Last Thursday I got to do something that I enjoy every Christmas Season. I visited Chicago with my girlfriend Priscilla. My journeys to the Windy City began more than a decade ago when I would join my neighbor on a bus trip every December. I was hooked and fell in love with the town.
Our trips are a little more sophisticated now. We take the South Shore Train from Michigan City, IN into Millennium Station and we are in the heart of the Loop. We took a different route to Michigan Avenue this trip. We went through the Theater District along State Street, stopped at a restaurant called the Corner Bakery, which featured great food at reasonable prices. It was wonderful. I had a fiesta salad in a bowl the size of Kansas. That was all I needed for the day.
As we walked the streets of Chicago, we noticed a lot of couples dressed to the nines, the ladies in their mink coats, the men carrying lots of gift wrapped packages to put under their tree. I am amazed at the wealth that is evident in this city.
Then we walk past the homeless and the beggars, people with paper cups in their hands asking for what change you may be able to spare. We walk by trying not to make eye contact. I comment on the fact that I hope that was not the Lord I just walked by, but you know it was as he says “what ever you do for the least of my brethren that you do unto me.” So I am basically screwed.
There is something about the chill in the air, the hustle and bustle of people trying to get from point A to point B both on foot and in traffic that gets my blood flowing.
And the lights, the Christmas lights are beautiful. That city knows how to do lights. We walk by the Hancock Tower with its Christmas Tree that features over one million lights. It is breath taking.
We visit Filene’s Basement, Nordstroms, Macy’s, have our makeup done at Bloomingdales and go to Williams and Sonoma for a sample of their Peppermint Bark. We witness an obviously disturbed soul yelling vehemently at his invisible companion constantly as he walks along Michigan Avenue in a very agitated manner. We look around to see if he is upset with us, but no, he just keeps going.
We make our way back along Michigan Avenue to the train station, stopping at Starbucks for an Eggnog Lattee (non -fat of course) and miss our train by about 3 minutes. So we wait for the next one in about an hour, people watching and glad to be off our feet for awhile.
The trip to Chicago was a Christmas present to myself, even though I didn’t buy anything, it was treat for all my senses. Merry Christmas!