I don’t get to Chicago, often. My uncle, Ed, who lives there, jokes that I pass over him, when I fly from the East Coast to California, yearly. Ed and I spend time together on ski trips, and when he visits the New York area. But this time, I visit him on October 6th. He picks us up at Midway airport. This is the first time, I get to ride in his over-sized diesel truck. The first thing we do (as a tradition in whatever city we’re in) is go to Chinatown. Wonton noodle soup sounds really good on this cool eve. Afterwards, we go back to his home in Oak Park. The rumbling engine of the truck, triggers the barking from an awoken Gigi, his American Eskimo dog. On Saturday, we play tennis at the Oak Park High School. Cheering fills the air, in the nearby football field. The school is having a Homecoming parade. I like the school’s team name, the Huskies. The parade passes the tennis courts, including floats, and a grey Husky mascot, complete with fluffy mane, long nose and curly tail. Uncle Ed brings me to Johnnie’s so that i get to try an italian beef sandwich which is uniquely Chicago. On Sunday, we cycle along Lake Michigan, the same time the Chicago Marathon is happening. It is not easy negotiating traffic on a tandem bike. A Chicago cop is amused to see us on this antique, and asks, “Is that a Schwinn Twinn?” At first, I am concerned about balancing, and being in synch with Steph’s pedaling. Suprizingly, we get the hang of it. Eventually, we end up in Millenium Park to see what the city spent on to attract tourists like me. I am impressed, especially of the bean. On Columbus Day, our last day here, we tour the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, in Oak Park, because this is where his first home and studio is.


Row. Row. Row Your Canoe.

October 11, 2005

Rivers are a nice out-doorsy alternative to the beach. Not as crowded, especially off-season, during the fall. In fact, no one else is on the Delaware River this Sunday afternoon. To me, it is cleaner. No stickiness or salt to have to wash off afterwards. Just choose your starting point, and choose a helpful canoe livery. They drive us 9 miles up-river. It takes about 3 and a half hours, including brief breaks for sandwiches and swimming to get back to the home-base, where the car is parked. But, of course, if you are adventurous, with more time to spare, try out long-distant canoe trips and overnight river-side camping.

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