Magical Mystery Tour


Sheister-Politicians
Gun-Totin’ Gangsters,
Arresting Architecture,
Cruelly Stuffed Pizzas –

 

 

 

clearly a perilous place

 


~~   CHICAGO  ~~

Cruising in on Amtrak’s sleek Empire Builder,

 

English: Amtrak train on the Empire Builder ro...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Accompanied by the newly-married Mrs. T
for a whirlwind 3-day jaunt in the Windy City.
Kayla booked us a fantastic place and rate
on the Magnificent Mile – Michigan Avenue….
The room – a 3-corner penthouse view,
bar and kitchenette, two flatscreens,
a master bedroom, and most exciting for Sari,
a washer and dryer….  who knew?


Perched a la Hedwig, Sari contemplates the view. . .

PerchedinPenthouse



~ | ~ | ~

H gets the lowdown on a freak tornado back in our
Minneapolis hood.  Mike tells us we missed
the devastation by a 100 yards. 
Others are not so fortunate. . .

~ | ~ | ~


PenthouseView

Our first evening’s mission:
Retroactively celebrate Sari’s birthday….

HighRiseView

 

 



Eschewing a cab, we decide to walk to our destination,
even as angry clouds amass across Chicago’s skyline…

Could our choice to pied-a-terre have been in error?
Any more bad ideas?
Other than sneaking the word “eschew” in here,
let me confirm, yes, while strolling to Roy’s,
an out-of-the-blue torrential rainstorm struck


SushiSari

Soaked to the skin, we arrive at the restaurant.

Upon surreptitiously squeezing
out her uncomfortably wet undies,
Sari opts for the Californa roll.

Poor kid’s been severely deprived
of her beloved sushi by recently residing
in a mostly-Beef Friendly, Montana.

H's Ahi-Tini

H’s artful ahi tuna appetizer arrives

TroikaFishies

My troika of fishes were very good,
not to mention colorful, but I’m not gonna lie,
the salmon in the center was kind of meh

 

 

*   *   *

 

Back at our hotel “suites”

 

Ninety-degree views from my corner bedchambers
(okay pull-out sofa bed, but very comfy)
means spectacular night-time views from my pillow…

 

Scudding and swirling madly across the skies
roiling post-storm phantoms …

 

HotelWindowNightShot

…menaced the city.

 

DropDownView


 

StreetViewWest

Bolstered by the atmospheric drama,
I cracked open a spooky thriller ….

GeorgiaOKeefeView

Some views reminded me of
Georgia O’Keefe’s New York period

 

HotelNightView


A Gotham-like ghostly cityscape
made it impossible to read or sleep
but I must’ve knocked off somewhere in there…

* * *

Out and About Chicagee

ChicagoSeal

ChicagoSignage

MarshallFields

Signs, okay?

MuseumofScience&Industry

The magnificent Science & Industry Museum…
We have some time to kill before our Mystery 2:00 p.m. tour…..

There’s a 900 ton submarine Helen is excited to see…..
No, not her former co-worker,
but the historic one that was towed into Chicago’s Harbor
and up the streets and into the lower estuaries of the Museum…..
Don’t quote me on the estuaries part…..

TopSecret

U505Sub

No, not a giant latrine, but a full frontal
of the infamous German Sub, the U-505

USCrew

The spunky US sailors who victoriously disabled,
and successfully salvaged the once-lethal sub,
a major coup for the Navy’s war effort…

This was an amazing exhibit; I am not doing it any justice,
please visit any reputable website
(or mebbe a library, remember those?) for the whole story….

* * *

At ComputerWorld/Cyber Exhibit

Petabytes

Exabytes

Terabytes

Fascinating bytes that quantify info.
 
I was hooked.  But then again,
toilet-inspired submarines fascinate me…


DarthVaderTrain

Burlington Northern – circa 1930’s – Darth Vader inspiration

Finally…..

HarryPoster

…..the Main Act!

FordAnglia

Oh, yes, the little kiddies squealed!   The adults fanned themselves.
It’s the Ford Anglia that Ron and Harry rode illegally to Hogwarts
after missing their train on Platform 9 and three-quahtahrs !
PS:  It’s also the last photo they let you take on
the ‘Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter Exhibit.    :-[

StartoftheTour

Arms-crossed, near mutiny,
Sari is peeved by the fakery
of the English-accented guides…

Sari&Wand

In the Gift Shoppe, Sari’s mood transforms
as she wields Harry’s wand…

CheekyStudents

Daughter and Mum channel Professor Swiggles
and the Sorting Hat Sorceress, respectively

Sari&SortingHat

Living dangerously, Sari sports Sorting Hat
as well as monster schoolbook
all while swishing Harry’s wand !

