Tag Archives: chicago

Travel Update

Trudeau International Airport-Montreal

The Curator and I dropped off Brazil Lucas at the Montreal airport in the afternoon, then drove south across the Saint Lawrence River and back into the United States. There we met with two good friends from Ogdensburg, NY for dinner.

The following morning we picked up another wonderful friend from Iowa at the Syracuse airport, then had lunch with The Catamount Fan. It was a great lunch, and nice to finally meet Mr Catamount.

Syracuse Train Depot

After visiting the William H. Seward House, I was dropped off at the Syracuse Amtrak Depot for the trip to Saint Paul. I checked my bag for the first time while traveling Amtrak, because I didn’t want to lug it around Chicago’s Union Depot. That worked out great, and the bag was immediately available for pick up once I reached baggage claim.

The route to Chicago saw a 2-1/2 hour delay, which cut into my 4 hour layover in Chicago. Still, I had more than enough time to eat lunch and explore the Depot a bit before boarding my train to Saint Paul.

Wisconsin zipping past

Eventually I will have to board a plane again to get back to Fairbanks, but I wasn’t quite willing to do so just yet. I enjoyed the leisurely pace to the Twin Cities, and met a couple of people on board both trains to keep me entertained for at least part of the journey.


Rails West

It was time to leave New York, and head west. I had enough of flying for the time being, and decided that a more relaxed ride on Amtrak was in order. It’s possible that the idea backfired a bit. I had received some unwanted news just prior to boarding the train, and nothing allows you to sit & stew quite like a long train ride. Still, the Lake Shore Limited was a nice ride, although much of it overnight and in the dark.

I had to switch trains in Chicago, and spent a decent sized layover in Union Station. It’s a beautiful station, but I spent much of my time below grade. The people watching kept me entertained. A pigeon flew into the food court, which caused one of two reactions: 1) A child would be fascinated by the sudden appearance of the bird, and follow its path from table to table as it searched for dropped food. 2) An adult would spot the pigeon, which caused an immediate expression of horror, which was followed by trying to put as much distance between themselves and the rogue pigeon.

I spotted a teenage boy reading Steinbeck. He never saw nor reacted to the pigeon. He was probably reading “Of Mice and Men” for school, but he was so engrossed in the story, that he kept waving away questions from his siblings, like someone absentmindedly brushing off an annoying fly. It was a good sight to see, and it made my morning.


Milwaukee

I was aboard the Empire Builder leaving Chicago. It’s an easier train to explore, with its two decks and afternoon departure from Union Station. The click-clack of the steel wheels on the rails, and the gentle swing of the train cars had started to do its work. The edge from the night before had dissipated. I played jazz through my headphones all across Wisconsin, which didn’t hurt matters any either. I had joined the dining car as we crossed the Mississippi River, and eventually succumbed to the “Origin Question”. Looking back, I probably should have said, “Minnesota”, when asked where I was from. Instead, I answered “Fairbanks”, and the questions flew from there. It’s quite hard to put that Genie back in the bottle once it is released, although I did make an attempt. Eventually, I warmed up to the questions, as they were genuinely interested in our state, and told a few stories that I had never shared before.


Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

While in Chicago, we visited the Frank Lloyd House & Studio, which is located on Chicago Avenue in Oak Park. FLW built the home in 1889, using a loan of $5000 from his employer Louis Sullivan, to purchase the property and start construction. The home received an extensive remodel and addition in 1895, and the Studio was added to the property in 1898. Both the Home & Studio were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.


Mural and skylight in the children’s playroom

The FLW Preservation Trust currently owns the home and studio. They have restored the property to it’s condition in 1909, when the Wright’s lived there, raising six children.


Lighting, both natural and electric, in the playroom

The home has made use of a lot of stained glass, skylights and indirect natural lighting. Pictures were hard to come by, while on a tour. Our group was 15 strong, which is a full tour group. Many of the rooms, and hallways are quite small, but then open into larger rooms with tall ceilings. It was a challenge to take photos without including members of the tour.

As much as I enjoyed the home, I think I liked the studio even more. It is a wonderful workplace. Two sections of the studio are octagon shaped rooms, connected by the front entry room. FLW’s private office was octagonal, as was the two story room, where the designers and craftsmen worked on projects. If you go, look for the structural chains in the main design room.


The Studio, as seen from across Chicago Ave

The Studio must have been a major presence on Chicago Avenue at the time it was built. No doubt, it offered some wonderful, free advertising. If someone wanted to build a unique and “out-of-the-box” home, a trip down Chicago Avenue would tell you that FLW was worth contacting.

