Chicago has always been one of our favorite cities. In fact, we were lamenting that we had “only” scheduled a week there. However, we have heard more and more about the Covid Delta variant causing a lot of new cases and deaths, particularly in the southern states, where the vaccination rate is quite low. We had planned to be in those very states for about three weeks, but as we became more alarmed, decided to cancel, reroute, and return to Chicago in late October. Yes, that is how nervous we were about the states we would have been in, and about the possibility of contracting Covid. Our cousin Sandra, who lives near Lakeland, Florida, said that 20 vaccinated people in her senior community contracted Covid, and one woman died this week. So we changed our travel plans and all the time we had planned in the south.
We have wondered if the unvaccinated realize the true “cost” of their decision. Not only do they risk hospitalization and death, but if they work in any service industry, they are losing money as couples like us avoid their cities or states. Multiply us by several hundred or several thousand people who will not be spending money in hotels, cafes, restaurants, tourist sites, museums, gas stations, mini marts, and all sorts of businesses in between. If they work in a restaurant, for example, there are tips they will never receive from us, and the lack of business could lead to a restaurant’s temporary or permanent closure.
Okay, enough of that. We bought tickets to the Art Institute of Chicago, as we thought we had never been there. But inside, we noticed that we had previously seen several pieces by Chicago architects, many years ago. But we are always happy to support museums and the arts. Some of the photos below are from the art institute.
It is fun to just walk around and check out the great 19th and 20th Century buildings in Chicago, with so much ornamentation and style. In fact, we took a tour to take a peek inside some of the older buildings and see what treasures lie within. There were some surprises! You will see them below.
The other photos are from various spots around the city. On Michigan Avenue, there was a series of topiary….musical instruments! A guitar is shown below. We love the first photo, the woman’s face on Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, spouting/spitting water. There are 1,000 “ordinary” Chicagoans’ faces on the screens. Across the street, shown in the second photo, was the “Chicago Traffic Jam,” a quartet busking for tips and playing some pretty wonderful music.
We walked a good portion of the downtown, traversed the Magnificent Mile, stopped by Navy Pier, went to a few of our favorite restaurants, ate some Polish pierogies and halupkies, took the architecture tour, rode the “L” around, and just had a blast. As I said, we will return for 10 days next month, so watch for more on this great city. We end our photos with the Balloon Man. He brought a smile to our faces, as he was so intent on twisting his creation when we took the photo.