I thought this date (Friday, May 1st) would ever come. I’ve thought, and dreamed and planned for so long that now that it’s just 4 days away, I’m so excited I can hardly sleep!
My big ‘estate sale,’ conducted by the team of Babe & Snooks, went extremely well and put enough money in my ‘travel kitty’ to spend a few more days on-the-road. My storage locker is stuffed with too much stuff that I felt I just couldn’t sell, but will give me some things to come home to when and if I return.
Seeing my apartment totally empty was weird. It again looks just as it did when I moved in 2 1/2 years ago. It was also really weird to realize at that moment I was homeless – literally – for the next 10 days. But that’s when it’s wonderful to have friends. My good friend Ana, who runs a big non-profit out in LaSalle and lives on a much bigger farm in Morris, also has a fabulous condo in the West Loop as her ‘city home.’ She very graciously offered me it’s use until I fly away, and I very graciously said YES!!!
I am having so much fun wandering around exploring this part of downtown. It’s the area where Oprah built Harpo- her TV studios. This area was originallly the meat packing district, but with Oprah came restaurants, shops and the developement of deserted warehouses into luxurious condos. Now Goggle has taken up residence in one of the old buildings and the CTA has even built a Orange Line stop just to service this growing part of town.
I spent my last Sunday (yesterday) with one of my favorite Meet-Up groups, The Windy City Walkers. They wander through a different area of the city and nearby burbs each weekend with a knowledgeable guide sharing the history of the area. This Sunday was the infamous Gold Coast – the Near North area of Chicago that was home (and still is) of the city’s most wealthy citizens. The weather was perfect, the lake a beautiful sky-blue and the stately old masions still stand proud.
For the rest of my time in Chicago I am being treated by friends to lunch and dinner every single day and night until I depart. I will literally waddle my way to O’Hare on Friday afternoon to catch my flight to Athens.
So this is my official farewell to Chicago. The next time I write to you will be from Greece!!! I have made quite a few contacts there already who are helping me with my ‘what-to-see-and-do’ itinerary. I’m staying the first 3 nights in a hostel which has a roof-top bar that overlooks the Acropolis! Wonder what the kids this think of this gray-haired traveler in the midst? I can’t wait to find out.
Until next time……here’s one last look at the skyline of what I think is the best and most beautiful city in these United States!