Navy Pier and the lake

Sunday morning dawned nice and bright but woke me with its chilliness. Today the plan was to go to Navy Pier and walk along the lake front. Another colleague, who stays here with her family, would take us and we would go together. Ok, now for convenience I will name the colleagues who stay with me in the townhouse on some basis, which will be known only to me. For now, my colleagues from the townhouse are Triny and Shanghai and the one who we were going to meet is HR.

Triny is studying for an exam so she said she is not coming hence I went with Shanghai. We walked it up to Clarke and Division Street from our place, which is on N Orchard Street ( I will name the streets for those who are familiar with the city). We waited for HR and her husband and child and once they arrived we walked up to the lakefront. I had seen the lake in the distance and it looked pretty placid. But when I came up from the underpass onto the beach in front of the lake it had changed into an ocean. For it had waves that thrashed against the stony edge that lined it and there were sprays flying high just like a sea in motion. It was beautiful to watch. But I had immediately begun to freeze. The winds were very strong and I had not carried my sweater like a fool since I thought it was quite sunny. Ah, but yesterday I learnt I cannot trust the Windy City.

So after becoming short of a popsicle there on the beach we started walking along the lake and after a 10 minute walk arrive at Navy Pier. There were people cycling, running and walking all along wearing nothing but shorts and tee or sometimes a vest. They just made me shiver more.

Navy Pier is one of the chief tourist attractions in Chicago and it was just that. Hardly any locals throng the place and I saw the number of Indians who live here. There were Indians everywhere – young families, sons toting parents from India and groups of friends presumably from work. It has a miniature amusement park with a giant Ferris wheel and a few other rides along with a few shops with some overpriced items. Amusement parks don’t amuse me at all, so I wandered along the shops and came across an exclusive Irish shop. Being a fan of Celtic music and everything Irish I was thrilled and immediately entered to explore. I picked up a couple of small knick knacks and then returned to where the others were finishing their rides.
We left Navy Pier a little later and then caught a bus back home. Shanghai and I alighted at the bus stop and were walking to our house when I chanced upon a small park. The beauty of it was that it had stone tables with chessboard tops and in the middle, there were statues of a boy and a girl holding a bird basin. The evening sun was falling lit them up softly and I had to stop to take some pictures. It was silent, until it was punctuated by a man and his dog, and simply beautiful. I took a few minutes to soak it all in. That was an ethereal moment.

Thaatha called a little later asking if we would like to have dinner at a Thai place called Tiperos and this time Triny joined us. The evening was spent in finishing dinner and then walking over to the lake to watch the Memorial Day fireworks. After a hot chocolate/fudge sundae desserts for everyone at Ghirardelli it was time to move home.

The day had been extremely cold, am sure it was around 7 or 8 degrees C and not more. I was glad to step into the relative warmth of our house. But it had been nice. I had seen a little more of the city and I was able to remember the route from the main streets to our house. And that was quite good considering I have been here only two days. Tomorrow, Monday, is Memorial Day and a holiday but we plan to keep it light. Let’s see what tomorrow brings for me on my third day with Uncle Sam.

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