Well its been a jam-packed week as Adam and I have managed to squeeze so many sights in during our first part of our Chicago stay and then 3 days in Michigan for a beautiful wedding.
We are now back in Chicago for 3 more days and fly to New York this Friday. But back to the beginning. I’ve decided I want to get a job in Chicago! We’ve heard so much about this city but had no idea just how exciting and diverse the place is and it makes Melbourne and Sydney look like the younger sisters. The city sky line is an architect’s dream and we were told to do a boat tour and being me I did my research to find that the Chicago Architect Foundation are the official sponsors of Chicago’s First Lady. We worked out that the best time was 5.30pm as the night before we watched the skyline and the lights started coming on @ 6-6.30pm and we thought we get a mix of late afternoon/evening skies for our picturesque photos. I think we took more than 100 photos as at every turn the tour guide would highlight the significance of a building, the location or architect/s involved. PS – if you click on the photos they will come up larger.
Before the boat ride we managed to pound the pavement for 2 days non-stop and visit Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, the Water Towers, MCA (we’ve got tickets to see the David Bowie costume exhibition touring from the V&A and can’t wait for that!), the Rookery (a stunning art deco building designed by Lloyd Wright) as well as the Robie House located in Chicago’s outer suburbs. A contemporary home built on a prairie and costing $60,000 back in 1910 (equivalent of $3.4 million today) – the cost included the house, land and furnishings – so actually a bargain at the time! While we were there we went to the local University and it was like Hogwarts on steroids!! We couldn’t believe the size/design of the buildings and ornate landscaping in the University of Chicago. Obviously a prestigious university for those with money and connections. I wonder if they have ceramics or international relations here? We stayed at the Longman & Eagle Inn located in Logan Square – basically a trendy part of town consisting of way too many hipsters! Beards, bicycle and boutique beers are the staples for these indie style guys.
Okay, we did heaps more but I won’t go into everything as we have a wedding to indulge in! Adam and I hired a car and headed north to Arcadia, Michigan – approx. a 5hr drive which ended up being close to 7hrs as we got a little confused heading out of Chicago and onto the main highway. We were thrown by being on the RHS with a LH steering wheel and then trying to figure out the signage and exits. I think I managed to blurt out a few swear words (not at Adam) but at some of the drivers and eventually we got the swing of the road and the rule is you must stay in the far RH lane if you travel slower than everyone else. No one adhered to the speed limits of 70 miles and we saw many people pulled over by the police. We found our way to Holland which turned out to be the prettiest town with beautiful shops and a Swiss cafe (surprise! surprise!) for a late lunch. By the time we got to Arcadia, the sun had well and truly set and temperatures had plummeted. With only a light jacket, bare pin legs and sandals we stood out as the “Australian’s” everyone had heard about! We wolfed down dinner with the Danes who we just pipped us at the post and then went to the bonfire next to Lake Michigan. Okay, now this is meant to be a lake but I’m talking sand dunes, reeds and washed up tree logs and a howl from the lake that made it sound and feel more like being at the beach on a stormy evening! Absolutely mind-boggling. We headed back to the house, found our room – hot pink bedspread that Adam adored 😉 and creaking springy mattress with one pillow to share…ain’t love grand.
The wedding – we have a magazine in Australia called ‘Frankie‘ and its one of my favourite style/design icons. I had a feeling Amanda and Paul’s wedding would be ‘Frankie’ style with lots of hand-made touches – flowers in glass bottles hanging off the aisle chairs, Turkish lanterns in various sizes, a flower arch, ceramic potted succulents on the tables and the list goes on. So, this is where I’ll end as the last two photos are pretty special and a special start to their journey and the rest of our trip.