Settling Back In

My big-mouthed Sheltie has already announced that I’ve been away, so I might as well confess I went to visit Domer in the Windy City.

What a skyline!

What a skyline!

Since my nerves are still pretty raw from my car crash, I took the train (not exactly a paragon of safety there, but I liked my chances better than on the highways!)

We had a solid week for me to try new restaurants, see interesting sights, revisit old stomping grounds, and catch up; both of us agreed we needed the break.

One place we stopped was the Chicago Botanic Garden, a 365-acre feast for eyes, ears, and soul.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

Filled with flowering plants, fruits and veggies, waterfalls, butterflies, and other critters, this is a must-see if you’re in the area.

Tip: Wear good walking shoes. Take advantage of benches for occasional rest. Be prepared to come away feeling serene.

We also revisited the Shedd Aquarium, taking in knowledge of more than 30,000 water inhabitants such as dolphins, otters, penguins, and fish. Animals hail from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean, the Amazon to polar regions. Neither of us opted to touch the sting ray.

Tip: If visiting, plan to eat before or after your tour because we found the food way overpriced … and not particularly good. Twenty-three dollars for single-patty burgers and fries?? Ouch.

The third thing we did was travel to Notre Dame for the football game against Duke. What can I say? The Irish lost, dropping to 1-3 on the season. ‘Nuff said.

ND vs. Duke, 2016

ND vs. Duke, 2016

Tip: Don’t believe the weatherman when he says “cloudy with a chance for showers.” We didn’t wear our baseball caps (and Domer didn’t even take his shades). Our seats faced west, and we both came away with sunburns for staring into that brilliant blue sky!

Another cool thing — I took my very first Uber! Domer handled the details and accompanied me, so it wasn’t scary or creepy at all. And it was way easier than finding parking downtown.

I have LOTS more pictures, so if any of you express interest, I’ll be glad to post them next time. Just say so in your comments, ‘k?

27 thoughts on “Settling Back In

  1. So that’s where you were, Chicago! You know, I’ve never been there before but am dying to visit because anytime I speak to people who have, they say it’s such a wonderful city.

    I much prefer traveling by train instead of by car or plane. I love train travel. There is something about the movement of the train that relaxes me.

    ” we found the food way overpriced … and not particularly good. Twenty-three dollars for single-patty burgers and fries?? Ouch.”

    OMG, that reminds me of all the times I went to Disney while living in Orlando and had the same experience. They food in the Magic Kingdom is WAY over priced and not very good.

    Sounds and looks like you have a great time with Domer. And yes….I would love see more pictures. You know me, I love photos!!!!

    Welcome home, my friend. Have a super Sunday!

    • Ron, the way you gravitate to “big” cities, you’d love Chicago! So much to see and do;so much energy (just be sure to stay away from the dangerous areas — all cities have them, you know!)

      You’re a train-lover, too? How cool is that? When Domer was little, we used to travel frequently on the Amtrak sleeper, and it was such a treat! The food and service were outstanding, and it wasn’t as expensive as flying (not as fast, either, but who cared?!)

      Oh, I remember going to Disney. Yep, they truly know how to separate you from your money there, ha!

      Hope your B-day was fabulous … just like you, my friend! xx

    • Duluth, where it gets mighty COLD? (Or am I thinking of International Falls??) Domer really misses MN — he enjoyed living there for his first job. So clean, and he liked the people, too. Still, I’m enjoying having him a tad closer, so we can get together more often! xx

  2. I’ve only been to Chicago once, and haven’t been to any of the places you mentioned. I’m glad you got away, sorry about the game, but happy you had a chance to spend some time with Domer. Of course we want to see more photos! What good is a trip if you can’t share it with people once you get back? Bring ’em on!

    • Gee, thanks, Linda. It’s frustrating to lose a game we were “supposed” to win, but that’s sports. It was nice seeing the improvements on campus, though (and rather interesting for Domer to realize that the students who were freshmen when he was a senior have all graduated and moved on, leaving him a virtual stranger, ha!)

      More pictures? Okay, but don’t say you didn’t ask!!

      • Well, here’s a Notre Dame football note, sort of. Will Fuller, a ND player the Houston Texans took in the draft, returned a punt 67 yards for a TD today. I think it’s what secured the game. So, the ND legacy produced some good results!

