Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Our kind of town...

Last month was our annual "home visit." Our trip was split between Metro Detroit and Chicagoland (our European friends like to remind us that "Chicagoland" makes it sound like a theme park). Our Detroit time was spent out in the far western 'burbs ... it's hard to think of Brighton as a suburb, as it used to be considered "the boonies," but with urban sprawl it's now pretty much part of the area. We had a great time catching up with family and friends, even though we didn't get to see everyone on our list.

For the Chicago portion of the trip we managed to squeeze in a very limited amount of "free time" in and around the city. We made a quick stop at one of our favorite nature spots, the Magic Hedge. The picture at the top of the post is looking back at the city -- through typical Chicago summer haze. Note the strange formation in the upper left ... it was practice day for the Air & Water Show. The weather turned miserable for the weekend and the show was rained out on Sunday ... too bad they couldn't have held it a day earlier! For those of you who don't know what the magic hedge is, click on the sign to enlarge.

Another quick stop: the Wicker Park/Bucktown area, which had become a favorite haunt for us. Here are a couple of reasons why: good "pubs" like Lotties, where you can pop in anytime for a cool drink and a nice game of darts, and neighborhood features like the dog park.

We call the drive north along the lakeshore the "inspirational drive" because of the huge homes (some are truly mansions) and the beautiful scenery. Just over the border from Evanston in Wilmette you'll find a nice harbor and the B'hai Temple. We had never stopped in the temple before, so we decided to be tourists and check it out. The way the building incorporates symbols from a variety of religions is really amazing, and it's beautiful on a sunny day (or lit up at night).

No pics, but we drove by the old house. Rochelle was expecting the worst for her garden: in her mind, it was probably layered over by stones. But surprisingly little had changed. We suspect that the new owners are waiting a year to see what comes up. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on it over time.

Just to throw in some other nice Chicago pics, to follow are some shots we took last year (on our "leaving Chicago" tour). Thanks to all of the family and friends for their time and hospitality, and to anyone we didn't have a chance to see hopefully we can meet next time (or come and visit us).

Pictured left to right: