Day Seven: Chicago: Art, friends and naps

Dan’s smile when we arrived last night at the hotel continued throughout the day today. It was great to see the sun shining when we woke up, though it was still crazy windy. (And who would expect otherwise in the Windy City.)

The day started with a little bike cleanup and review of the map and plans for tomorrow, which is going to be a long ride into Indiana and our destination at a campsite on the Tippecanoe River. We’ll be following a route mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association that will take us from Chicago to Pittsburgh…and through a lot of cicadas.

But today was not about biking for a change. We walked over to the Chicago Art Institute through Millennium Park, and the city seemed to be returning to normal…masks are still required in buildings, and in the park as well… otherwise it seemed like a usual long weekend in the city, with tons of people wandering around with friends and family.

We were lucky enough to get into the museum and see a Monet in Chicago exhibit, as well as some other favorites…and an amazing textile portraits exhibit by Bisa Butler.

Our one bike encounter for the day was when some Chicago PD bike officers rode up to Starbucks on Michigan Avenue while we were sitting outside and parked them next to us, then handcuffed the bikes together while they went in for some coffee.

The highlight of the day was meeting up with crazy cool college friends Mike and Jane for brunch at the Fulton Market Kitchen together with their friend David, who is the brother of our friend Cindy back in Minnesota, as well as a familiar journalist from National Public Radio; we were delighted to finally meet in person after hearing his reporting for years. It was lovely to have a meal and conversation with smart people at a great restaurant…and our waiter kindly took this photo of the candelabra on our table, with us in the background.

Overall it’s been so wonderful to feel that we are all starting to return to our usual activities after the pandemic, and it’s so amazing to be able to go to a museum, and take an Uber, and eat inside of a restaurant with friends again … and it’s also true that we are on a long distance bike ride and we are tired … and so after some naps, we ate an early dinner and spent time in our room checking in on people and things while listening to the sounds of the city, and preparing for what comes next.

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