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Last Thursday my husband and I took an Amtrak train to Chicago. It was a little over four hour ride and the train was fairly empty. We’ve traveled on trains in Europe and in other states, but never around home, so this felt like an adventure. A young couple sat across the aisle from us. They were both on their phones, they laughed together over videos and she watched him play games. She was the sort of blond you’ve seen before and he was the prototypical young 20s Midwestern guy trying not to look suited to a bowling alley. He had a ski cap and a studded belt along with the graphic zip-front hoodie that said “I owned a skateboard in high school and I wish I could still ride it.”

We had meant to pack snacks and had forgotten, so I jealously eyed their cooler, wondering what delights these young boneheads had thought to bring. Their snacks weren’t much, but my jealousy was rapidly overtaken when my husband caught a glimpse of the six-pack of beer and the can koozies they had packed. His green eyes grew greener as they polished off the whole cooler just in time for our arrival in the station in Chicago. Ah, the joys of youth.

We’ve been to Chicago before, but each time it has lived up to its name as the Windy City and each time was for a work purpose, so we did little sightseeing. This weekend the weather was wonderful–fifty degrees in January!–and we took the opportunity to explore the sights, especially Millenium Park, which has been added since our last visit.

I forgot my new camera, but did my best with my cell phone. Hell with the punks with beer. I’m jealous of Chicagoans for the beautiful and diverse architecture that surrounds them every day. If it’s possible to feel lust for a building, I could hump the Chicago Tribune building.  And, for sculpture, the Cloud.  Avert your eyes.