Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Unexpected Adventures in Chicago

Chicago, you surprise me at every turn. I seem to regularly stumble upon an opening, event or attraction.

I have multiple examples in just one recent day.

On our way to Navy Pier for our Ferris wheel ride, my friend Charlsy and I just happened to join the Special Olympics torch procession. I had watched the local news earlier that day and knew it would be in Chicago, but I never imagined being directly behind it as it arrived on the pier.

Also on our walk on Navy Pier, Charlsy and I walked over a bridge over the Chicago River. We stopped, along with many others, to get our picture taken with the Chicago skyline and river in the background. I took another photo and turned around to see a bridge worker yelling at everyone to get off the bridge. Everyone had disappeared, making a run for it. I didn't know what was going on, so I ran, too. Charlsy didn't hear any of it but ran behind me. As we approached the other side, another bridge worker told us we didn't have to run, that we could take our time. We realized then that the bridge was lifting for a boat. As was later pointed out, these two Arizona gals have limited drawbridge knowledge.

I took this photo after watching the bridge lift.

Earlier, on that same whirlwind day, I wanted to take Charlsy to see the Buckingham Fountain. We started walking over from Millennium Park when we were forced to enter some sort of festival to get there. Chicago had led us to the Blues Festival, where we stood in line for free pizza samples and took photos with the banner. We had a mission (to see the fountain), so we didn't stay long, but we were thrilled at the serendipity of it all.

We later found out that we had also walked through the opening ceremony at Maggie Daley park. We had seen a choir dressed in yellow and wondered what was going on. Turns out it was the Chicago Children's Choir that we had spotted, and former Mayor Richard Daley and his family were there. I loved the skyline views from the park.

This one action-packed day perfectly captures how Chicago can lead you to the most unexpected fun. Is it the weekend yet?