AuntieSortingHat

No one leaves without trying on Sarcastic Sorting Hat…

CastingASpell

Sari putting the zap on an understandably nervous Momma.
Playing nasty Draco to Mum’s “what-the-hell-ya-doin” Harry…..

* * *

Satiated with Potter Mania,
we leave for some Chicagoan fare — Deep Dish Pizza


GreekStatue

Our waiter was one of those pale, theatrical types,
waiting tables between acting jobs….


SpaghettiMan

My dinner date seemed overly preoccupied with his pasta . . .

Sari and Helen ordered an alarmingly large-ish deep dish,
one with tons of green pepper and sausages
and ‘shrooms weighing it down….

Needless to say, in the morning Sari had leftovers for breakfast
and still had plenty to give to a homeless person.
It was the second time we’d given our leftovers to someone needy,
and it was really a wonderful feeling.
I won’t mention Helen saying, “I’m not givin’ up my piece !”


S&HonBridge

Hoping for a glimpse of Oprah over the Chicago River

RiverLights

WrigleyEtchingtheSky


BasRelief

BridgeFlagUnfurling

NightonMichiganAve


Returning to our suite for sweet slumber….

HelenontheHunt

In the lobby, H’s need for news and information is insatiable…

* * *

After a flurry-filled morning, we hustle to the station,
screeching to a halt at intriguing shops along the way

SpeedingMoment

En route to Minneapolis

PastoralScene

No one wanted to leave…


Newshound&Texthound

Sari is madly texting her newly-betrothed, er betrotheree

ReadinNSnoozin

Luckily, his text messages bore her silly, so she nods off.
While the girls take it easy, I head for the lounge car
and its fabulous panoramic windows…

SoontobeApoplecticConductor


OutsideMilwaukee

ShotfromOpenWindow

I got caught taking these shots through an open window….   I knew it wasn’t safe, as well as being spectacularly stupid…. Luckily, due to my lightening quick escape back to my seat, the conductor was unable to ascertain just which idiot violated the do-not-open-the-window rule so the whole train car got scolded….  No photo available of Helen’s baleful look….

TrainStopDarkSky

AbandonedShack

CrossingXTracks

RailroadCrossing

ColumbusStation

Through a glass smudgy
Columbus, Wisconsin Station

HauntingColumbus

 


WisconsinFarm


BucolicSceneTrain


America’s backroads do not disappoint…especially when a river runs through ’em…

.

When water impressions come into view….I devolve into crazy camera lady and try, Jeckyll & Hyde-like, to fiendishly snap camera and cell simultaneously, frightening passengers around me….while others are quietly drooling on themselves…. i mean, reading or listening to music, or just staring out one side of the train and not bothering to get whiplash in order to watch both sides, cuz for Chrissakes you might miss something if you’re only looking outta one side, know what I mean??   What’s wrong with them, anyway??  Yah, I forgot my ritalyn….

LoungeCarSunset

It was a dark and stormy night…    Or, at least it was a little overcast….

…. the maid screamed, a door slammed….

…when no one was looking, the conductor scratched his nuts ….

Tension was building in the cars,
the train clickety clacking…
The wind growing fiercer…

SkyonFire

SkyonFire2

A fiery sky caused more sensitive passengers to weep…

SkyonFire3

SkyonFire4Peeking

Suddenly, a fracas in the Lounge Car. 
A flinty photographer takes issue with passengers.
Passengers with heads that block the view…

SkyonFire9

SkyonFire11

Just as quickly as it had begun, the melee was over.
  Luckily, the descending sunset distracts any further frays …

SunsetRush4

RushingtoSunset

DuskySunset6

Somewhere outside Winona….. the fiery sun subsides….

. . .

Next morning, surveying the damage in Minneapolis…

Walking the neighborhood, post-tornado…

FriendlyKitty

Friendly Kitty surveys the mess too


We mourn the loss of (more) majestic old trees

UpturnedTree

TrunkCloseUp

CleaningUp

The odd randomness of destruction

MajorRoofDamage

SavagedTree

BlueTarpRoof


RandomTiles

MissingShade

EarlyXmasTrees

Goodbye fair tree,
your limbs so graceful, yet strong
your trunk so solid, so involved
roots so deep yet delicately vulnerable
an angry storm attacked mercilessly
cruel winds devastatingly win

 

 

 

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