The Chicago River


Jeanie and I have started a tradition of visiting Chicago without the kids right after Christmas each year. Our wedding anniversary is New Year's Eve which is generally a lousy time to go anywhere: Everything is busy, prices are higher, hotels require multi-day stays at high rates, etc. But prior to New Year's Eve, like those first few days after Christmas, it's the complete opposite: it still looks like Christmas — all the Christmas lights and decorations are still up — but rates are low and everything is on sale. We take the train into the city (Amtrak: way easier than flying) and then just bum around: shop, eat, visit museums, see movies or shows. There's no need for a car as the public transportation system is excellent and there are what seems like a million taxis on the streets. It's a great way to relax and unwind after a nuts Christmas season. This image is the Chicago River, looking west from the Michigan Avenue bridge around 11 p.m. We had just ordered a carry-out desert (molten chocolate lava cake) at the Grand Lux Cafe and had 25 minutes to kill while waiting for it to cook. Rather than sit in the warmth of the restaurant, we headed out walking to pass the time. It was cold and windy but I don't think either of us minded. (Well, maybe we minded a little when we turned up Wabash Ave. and caught the "hurricane winds blasting through the buildings" effect. That was some serious cold.) Besides, we had something good waiting at the end of the walk.