The Captain Enjoys The Amenities

So I’m back in freakishly warm St. Louis after an interesting week in Chicago.  What ended up being interesting about the trip was had more to do with what I didn’t do than what I did.

Years ago when I used to travel frequently on business, I usually tried to get out and see the sights during my down time, i.e. Niagara Falls, Yellowstone Park, the Grand Canyon.  My feeling at the time was, what’s the point of traveling if you don’t get out.  And while those trips were quite memorable, they weren’t always enjoyable.

This thought was on my mind my even before I left for Chicago.  I did an internet search of all the fun things that Chicago has to offer for the first week of March, and I came up blank.  All of the exhibits at the various museums closed early, there were no good concerts in town except for the ultra-expensive Fleetwood Mac show, and the only sporting event was the Bulls v. the Golden State Warriors.

I decided that this trip I would simply enjoy my surroundings in whatever capacity I could.  This proved challenging for the first few days since the temperature didn’t get above freezing.  So instead of braving the cold I decided to enjoy the amenities of the Renaissance Hotel.  I used their nice workout room, took a couple of dips in the hot tub and pool, and ordered some deep dish pizza from a local place up the street.

By Thursday the weather took an unexpected turn towards warm, and I was actually able to get out in Chicago.  With no real plans in mind, I decided to go for a run along the Riverwalk.  What started as quick run turned into a two hour trek down Lake Michigan and back.

After a couple of miles it occurred to me that in addition to providing music, my iPhone could also provide some interesting pictures.  So I decided to try and snap pictures of myself as I was running up and down the lake.  The results were a mixed bag.

Some are actually decent action shots of me, like these in front of the lake and the planetarium.

In other shots I managed to capture the background scenery well, like these of the lake and the docks frozen over.

Most of the time I ended up looking exhausted or really out of it, like these by the Navy Pier and the Riverwalk.

But my favorites were the ones where I ended up slightly warped due to the wind, like this one of me on Northerly Island Park.

It was really strange to run in 70 degree weather next to a frozen lake, but it made the experience quite memorable nonetheless.  I had such a good time zoning out while looking at the interesting sites that I totally over-exerted myself.  I paid the price when I arrived back at the hotel.  As soon as I sat down my legs were on fire!

I was still sore for my return trip to St. Louis on Friday, but it was to be expected.  What I didn’t expect is to return home to a heat wave?!?  It was in the 80s when my plane touched down.

The freakishly warm weather really brought out the masses last weekend.  Downtown was already crowded due to the Missouri Valley Tournament at the Scottrade Center.  But something about warm weather in March really brought out the drunks, me included.

Dr. Chris was in town for an interview, which seemed like a good reason to get sloppy.  The only thing that was messier than sake bombs at the Drunken Fish

Was our ill advised trip to the east side.  Only sake would make me think going to Roxy’s was a good idea.

Now I am back home and ready to get back to my life.  Taking time to enjoy myself in Chicago and this weekend really made it easy for me to transition right back where I was before I left.

Ciao,

The Captain

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