Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin' Town

I felt right at home on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. No, there's not a river in downtown Stafford. And we don't have any skyscrapers, unless you count the co-op grain elevators.

But there was a giant corncob along the river. I see some corn around here, though it's looking a little bedraggled in the heat these days.

The docent on our Friday river ride along the Chicago River really did refer to the 61-story Marina City complex as giant corncobs. You can see the parked cars on the lower levels. The upper realms are left for residential river views.

Lisa, Kent and I took the 90-minute tour on a Chicago's First Lady cruise while Darci picked up her childhood friends from the train station.

We joined a bevy of other tourists and a very knowledgeable guide who hardly slowed to take a breath in her zeal to tell us about Chicago's skyline from inception to the present.

I tried to keep the camera clicks to the minimum, but, as usual, I failed miserably. Oh well, pixels are way cheaper than film these days, but I won't share them all here.

After we got off the boat, Lisa and I fought over the chance to become the Skyline Queen.

Our sister only found the Skyline Princess, a recent photo from her Facebook page. We are all Skyline High School graduates. Piloting a boat was not on the final exam, however.

The views of downtown are a little different from my norm, whether by land or by water.

After our river cruise, we visited a cousin who lives on Lake Shore Drive. I felt like I was on an episode of HGTV's House Hunters on Vacation in her living room with floor-to-ceiling views of Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, boats and the beach.

From Darci's rooftop deck, we could see the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower). Her rooftop in Chicago's Bucktown was where she entertained 50-plus friends for her 50th birthday party.

We were glad we could be among those who sang "Happy Birthday" in person. We older sisters helped pave the way into this particular decade, and we'll drag Kent with us in a few years.

The party music playlist did not include that Frank Sinatra classic, "Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin' Town." But I may have thought it.

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