Chicago, Chicago…

October 15th, 2018 – Safeway Route.

This was a clear, crisp morning, a bit on the chilly side at 38F.  We got a honk from Mr. Handyman and did not fling anything.  We found lots of cans on Norway Hill, mostly Mike’s Hard Lemonade with some Bud Lights and Coors mixed in.

When we reached the top of the hill, we were rewarded with a nice pre-sunrise.


Sunrise today was 7:28 am and is rapidly moving toward almost 8:00 in early January, plus an hour’s time change.  Our walk will be very dark.

We found this eerie-looking drawing.


It didn’t take its eye off us, so we took it.

We found some lost toys.


Two balls.  Both were in good condition and are now in our ball collection.  We also found,


a lost rubber ducky.  Okay, and a rubber glove.


We really need to get off this glove fixation.  We found a nice blade for our Sawzall.


It was in good condition, only run over a few times.

We also found a “Big Gin” lapel pin, lacking the pin to hold it on.  So it probably should no longer be called a lapel pin.


Anyway, a little Googling found Big Gin is produced by Captive Spirits Distilling in Seattle.  London Dry Gin distilled in Seattle.  Maybe London has a Seattle Dry Gin.  Captive Spirits has a tasting room, so we may need to pay a visit.


October 16th, 2018 – Park and Ride Route.

Today was a quick walk with little trash.  It was warmer than yesterday, so no frost on these guys.


We found this at the bus stop.


Empty.  I could use this sometimes after our walks.

Another ball.


A cheap, plastic baseball.


A cracked crack pipe by the side of the road.


October 17th, 2018 – Safeway Route.

Today there was heavy traffic and light trash.  We did get a honk from Mr. Handyman and a “Thank You” from a passing motorist.  We flung a roadkill rabbit.

We found toys at the KinderCare to toss back into their playground.


Now I think they are just playing with us.



We found a not-so-hot dog.


Vanilla Cookies.


Marijuana container.  Empty.

Trash still life photo.


We call this “Rubber Glove with Mushrooms.”

We found an iron-on stoner patch.


Marijuana “Legal Since 2012.”  Is this really something to be proud of?


October 18th, 2018 – Trip to Holland and Chicago.

Early on the morning of Thursday the 18th, we left for the airport for a trip to see friends in Holland, Michigan and Chicago.  We landed at Chicago, O’Hare, rented a car and drove to Holland, Michigan.  The trip of 162 miles took four and a half hours.  Most of the time was getting out of the Chicago area.

In Holland, we spent a pleasant three days with friends, Beth and Bruce, we knew in Ogden Utah.  We did some sightseeing and a lot of visiting and catching up with old times.  Their daughter Margaret and her husband, Andy, just opened a pub, the Waverly Stone in Holland.


Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in the pub.  They have 28 beers on tap.  I know, rough duty, but somebody needs to do it.  Their menu was amazing, definitely not your typical pub food.  Spoiler alert:  the Grilled Mouse Trap is great.

We didn’t spend all of our time in the pub.  We did some local sightseeing and took a short hike in Mt. Pisgah State Park.

Big Red Lighthouse from the Mt. Pisgah Trail
Beach on Lake Michigan



On Monday morning, we took our farewell from our Holland friends and travelled back to O’Hare to turn in the rental.  We then took our first-ever Uber trip from O’Hare to the historic Palmer House Hilton.  We ended up using Uber a lot in Chicago, though the tall buildings were challenging for the GPS.  At one point, the Uber driver asked what my iPhone directions were.

In Chicago, we met up with our friends from Spain.  They were in Chicago for the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting.  In our past professional life, we have attended several of the AAO meetings, but now it is only to meet with our good friends.

We first met Enrique and Christel in the late 1990’s when Chuck worked for Orbtek, later acquired by Bausch and Lomb.  We have remained close friends with their family over the years.

In the news, Chicago gets a lot of bad press from the violence.  But, like any big city, if you act like a tourist and stick to tourist areas, you are OK.  If you stray from the herd, you are on you own.

We kept with the herd.


Chicago Architecture.

One of our favorite things to do in Chicago is to go on an architectural boat tour.  We’ve been on three tours and each one has been slightly different, but are informative and entertaining.  Chicago is a beautiful, walkable city.


This is the local Apple store:


It is a beautiful piece of architecture but is fraught with problems.  The owners are trying to sell it.


Millennium Park.

Another favorite of ours is Millennium Park which was just two blocks from our hotel and the main attraction is a sculpture called Cloud Gate but is nicknamed “The Bean.”


It is made of highly-polished stainless steel, is 66 feet long and weighs 110 tons.  It is impossible to take a picture of it without being in the picture yourself.


We are in the center, farthest away from the Bean.  Part of the fun is watching other people experience the Bean.


Another piece of art in the park is the Crown Fountain.


Unfortunately, the water was turned off for the winter.  It consists of two, fifty-foot-tall, LED-lit towers that face each other.  The park also has a large amphitheater and a bridge connecting it to an adjacent park, both designed by Frank Gehry.


The park is also good to enjoy a sunny day in your underwear.



Chicago Trash.

We didn’t pick up trash in Chicago, well not much, but we did see a lot.  We saw two dropped gloves,


and a rubber glove.  We found two nickels.  We did pick those up.


They did not make up for the amount of money we spent in Chicago, though.


We found this stack of trash.


We figured that the guy partied too much in the hotel and needed to use the floor map to find his way out.


We found two Apple charging cables, both in good working order.


This is taking chain smoking to a whole new level.


“The power to question is the basis of all progress” — Indira Gandhi.  Like, “Why should I walk twenty feet to the trash cans when I can drop my garbage on the lawn?”

We saw U and found a crossword puzzle for the plane ride home.

We saw a hat in the street.


But there was no easy way to get down to street level to retrieve it.


Chicago designs their trash receptacles like mail boxes so it isn’t possible to reach in get anything out.  And yes, they are locked.  Go figure.

Then we found this.


We didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a work of art.  The next day we went to the Art Institute of Chicago and saw this:

Robert Rauschenberg, “Untitled”, circa 1955. The Art Institute of Chicago

We should have grabbed the sock when we had the chance.


Random Sights.

Under the “L.”


Around the corner from our hotel was the beginning of Route 66.


This was a nice segue with our earlier visit to the Grand Canyon and our drive along Route 66 in Arizona.

“Hamilton” was playing half a block from our hotel.


We got tickets to a matinee and thoroughly enjoyed it.



We came to a river bridge that was about to open to let some sailboats through.


We took a time-lapse video of the process located here.

As we were walking down a street, we spotted this interesting sign and took this picture.

Men Only

As we were taking the picture, a gentleman came out of a door and laughed saying this must be the most photographed sign in Chicago.  Then he pointed out a pawn shop we had just passed.


He said it was featured on truTV’s “Hardcore Pawn.”  He led us inside, pointed to the owner and said he was famous and we should get his autograph.  The owner laughed and shook his head.   We didn’t stay long.

One thing Chicago is not short of is panhandlers.  We were constantly being asked for spare change for food or coffee.  One evening, we came out of the hotel and a guy approached Janet and said he was hungry and asked for money for food.  Janet said she would by him a hamburger at the McDonalds next door and the guy accepted.  All that he wanted was a hamburger  and small fries, nothing to drink.  I guess that he wasn’t really very hungry.


We left on Saturday but got a notification the plane would be two hours late, so we had some extra time to walk the city.  Overall, we had a great time in Chicago.







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