Saturday, August 15, 2015

Old Chicago Beach Time

We do love the beach and if it has to be a giant lake then so be it.  Lake Michigan offers up some solid beach front and waves big enough for the girls to frolic. Not a big fan of the over protective lifeguards but recognize the rational.  My go to beach is Montrose Harbor - definitely not the go to beach of most Chicagoans as North Street and Oak Street are way more happening and walkable to most who live downtown or in the neighborhoods. Montrose is a bit north but the expansive park that borders the beach has ample parking and accommodations are solid. The beach is huge so crowds, especially on a weekday, are not a problem.  I used to play soccer here back in the day every saturday.  Then I would go to the beach and cool off with a swim. Once in a while the girls would come down to "watch" so we have come familiar with this stretch of Chicago.

That is a lot of beach.

Breaking wave ... not surfable but looks good.

Nice view of the Chicago neighborhoods to the north all the way up to Evanston.

And a selfie - head gear in place to ward off the midwest sun.

Girls goofing ... 

Morton of the "Salt" Morton Arboreteum

Interesting that a Chicago salt baron would establish an expansive arboretum but that is exactly what Joy Morton did back in the early 1920's. It is a neat expanse of landscaped trees and gardens along with various special exhibitions. It is not cheap but a nice way to spend some time outdoors once in a bit. We went when the Lego exhibition was on which was quite fanciful. Also, Alicia was having a conference there so we got to see her for lunch. Nice day.

Ada showing her big sissy some love. I let them make "whatever" sandwiches for the picnic which end up to be heavy with gold fish and peanut butter and honey and Emmerson manages to cram an Oreo or two if we have them into the creation. 

Sure are getting lanky. 

The lego creations.


Super cool tree that has branches that grow from very low on the trunk and thus make the tree like a cave or a tent. You can actually "enter" into the tree. 

Entrance into the tree. I am watching the movie "Orca", circa 1977,  right now whilst I write this and it is really weird. 

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Go Man U!

Man U was in town playing in a summer tournament against many of the best teams in the world and some US MLS teams. They were playing PSG for the championship in Chicago so I splurged and got tickets for myself the girls and Nana. We took the train downtown early in the day so we could avoid traffic and parking and leisurely made our way towards Soldier Field which is a mile or two from the Ogilvie station. The girls were decked out in various Man U attire and did their best to get captured on TV but it was a sold out stadium so no luck. 

Emmerson at the Palmer Hotel. She enjoys reading these survival stories and the Palmer Hotel played a part in the Chicago Fire adventure so it was one of our many stops on our leisurely stroll to the venue.

I actually did not want the girls all decked out in Man U attire until we got to the game just in case some rabid Chelsea fan or PSG supporter took issue with their allegiance. But I saw lots of people decked out in Man U wear so decided to let them change. Ada stayed on the safe side and did not get Man U'd up until later in the day.

Sorry Nana - no Man U gear for you. But she did have binoculars so we could see the players up close at the stadium.

Beautiful hotel - and the girls are quite confident in making themselves at home in such fancy venues due to our time in Asia where we frequented such hotels way more than we ever could in the States. 

At Millenium Park - really neat addition to the Chicago downtown area. I remember when it was first being built it was very controversial and the "Bean" became a big joke but now that entire area is packed in the summer and has become one of the premiere tourist destinations in Chicago. The changing faces at the splash park are one of the girls favorites.

Next face ... we were waiting for the faces to "spit".

And there you go - the spitting face.

Ada finally felt it was safe to change - Emmerson was grumpy about something but still dutifully posed. 

This is a lovely prairie garden in the Millenium Park compound that is a bit tucked away but well worth the visit. 

Cooling the feet.

Emmerson actually attempted to take a few quarters and nickels from the pool which required a lecture on wishing pool etiquette.

Ready for the final march to the stadium! Go Man U!

Lalapalooza was gearing up for the weekend which made walking quite a bit easier as all the streets down in Grant Park on the way to Soldier Field were shut down. Thank you cool Lala ragers. 

Classic Grant Park fountain shot ... I once went down into the underworkings of the fountain via a manhole cover when it was shut down for repair -  quite an interesting venture.

At the Soldier Field/Museum complex.

Ada doing the "I got 4 tickets" pose ... but they are backwards - LDC indeed. 

There you go Ada! Great pose. 

In the stadium ready to search for our seats - which was quite an expedition filled with controversy, confrontation and conflict! But is ended up just fine.

Go Man U!

Bit of a structural challenge but the point is made - Go Man U!

Still in selfie mode at this point as Manilla has not yet worn off.

Great venue, great crowd, not such a great performance by Man U. I was most impressed by Ibrahimovich - played a great role in the hole as the supporting forward - really strong and poised - definitely man of the match for me. 

All the big names were there and most played which was neat.

Emmerson in full on cheer mode. She really wanted to get on TV.

30$ popcorn, pretzels and beer - oh well.

PSG won 2 - 0 and then it was an epic walk back to the train station with half the 60,0000 people who were at the game.