Mark in Chicago
October, 2002






I woke up at 4 in the morning, ready to go. After driving to the airport in the dark, I deposited my car in long-term parking and was off to Chicago.

The flight was bumpy, but short (1 1/2 hours), so not too much time to worry about it. Getting my rental was no problem. Alamo didn't have any compacts, resulting in a free upgrade to a midsize Toyota. Very nice.

Once I arrived Oak Park, I drove by the Frank Lloyd Wright houses I suspected wouldn’t be on the walking tour I had planned for later. Oak Park is a very nice neighborhood with large homes. Thankfully, I had a map which facilitated locating the houses. I was even able to point a lost soul in the right direction, thanks to my trusty map.

I could go on and on about FLW designs, but won't. There are plenty of websites available, plus, they have more knowledge than myself. I really enjoy his style and would love to have an FLW-designed house- after I win the lottery!

The FLW bookshop opened at 10 am. I got tickets for the 10:40 studio tour and the 12 o'clock guided walking tour. There were FLW bar glasses on sale for 50% off, so I purchased a set, as well as a little FLW book and then waited in my car for the studio tour. Because I arrived early, I was able to park right in front. Photagraphy is not allowed inside the house, so the ones I took of the outside will have to suffice.

As I'm waiting, I see a lot of Japanese tourists. Tons of pictures to be taken. Of course, they are in the front of the wrong house. But hey, who cares, as long as they are having fun.

The tour of the FLW studio and the walking tour were great. The walking tour could probably be done sans guide, but it was nice to have a knowledgeable person along to answer questions. The studio tour was definitely worth the eight bucks.

I drove to the Comfort Inn and drove to the Comfort Inn and drove some more. Finally, I had to call and get directions. I had passed it 3 times, but didn't see the little sign in front of the building.

The Comfort Inn had great location, nice rooms, and friendly people. The $21 a day fee for parking is a bit hefty, but you can go in and out as many times as you like. The little PikePass things to get you in and out are availible. I would definitely stay at the Comfort Inn again.

I went to the ESPN SportZone to watch the OU/ISU game where I literally had to wait an hour to get a barstool. I drank a few Guinness, ate some sliders and then Martha and her friend showed up. It was a cool place, but game day was a little difficult to deal with.

P0005821 P0005822 P0005823 P0005824 P0005825
P0005826 P0005827 P0005828 P0005829 P0005830
P0005831 P0005832 P0005833 P0005834 P0005835
P0005836 P0005837 P0005838 P0005839 P0005840
P0005841 P0005842 P0005843 P0005844 P0005845
P0005846 P0005847 P0005848 P0005849 P0005850
P0005851 P0005852 P0005853 P0005854 P0005855
P0005856 P0005857 P0005858 P0005859 P0005861
P0005862 P0005863 P0005864 P0005865 P0005866
P0005867 P0005868 P0005869 P0005870 P0005871
P0005872 P0005873 P0005874 P0005875 P0005876


I got up and got ready. The breakfast at the Comfort Inn was nice. Among other items, there were bagels, croissants, cereals, fruit, milk and juice. Not too bad.

Finding the Robie House was easy. It is said to be one of FLW masterpieces; however, it is currently under renovation, so the pictures aren't great.

OK, I must have some funky karma going on. After leaving the Robie House, an elderly gentleman comes running up to me, and of course, he needs some money. He's out of gas, needs money for deposit of the can, yada, yada, yada. I give him some and my address so he can mail me the money, hoping for the best in human nature. Well, I've done my good deed for the day.

After that, I head toward the Field Museum on Lake Shore Drive. Long story short, I get a $75 ticket for speeding. Was I? Yes, 54 in a 40. But I was just moving the way I thought the traffic was moving. Oh well, lesson learned.

I'm at the Museum complex a little early, so I'm contemplating if 'no good deed goes unpunished', or if 'that's just life'. I'm having fun regardless, and I'm laughing that I got my first ticket in 11 years while in Chicago. They should have given me a slower car.

I started the day at the Field Museum. Two traveling exhibits cost a little extra money, $6 a piece, but I decided to go to both.

The first was the Pearl Exhibit. It showed how pearls where used throughout history, how natural pearls exist, and how cultured pearls are made. It was a very interesting display, worth the money. No free pearls though!

The other exhibit was about chocolate. The display followed the changing uses of chocolate throughout history and how it is manufactured today. It was OK, but I would pass on it.

The Field Museum houses Sue, the largest T-Rex ever found. Lots of people taking pictures of her. The remainder of the museum was interesting with exhibits on ancient Egyptian culture, Asian culture, meteorites and plants.

After leaving the Field Museum, I headed next door to the Shedd Aquarium. For $18, I got entrance to the aquarium, the oceanarium, and the audio tour. When I arrived, the attendants were doing the feedings in the big aquarium. The kids loved it, and I liked it, too. The audio tour was nice, but a little hard to figure out the buttons at times.

I saw all types of fishes, penguins, and a couple of beluga whales. The seahorse exhibit was still set up, which was nice. I would suggest going first thing in the morning as after lunch it was very full.

Next on my list was the Adler Planetarium. This was one of the places I had not been to yet. It was interesting, but oriented toward the kids. The show I saw was very well done, but kind of short.

Around five, I met up with Martha and Tim. We drove back to their hotel then headed towards Bloomingdale, IL. Easier said than done! We got a little lost and got to see a part of Chicago that many don't, nor would want to see. Wasn't too long of a delay.

The resort where we stayed, Indian Lake, was very nice. It was sort of done in an FLW inspired style. There was a cool little bar named The Cave. It was set under some waterfalls. FYI - beer is cheaper from the courteous bar, which surprised me.

We ate dinner at a Chinese buffet and crashed for the night. The next two days were meetings, then back to OKC.

A good trip, but I spent more than I expected. Chicago was better this time. I can't believe how low the speed zones are, and that's everywhere. I'm already looking forward to my next trip, which is Portland, OR.

P0005877 P0005878 P0005879 P0005880 P0005881
P0005882 P0005883 P0005884 P0005885 P0005886
P0005887 P0005888 P0005889 P0005890 P0005891
P0005892 P0005893 P0005894 P0005895 P0005896
P0005897 P0005898 P0005899 P0005900 P0005901
P0005902 P0005903 P0005904 P0005905 P0005906
P0005907 P0005908 P0005909 P0005910 P0005911
P0005912 P0005913 P0005914 P0005915 P0005916
P0005917 P0005918 P0005919 P0005920 P0005921
P0005922 P0005923 P0005924 P0005925 P0005926
P0005927 P0005928 P0005929 P0005930 P0005931
P0005932 P0005933 P0005934 P0005935 P0005936
P0005937 P0005938 P0005939 P0005940 P0005941
P0005942 P0005943 P0005944 P0005945 P0005946
P0005947 P0005948 P0005949 P0005950 P0005951


graphics and design by