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On Top of the World

July 31, 2007

I spent most of my time at BlogHer fighting off a cold. I have been getting sick with astonishing regularity during each of my trips this past year, and I was silly enough to not bring any NyQuil with me to stave off the headache and congestion that plagued me all weekend. Sunday morning brought the end of the official conference, the beginning of the unconference and the height of my sneezing and sniffling.

Being that as it may, it was still my first time in Chicago since I was nine years old. I first traveled to the Windy City with my mother just a month shy of my tenth birthday, so this marked a reunion with the city after a twelve-year absence. My mother and I had done the bulk of the touristy business: we went to the Art Institute, visited the Hitchcock Building and shopped at FAO Schwartz for the first time.

It also marked my first childhood interaction with fireflies.

One thing my mother and I weren’t able to do is visit the Sears Tower.

Although I was traveling alone and kind of miserable from not breathing properly, I was determined to hit the highest point in the United States: the Skydeck of the Sears Tower. I trekked down Ohio Street to Michigan Avenue where I picked up bus 151. Driving south on Michigan Avenue, we passed the new Millennium Park – which I unfortunately didn’t have time to visit – and the Art Institute of Chicago. The lion brought back memories of a photo op with my mother.

Just a few blocks down from the Art Institute was the Sears Tower.

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It was just after one o’clock and the line was not yet very long. I waited with about a dozen other people and then we scurried onto the elevator to take us down to the lower level. After buying the ticket and watching a seven-minute History Channel produced video on the history of the tower, it took us only sixty second to go up, up, up to the Skydeck.

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From up there, you could see everything. On a clear day, you can see all of Illionois, and to Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. Sunday was not the clearest day, but I’m fairly certain you could see most of Illinois.

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A nice Latino man took this picture of me in front of the North window. You can see the Hancock building over my left shoulder (that would be to your right).

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The view of Navy Pier, where our conference was held.

There are a lot more photos of Chicago on my Flickr page and on my Facebook profile. After my little trip to the top of the world, I headed back to Chicago City Center to catch a ride with another lady to O’Hare airport, which I then spent the next two hours waiting for my flight (thirty minutes of that sitting in the plane on the tarmac… oh what fun that was!).

Since my iPod was dead and I was silly enough not to buy a book, I entertained myself for the better part of the flight by taking pictures. The photo in my header is one such photo.

I will leave you with another little gem as I bid you good-night.

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4 Comments
  1. July 31, 2007 9:52 PM

    I’ve only ever flown into and out of Chicago, never stayed there. Well, unless you count the night I spent stranded at O’Hare. Oy. I’ve always wanted to visit.

    I love your header shot – I was going to ask you if you’d taken that. It’s excellent.

    Oh, and new city, new germs. When TCBIM moved down here from the wilds of Ontario, he spent the first couple of months getting one cold after another. Same thing happened to me when I moved from MA to Georgia. Sucks. Stock up on Kleenex and Sudafed (or your cold medication of choice). Maybe some whiskey, too.😉

  2. July 31, 2007 10:09 PM

    Finally latin men get some good press😉

    Looks like you had a great time and I hope you get better soon!

  3. August 1, 2007 1:02 AM

    Yay for Chi-town pics!

  4. RichW permalink
    August 2, 2007 6:02 PM

    You did it right. Spending time visiting the city while you’re there is a good use of your time. I’ve visited dozens of cities on business trips and I’ve only spent time taking in the sites of a few. The most depressing was on a trip to Stockholm. I was scheduled to be there for three weeks so I figured I would have plenty of time to tour the city. I was there to train technical personnel the first two weeks and I was attending a class the third week. I was very busy that first week because the technicians wanted to learn everything they could while I was there. The techs planned to show me around the city the first weekend. By Friday we were all exhausted but Saturday morning they showed up at the hotel to take me for a tour. We arrived at the first museum and in the time I got out of the car and into the museum I went from feeling fine to being doubled over in pain. I ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone. Late Sunday afternoon I was discharged and back in class Monday morning. We were just as busy the second week so I didn’t get any time to tour the city. My boss was nervous about the hospital visit so he insisted I return to the US Saturday morning. Never did get to travel more than a few blocks from the hotel.

    Your last post seemed to be very troubling for you because of the use of what some people thought was an offending term. I had polio as a child and walk with crutches. I’ve heard all the terms that describe a handicapped person. In high school one classmate would often call me “half a man.” I told him that the part of me that he thought was half a man was twice the man he was. It got to be a joke between us. I can tell you that the words I read and heard never bothered me because they didn’t define me and the person using them wasn’t worth my bother. I agree that we shouldn’t use terms that can offend but I understand the context. Well that’s enough from this crip, whoops.

    Love your blog.

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