The guided tour lasts about an hour, and is well worth the time, if you are wandering around Oak Park, and looking for something to do.


I looked plenty hard…


Duluth takes on Denver in Chicago

The Frozen Trifecta was back at the United Center on Saturday for some college hockey. The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs were facing the Denver University Pioneers for the Division 1 Championship. For the first time since the playoff selection went to the 16 team format, we had the #1 ranked team taking on the 2nd ranked team. Denver was the top seed, and they looked like it against Notre Dame in the semi-finals. Duluth would have their hands full.

Denver continued where it left off against the Irish, and really dominated play to start the first period. Duluth settled down around the 10 minute mark, and the game was scoreless after one.

Then things became interesting. Jarid Lukosevicius scored for the Pioneers at the 4:44 mark of period two. The announcer was still calling out who had assists on the goal, when Lukosevicius scored again, just 16 seconds later. Denver could smell blood, and Duluth was in chaos, when the official called a television timeout, and the Bulldogs were able to regroup.
Alex Iafallo, the hero from Thursday night, scored a power play goal for UMD, to make the score 2-1. Lukosevicius, out to prove that the third time really is a charmer, scored his third tally of the night. Lukosevicius’ hat trick happened over a span of 7 minutes, 39 seconds. The last time there was a hat trick in the championship game was in 1993, when the Denver head coach, Jim Montgomery, scored one for Maine against Lake Superior State.

The third period began with Duluth down 3-1, and they came out on fire. Much of the play was in the Denver zone, and the Bulldogs were flying to the puck. Riley Tufte finally put one behind Pionner goalie Tanner Jaillet. UMD suddenly had new life, and they stepped up the pressure even more. Duluth outshot Denver in the third period 17-3. But Jaillet, who had just won the Mike Richter Award as the Nation’s top college goal tender, held firm. Denver would keep that one goal lead, after a wild third period, to earn their 8th National Championship in hockey.


DU players celebrate on the ice

Jaillet would make 38 saves for Denver, and Hunter Miska would have 25 for Duluth.
Announced attendance was 19,783.

The Frozen Four moves to St Paul, MN for the 2018 championship.


Route 66

In an attempt to get to know the “Mother Road” a little better, we drove over to Ogden Avenue in Berwyn to check out the Berwyn US 66 Museum. That turned out to be a lot like trying to hunt down Route 66 itself.

The museum was closed, and the folks seemed to leave without a forwarding address.

Next door was a hobby store, that sold Legos (“Get your Bricks on 66”) and all sorts of trains. They seemingly had all gauges, and a nice, running, 2-train setup in the middle of one room.

The folks in the hobby store had no idea what happened to the museum.


United Center

Chicago, Illinois


Walking up to the United Center in Chicago. We have never parked this close to the arena before.

The Frozen Four moved to Chicago for 2017, and the Frozen Foursome was down to two of its regular members, and their ringleader unable to make the trip. All of this meant that we were getting by as the Frozen Trifecta.


Harvard & UMD during warmups

Harvard was to take on the University of Minnesota Duluth in the first game. Both teams had been number one seeds in their regional the week before.


Game One Introductions

Harvard would score first on a power play goal by Tyler Moy in the first period. Duluth had looked very good up to that point with several scoring chances behind an excellent forecheck, but it was the Crimson that would draw first blood.
The Bulldogs would tie things up 3-1/2 minutes later on a goal by Joey Anderson.
The second period was scoreless, and the game remained tied until late in the third. Duluth’s Willie Raskob placed a beautiful pass onto Alex Iafallo’ stick, and Iafallo slipped the puck between Harvard goaltender Merrick Madsen’s legs with 26.6 seconds remaining in the game, for a 2-1 UND lead.
UMD looked to be in great shape, but then they iced the puck. With the face-off deep in Duluth’s end, the Crimson furiously attacked the net, with a shot hitting the pipe, and another hitting the crossbar. Duluth would hang on to win, sending them into Saturday’s championship game.
Madsen had 36 saves for Harvard, and Hunter Miska had 39 for Duluth.


Denver and Notre Dame introductions

The University of Denver Pioneers would face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in game two. It was obvious early, that the Irish would have their hands full. Denver totally dominated play in all three periods and would go on to a 6-1 win.
Cal Petersen of Notre Dame would have 36 saves on the night, and Tanner Jaillet of Denver would save 16 of the 17 shots he faced.

Announced attendance was 19,626.