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Published: September 21st 2010
I need to backtrack over a month now to my visit to Chicago in early August. I wanted to post the Burning Man blog because it was timely since there is a lot of interest in the Burners.
When I flew to Chicago for a meeting on August 1st, we stayed right on Michigan Avenue in the old Allerton Hotel. Great location, but kind of a dumpy hotel. Chicago has some great food and my manager treated us to a nice steak dinner at Gibson's on Rush Street. They have huge portions and my prime rib filled a large plate. I took half of it home and Grace polished it off the next night. I couldn't help but buy a 8" tall piece of lemon meringue pie. Enough about my work though...
Grace and I had to go up and see my cousin Laura and her new baby - Benito. Laura picked us up from the Waukegan train station and the little boy was wrapped up and sleeping like a baby. When we got to Laura's, little Benito woke up and started crying like a baby.
And he cried...
And he cried...
Laura didn't know what to do and swore that her beautiful red haired little boy had never cried a day in his life before we got there. It was hard to believe her and it went on for over a couple of hours whenever he wasn't asleep. Grace and I had to assume that we were the problem so we decided to leave. We went out to pick up some dinner.
When we returned, little Benito was all smiles and a beautiful baby boy. What was going on was that Benito got 4 immunization shots and one immunization pill down his gullet. The doctor said he might be irritated, but it seemed a little unreasonable to do so much to such a little boy. Laura called the doctor after we left and he suggested giving Benito some kind of pain reliever. Laura was much relieved when it worked and she exchanged her Hell Boy for the sweet little Benito that she was accustomed to.
We played with the little boy until Ernesto got home after a long day. Ernesto's been putting in some long days and commuting 5 hours a day to a job that
just wouldn't seem to end. He had also visited his mother in the hospital in Chicago that day because she just had surgery to remove some cancer. When it rains it pours.
I think Ernesto's job is completed now and the young parents are hopefully catching their breath as little Benito grows into a little golfer and CEO according to Laura's latest Facebook photos. You can see lots of Laura's photos of Benito if you are her friend...
Laura took us over to some of Grace's friends house in Kenosha, Wisconsin for the night. Laura had become friends with Grace's friend Felicia and use to run races with her. Felicia and Elliott moved to Kenosha from Fort Collins where we had met them. They let us stay for two nights and we had a great time.
High Above Chicago
We headed back to Chicago on the train and moved in with Brian and Liz Howard. You might remember them from the New Orleans posts when we stayed with them around Mardi Gras. When we left New Orleans in March, Brian and Liz packed up, sold their house and moved to Chicago so that we'd have a
place to stay on our visit to the Windy City.
What a place they got too. They rent a condo with unmatched, jaw-dropping views of Chicago. They live on the 39th floor of Lake Point Tower which is the most amazing residence in Chicago. The property is the only high-rise building east of Lake Michigan Boulevard and the curved building offers lake and city views that Grace and I looked at for hours. I enjoyed watching the traffic back up on Lake Shore drive and was glad that I could watch from above as the city rolled on.
The 70-story structure was completed in 1968 and has a timeless feel to it. It's ripe with history since Abraham Lincoln had worked on the land grant as an Illinois senator. Famous people have lived there like Sammy Sosa, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Alice Cooper, Scottie Pippen and Mickey Roonie.
The property has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and overlooks Ohio Street Beach (shown in pictures), Navy Pier, the Chicago River and down Lake Shore Drive. They also have a grocery store and a restaurant on the 70th floor. It was the first urban residence to have a
"park in the city" with its 2.5 acre park with waterfalls and ponds. It's located right next to PLC Milton Olive Park where we walked their dog and had great views of the city and the beach. Location, location, location, this place has it.
While I'm talking about the dog, I should mention their little mellow dog that is a Shiba Inu. The dog looks a lot like a fox and when we took it out on the Navy Pier, everybody asked "What kind of a dog is that?" We needed to make a little sign that said Shiba Inu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiba_inu). It was crazy how people gathered around it. The dog was more than a chick magnet - it was a people magnet.
The dog is a champion and has been breed several times and produced multiple champions. Brian flew to San Francisco and picked up their dog while we were in New Orleans. The dog is rather skiddish and freaks out when they blow fireworks over Lake Michigan every Wednesday and Saturday night. They've tried lots of things, but she gets worked up until something bad happens.
Brian is managing a little bar/restaurant off Rush Street
known as the Drawing Room. He works to the wee hours of the morning and treated us to a great meal with lots of extraordinary drinks. Check out some of the drinks including the absinthe that has grown on me since New Orleans. We had a great time in Chicago and Liz and Brian treated us extraordinarily well as usual.
Back to San Benito
After Chicago, we went back to Hollister, CA to our RV. We flew in on Sunday and picked it up from storage in Dave and Janet's back yard. We drove 15 minutes to Casa De Frutta RV park which is an old fruit stand that has turned into a major tourist attraction. When we were driving around, we began noticing that San Benito was all over the place. San Benito Bank, San Benito Park and then we realized that we were in San Benito County. I had never heard of Benito before my cousin once removed was born.
I just wikipeded him and found out that Benito is Spanish for Benedict, so Saint Benedict is more common to me. He's the patron saint of Europe and students and many monastic traditions of the
Catholic church are associated with him like the Benedictine nuns that taught my mother.
Well that's enough history lessons for now. Next time, I'll dedicate a whole post to a new phenomenon - Lady Gaga. She rocks!
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