the postoffice and photos were taken, along with a promise that I'd get to go inside. It never happened. A plot to lure me back by dangling such carrots before me, then snatching them away! We
ate dined our way across the city though. It certainly felt that way! I have many pictures to share, posts to write, and return visits to plot. I took 535 photos with my iPhone! Erin took 600 with her Nikon. I don't know how many she took with her iPhone, but JC was too cool. He used his phone maybe six times since he's done Chicago so many times and lived worked there once. And yes, I was on v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n, but I thought of you almost every day. I did not get past nineteen postcards because my family needed me. They needed me to go out and have as much fun. as I could stand. And so I did. I even bought too many t-shirts!