Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Amtrak Adventure - Day 35 - Final Day in Chicago

Day 35 - the final full day of our trip. Maybe it was the idea of the adventure almost being over which took a little of the steam out of our sightseeing enthusiasm, or maybe it was the weather: hot, humid and very sticky with the constant threat (occasionally fulfilled, particularly when we stepped outside), of rain or storms. There was still so much we could see and do and now so little time to do it.

We started the day with breakfast at Eggsperience purely because the name intrigued us and it happened to be just around the corner from our hotel. I have to say, their blueberry waffles and ice-cream are so good, I wish we had discovered the place on our first day! 

After packing up and checking out of our hotel, we came across this fun statue on Wabash Avenue:

designed by Ju Ming

Rather appropriate given the weather.

Next on our itinerary was a visit to Buddy Guy's Legends,which is touted as the premiere blues club in the world.

Several times a week they have free music between 12 and 2pm and, by chance, Eddie Taylor, Jr. was playing so we got to see yet another of Eddie Taylor Sr.'s offspring perform. For some of the pieces he was accompanied by harmonica players/vocalists. The music was tremendous. 

The place itself is a little commerical - it reminded me of the BB King Club in New York - so the atmosphere didn't feel as authentic as the Blue Chicago, but it was so enjoyable it did make me wonder why I don't go and listen to blues music more often!

On our way to Buddy Guy's Legend we passed a grand building with an elaborate roof decoration on State Street. Closer inspection revealed that this was Harold Washington Library Center, the city's main public library. I was surprised to learn that it was only built in the late 1980's and opened in 1991 - it looks as if it comes from a much earlier period. 

I didn't actually go inside, but I wish I had, because I later learned that there is a Winter Garden on the ninth floor with a glass roof. The area is used as a study space and sounds spectacular, an ideal place for inspiration for a writer. 

Unfortunately, the weather worsened considerably during the afternoon, to the point where we decided to take in a movie to fill in the time left before we had to go to the station for our overnight train to New York.  Not quite the way I had envisioned ending our stay in Chicago, but, given the fun we'd had over the past three days, we could hardly complain. Besides, even that provided a new experience for me. It was the first time I'd been in a movie theater which had fully reclining seats! 

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