Chicago on the Fourth — Part One

We caught the train to Chicago on the Fourth and spent the day in the city with Wayne and Holly. The Metra web site and the recorded message on the phone said the trains were running on the Saturday schedule, but the loud-speaker at the station said they were running on the Sunday schedule. Which meant that the day began with an hour wait in downtown Cary.


The train, when it finally arrived, was already packed. Wayne and Holly got on at Arlington Heights and had to stand in the vestibule. It was supposed to make every stop, but the conductor announced that it would be an express from that point on and that another train would be added. Why they chose to run the sparse Sunday schedule on a holiday Friday when it was packed is a mystery only those who make decisions in Illinois can explain.

We connected with Wayne and Holly and walked to Millennium Park in time to see the Grant Park Orchestra rehearsing their patriotic concert to be held later in the day. Their daughter, Dayna plays in the orchestra, but wasn’t there on this day.


We found seats in the shade and settled in. When the music was boring, I tried to figure out why the lights in the ceiling were arranged asymmetrically. The orchestra was jumping around some in the program, so I never knew what they would play next. I grabbed my phone to record a song and ended up with “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story. Not the first thing I think of when I think of patriotic songs, but here you go.


They took a break half way through the practice, so I wandered over by the bean and bought a (warm) Diet Pepsi and a bag of potato chips. The crowds were huge.


I tried again on the final song and this time got “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”


From Millennium Park, we wandered to a nearby Mariano’s where we found an outdoor grill tucked back in an alcove between tall buildings. We bought cheeseburgers and sausages and had a relaxing chat overlooking a nicely-landscaped park.


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One Response to Chicago on the Fourth — Part One

  1. n8 says:

    On “I Feel Pretty”, it looks like the conductor is shooing cats, which makes it that much more delightful.

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