Today was another travel day. We woke up in Milwaukee, and went to bed in Chicago, but we also managed to pack a whole lot of activity in between. Our train to Chicago didn’t leave Milwaukee until 1, so we had the morning to hang out. We took walk along the River Walk and visited the bronze statue of Fonzi, who was quite a bit shorter than I had expected. We then spent some time back at the market, buying a picnic lunch for the train and window shopping in the cute stores in the surrounding neighborhood. When we realized that we still had time to kill, we drove over the Veterans Park on the shore of Lake Michigan and rented a paddle boat for half and hour, teaching the children by experience that those things are not fun after the first 5 minutes.
The train ride was interesting for me, as an urban planner. I had been hoping to see how different this part of the country was, but all I saw was echoes of home. I was struck by how similar the land looked to much of my home state, though we are a third of the way across the country. I find it somewhat sad that this country is losing its diversity of place to the point where so much of Wisconsin is not substantially different from rural New Jersey, even to the point of the architecture of new development being identical. Sigh.
It felt good to arrive in Chicago. We headed straight to my sister’s hotel, which was connected to the convention center hosting the race expo. She travels A LOT and is a preferred guest with Hyatt, so they surprised her with a stunning corner suite with views of both downtown and Lake Michigan. Thing 2 loved the room so much that he managed to get himself invited to spend the night with his aunt, the crafty little devil.
The expo was fun, as expo’s often are. Thing 1, The Hub, my sister, and I picked up our bibs, and Thing 1 started to get excited about running–fingers crossed! Her cough was less intense today, so there is hope yet! I bought her a big, gaudy flower to clip into her hair race day as a reminder that (should she run) she should have fun with this race and not run it hard and fast. The expo took us a while to go through, and by the time we were done it was time to find a dinner. We could see from my sister’s room that traffic heading downtown was horrible, so we grabbed a cab to a little hole in Chinatown for dinner before finally making our way across town to our hotel on Michigan Avenue.
One last note for today: I have been eating a lot differently than usual, including a little bit of dairy daily. This is taking a toll on my body, which has begun to register its dissatisfaction through my skin. Acne. I haven’t had acne since changing my diet to vegan and green heavy, but a few days of dairy and fried foods and my face is reacting with fury. I get the message and fully expect a rough detox period when we get back home.
Breakfast (@ Hyatt Regency Club):
- Whole wheat “bagel” (this is the midwest, I am from the New York area, this was, at best, a valiant attempt at a bagel), egg, cheddar cheese, ketchup, and Tabasco sauce
- Assorted fruit
- Coffee with truvia
- Bottle of grapefruit juice
Morning Snack (@ Milwaukee Public Market):
- Cold brew coffee with soy milk
- 2 small chocolates at Red Elephant Chocolates
Lunch (on train, but purchased @ Milwaukee Public Market):
- 1/2 tempeh and avocado Panini
- 1/2 goat cheese and roasted veggies Panini (I only ate about half of my half)
- Jalapeno potato chips
- Iced coffee with soy milk
- Assorted samples at the Expo. We even bought two mixed cases of one of the vegan energy bars because they were so awesome, and I am going to try ALL the flavors and review them here (but not today)
- Peanut butter filled pretzel bites and veggie sticks (those puffy cheesless-doodle-like monsters, not real vegetables)
Dinner (@ House of Fortune, in Chinatown):
- Assorted chinese food dishes, served family style, including Lo Mein, Szechuan broccoli, mixed vegetables, veggie fried rice, and a tofu & gluten dish
- Tsingtao beer
- Fortune Cookie. My fortune said I have a keen sense of humor and loved to have a good time.
- The Hub went out to find me something chocolate. The best he could do was a Nutella Pocky thing, and I had about half of it.
And here’s the Bronz Fonz and I sharing an Ayyyyyyyyyyyy: