Chicago Day One

I have an uncanny habit of organising travel on unique dates. Last year my journey to Edinburgh for a conference was held up because it was the day before the G8 summit, when Viv and I went to Dublin, I completely forgot about the fact St Patricks day would fall around that time. My journey to Chicago it would seem is not to be blessed without this feature either. I’ll let you in on what happened in a sec.

I was still quite out of it when I got up, but thought I’d make the effort to adjust my body clock. I had to go and hunt for cereal, or a cafe somewhere, was given directions and went to have a look what I could find. I found some rice krispies, which did the job, and scabbed some milk someone else had left.

Anyone whose well up on international news might notice that there have several protests in the US by immigrants who are campaigning against a proposed immigration reform. I heard something about this on the news on the telly as I was wondering what to do with my day, but didn’t think anything much of it. How silly of me…

I decided, even though I was pretty darn scared that I should leave the hostel and try and do something with my day – a trundle across to the Millenium park, and a hunt for some shaving gel was on the agenda, just to see what it looked like. Before I left, I met another guy from Cardiff at the elevators, about two doors down from me. He and his mate were doing a tour across america, and this was there next port of call. I think this may have boosted my confidence to get out of the door. As I got further west, I noticed that there seemed to be rather a lot of police about (the first of whom whizzed by on a boyyed up segway!)

Anyway, I headed over to a fancy fountain, leaving the stack of high-rise buildings for Lake Shore Drive. More and more police (mounted on numerous methods of transport), mexicans and flags appeared. After taking a few pics of the cloudy sky, I headed over to see what the noise was about, stopping next to a news reporter tent. I got to see two news reports about the fact not a lot of people had turned out for this particular rally (did you guess yet?), just before everyone did. For a sec or two, it was a bit crazy, and I had to back out of the park bit I’d made it to. Apparently estimates put the number up to 400,000 who turned up, I spent about 2hours just watching everyone march about all the closed roads. There’s lots more on this on the BBC News website, its currently the top news item on the Americas site…. (and I have lots of pics too, which I’ll let people see).

I decided to carry on and had a look around millenium park, and the several bits of strange design it had there (Video Water Fountains and Big Reflective blobs). After that, I walked up Michigan Avenue, looking at the huge number of skyscrapers and general sights, I stopped in a couple of grocery stores and wondered over to where I will be attending my conference later in the week. It’s right next to NBC tower, so I managed to see the news being presented live inside the building, and the weather reporter (whom I’d seen earlier) presenting the weather right next to me.


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After that, I went back to Millennium park to sit down for a sec, and had a laugh at the various people who didn’t realise the vide walls were also fountains (they stop the water when projecting) and therefore ending up legging it every time the water came back on…..

And now, back to here, stealing wireless from one of the 20 that I’m able to pick up in the area.

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