I was well rested when I set out from St Paul MN to return to Newton MA. During those six days I had stocked up on supplies, caught up on all that which I had neglected and returned to a degree of domesticity. My intention had been to completely by pass Chicago... either take the ferry from Milwaukee or go down to Normal or Bloomington and head east from there. True to form, my best laid plans were to change. It was Bob, whom I had met at Athabasca Falls in the Canadian Rockies, and a native of Chicago, who had learned of my opinion of this city. He was determined to change my mind.
The invitation was to come and stay with him and his wife, and he would show me the best of the city, and the area around where he lives... Orland Park. On Tuesday 14th July we spent the morning touring around the local district, while at the same time attending to some necessary messages. The whole trip I was priviledged to listen to a commentary from a local about the layout of the area, the benefactors who contributed so much to the area, the community, etc. It was just a great way to see the place through the eyes of a local.
The afternoon took the three of us into the city, the Buckingham Fountain, the Millenium Plaza, Sear's Tower, and all the other landmarks which they are so proud to show a visitor. It was almost dark when we ended up at a river side restaurant for dinner. Next morning I had to move on towards Boston, and Bob relished in his success of changing (at least some of) my mind about Chicago... a city he loves!
I-80 to Brookville PA on the first day, then onto I-81 / I-88 / MassPike to Newton where my daughter-in-law and grandchildren (son was away at work) were ready to welcome me. It was 62 days since I had left with the destination - Alaska. It was so great to see them all again.