September 23, 24; Saturday and Sunday, Hammond Marina and Chicago
We arrived in the Chicago area Saturday afternoon and settled in to the huge Hammond Marina.
The Horseshoe Casino is right here as well and it is very popular with normal to very high end boaters. Note the nice car we saw in the parking lot on the way to the office – Dirk was pretending the Lamborghini is his.
Our cousin, Donna Estler and her son David live in the Chicago area, and we arranged to meet David and his girlfriend Liz for dinner at an Indonesian restaurant that Dirk found online in the DuPaul University area. Dirk looks for this favorite food in every big city.
We took an Uber ride to the beginning of the Redline train in south Chicago and took the redline to Fullerton (sound like we knew what we doing… just wait!) Since we were there a little early we had time to walk around this beautiful section of Chicago and even watch some of a soccer match.
David and Liz are great and we had a delicious meal at Rickshaw Republic, including a vegan rijsetaffel for three! When it was time to leave David and Liz were determined to accompany us on the Redline train down to Chinatown were we would be catching the free shuttle back to the casino. We said it wasn’t necessary but when it became clear that I wasn’t sure of the pickup location(!) they insisted on coming along. We are happy they did since the actual location wasn’t as described in the on-line application we were using (Active Captain) and was in a very non-obvious place. David wandered to a food court and between him and friendly by-standers we found where to wait (no signs, but others were waiting there too). The shuttle was also 1/2 hour late. Anyway, David and Liz were happy we gave them an excuse to see Chinatown again – at least that’s what they said. 🙂 They then had to go all the way back north on the red line and probably another line as well.
At the casino we received a pass to get back to Chinatown, gambled a few dollars, and doubled our money ($5).
SUNDAY September 24
On Sunday morning we could now use the Chinatown shuttle to start further up the red line and we met cousin Donna at a lovely restaurant on Michigan Ave about 4 blocks north of the Chicago river, Grand Lux Cafe. It was so good to see her again and hear that her condo in Naples survived the hurricane. The restaurant was serving brunch and lunch and I had one of the best salads I’ve ever had made with faro, kale, lettuce,apples, etc and a lime dressing. Vegan!
We walked first to Millennium park where we saw the famous bean and had fun with photos and then headed back to the river for an Architectural Boat Tour of Chicago. We took the one recommended by Donna which is led by docents in the Chicago Architecture Foundation. What a wonderful way to see Chicago and it provided an appreciation of the architecture innovations and styles in the Chicago area.
After the tour we sat on steps along the Chicago river walk, which includes small greenspace parks, steps down to the rivers for sitting, tie up areas for small boats, and cafes along the way. It was late and still hot (high 80s) so we headed back to the Redline and Donna made her way to her car. It was a great day!