Molly flew  out and we spent a week being Chicago tourists after a tough crossing of Lake Michigan.  Weather was closing in, so we left South Haven and jammed across in every kind of weather — fog, calms, wind from every direction — for 11 long hours.  Funny thing happened in the fog — I had big boats covered through my fancy new AIS system which shows them on the chart plotter, and on a Thursday there were virtually no small boats out in the middle of the lake.  But I thought to be on the safe side, I would take  look at the radar, only to realize I’d forgotten how to turn the damned thing on!  Two months of almost-perfect weather will spoil you.

Anyway, since Actmedia and Gannett both had big Chicago operations and it is the hub of the food-marketing world, I would guess I’ve been  to Chicago on business 50 times.  And based on our trip, I would come back as a tourist 50 more times.

I don’t think Chicago makes it onto many Northeasterners’ vacation list with Boston, Orlando or Washington, DC.  But it is a cheap plane ride and a  fanatstic destination.  The attractions are all clustered right downtown, and Lili, I hesitate to say it, I think they are equal in interest and quality to New York.  New York has Bigness and Broadway, but it doesn’t have the world class Shedd Aquarium or Museum of Science and Industry.  The public transportation system is tough for a foreigner to deal with, but there are always the totally overpriced cabs.

We did it all — Shedd, Adler Planetarium, Sears Tower (sold by Eddie Lampert and now the Some Third Rate Real Estate Company Tower), Science Museum, Chicago Steakhouse (the Fireshouse in the South Loop — thank God Molly is working), deep dish pizza (Lou Malnati’s), Chinatown.

I won’t bore you with pictures of sights that are getting transparent from having their picture taken, because the real photo op was the marina itself — Burnham Harbor just north of McCormick Place, across the street from Soldier Field and a four iron from the museums. Just sitting in the cockpit was awesome. Bears played Sunday and it was a madhouse — boats don’t have tailgates, so I don’t even know what to call it.

Chicago coming out of the mist about 12 miles out

Me after 11 hours — is that Mount Gay on the horizon?

Burnham Harbor

Burnham from Sears Tower

Soldier Field on Game Day

Sunset from Memsahib

Burnham Night View

Man Hugging Fish at Shedd Aquarium (looks suspiciously like former Chicago Community Organizer)