Wonderful day!

What a day!

We'd decided to explore the city today, walk down the Magnificent Mile and end up in the Art Institute, because, as Mark would agree, there's more to life than shopping...

It was another beautiful morning.

I think Chicagoans must have nerves of steel to park their car here - and yes, they're all backed in, too.

First stop, the Millennium Park, and Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate.



Not only is it an amazing piece of art, seamlessly constructed, it's terrific fun too! We spent ages taking pics, ogling ourselves and enjoying watching others do the same. Love it.

Could this be a Frank Gehry structure over the trees there? Didn't know about that!
It's the Jay Pritzker auditorium, and an orchestra were assembling for a rehearsal. We sat and listened to them play through some of Mendelssohn's Elijah and found out there's a concert tomorrow night. A free concert. With Brahms and Beethoven.

Shall we go? Of course we will!

Dragging ourselves away from the rehearsal, we wandered through the Lurie Garden, where there was a scene which might have inspired an impressionist.

Which reminded us, we are heading for the Art Institute...

Hang on, what's happening here?

A fountain on a sunny day is always a magnet for children and this one was no exception. Another incredible piece of art, the faces of 1000 Chicagoans are featured in two walls built of illuminated bricks. The water feature amused us all - and we loved the fact there were no notices telling us to be careful, not go in the water, don't slip...you know what I'm referring to, don't you?

At last, we reached the Art Institute! Where we could take photographs for our own private use...

I have never been in a gallery where photography was permitted until now, and delighted in taking photos of American Gothic, of Matisse and Picasso's work, the work of unknown artists which attracted my eye and above all, the really fascinating building. I very much appreciated that and since I don't want to abuse the privilege, will just include one, of the "Fragments of Chicago" exhibit at the top of the stairs.

And yes, we did pop into the museum shop....

Across the road we found the Chicago Cultural Center, which just happens to have the world's largest glass dome by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Which I photographed badly. So you can imagine how wonderful it is...



Possibly that was enough culture for one day, so we walked back along Michigan Avenue in the late afternoon, passing by the Chicago Tribune building and spotting the funny bits of stone on the wall which we'd forgotten about.

Had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory under the John Hancock Center - and no, we couldn't. Of course we resisted the temptation!

And fell into bed, exhausted!



Just got in from the Windy City

My Kinda Town