        • Awesome!! One cool thing about ND is they don’t have an athlete’s dorm; rather, the kids are tossed in with each other (making for much camaraderie). Domer keeps pretty good track of his buddies who are now off playing for the NFL, NBA, and other pros. Thanks for noticing!

  3. I’m sorry to hear you’re still a bit shaky after your accident – hope you get back into driving at some point. Yes, please, more pics! I always enjoy other people’s snaps – maybe because I never take any myself. Glad you had a good break – and it’s not the winning that counts, it’s the taking part (as we always say when the Scotland football team loses every game it plays… 😉 )

    • Well, I’m driving a bit, but rural roads are way different from the hustle and bustle of a BIG city!! I drove up there the last time I went (before my accident), and even then it was terrifying!!

      Notre Dame is so unaccustomed to losing. They’ve been a powerhouse for many years, so this isn’t sitting well with the fan base. I’m certain, though, they’ll manage to regroup and get back into the winner’s column.

  4. Wow. You and my Cousin both experienced your first Ubber—We love our Ubber! The Botanical Garden is beautiful and you are so right about the overpriced fare. They do have wonderful holiday brunches, tho. Especially Easter.
    My sweet Mom does not fly (except in the case of extreme urgency) so she either drives 1400 miles to Chicago or takes the train (24 hours) she swears she doesn’t mind. She makes friends, enjoys the club car and with the exception of the lack of sleep finds the experience enjoyable. I could do a short ride but I like arriving at my destination much more than traveling there.
    Glad you enjoy the city—I suppose it has a lot to do with your companion but even with all the big city problems, and our rat of a mayor….I love Chicago and I’m always happy when our visitors have a good experience.

    • Aw, gee, thanks! Yep, I expect my companion was the biggest part of my enjoyment, but it was fun experiencing the sights and sounds of a big city again. Not that I’d particularly want to live right downtown, mind you!

      How did your cousin like her Uber? One of our drivers was very friendly and talkative; the other, not so much. Still, they both knew their way around and whisked us to our destinations unscathed. And the app that lets you follow the entire thing is outstanding — with a taxi, you always feel like they’re going around their elbow to get to their thumb, ha!

      • Uber. Uber. Uber. When will I stop adding that extra b. I am going to petition the company just to add it. My cousin took the Uber to the airport because there was no way we could take her to the airport (Midway) and still take our campers home. We initiated the pickup and told her all she had to do was exit at her final destination. She liked it. Her driver was nice. And we were able to see that she arrived just fine. I liked being able to pay for her ride without a hassle. My favorite part of Uber is not fumbling for money and tip. Always a hassle in a cab.
        Fun aside, I just heard a comedian joke that taking an Uber was like hitchhiking with your phone.

        • We had two different drivers (for going to the downtown and returning), and I found it reassuring to know just who (driving just what) was scheduled. And yes, not having to fumble for fare and tip was an added bonus. Of course, if the person looks creepy, I suppose you could refuse and schedule another, but at least you get that choice — unlike with a cab, where I always think they’re taking the LONG way so they can run up the tab!!

    • You know, Christy, I was a little leery of the Uber experience, but Domer convinced me it was better than a taxi — and he was right! You can see who’s going to pick you up, learn what kind of car they drive, and follow along on your smartphone as they take you to your destination. No money has to change hands either, and afterwards, you get to review your experience. Very cool!!

  5. Oh, you are no going to believe this: I just returned yesterday from the same locale! We could’ve been two ships passing in the night! Maybe we were in the same vicinity in the same moment and didn’t know it! Next time you plan to go, let’s confer. You never know, I may be going at the same time and though I know we’re both there for our children, would love love LOVE to meet you in person!

    • Seriously??? Oh, wow, talk about a small world! YES, definitely, we’ll have to plan on meeting — I’ve never “met” one of my blogging friends in person before, and I’ve always thought that sounded fabulous. Hope you enjoyed your visit, too, Monica!

  6. I took my first Uber drive a couple months ago too! So easy. So cool. So affordable. I’ve since taken one in Phoenix and Omaha – love it. Love your pics and enjoying sharing your trip. The Oregon Ducks are on a losing streak too – nuff said, again.

    • I think I might have been uneasy, were it not for Domer’s presence. He handled all the arrangements and made it seem like a cake-walk! Sorry about your Ducks — we all go through ups and downs, don’t we??

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