Chicago- we meet again.

Hey, guys and gals. I’ve had an adventurous couple days. I left Brian at home with the pups to go to Chicago and hear both my friend, Raffi, and Keith Jarrett play. 🙂
Don’t worry, I baked Brian a batch of super thick brownies before I left. At least I know he won’t starve!

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I was already feeling homesick before I left, so I brought company for the trip- Brownie, the first teddy bear that Brian ever got me.

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Brownie is a build-a-bear who has seen better days. He’s well-loved, especially when Brian is working nights and I sleep alone. Don’t judge!
We headed south to Madtown then over and through MKE. Love Miller Park! Don’t worry, Mom, I was stopped in traffic when I took these photos. 🙂

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I talked to my mom during the counties where I’m still allowed to talk and drive. I brought my “office phone” for the drive. I got some strange looks from passing cars!

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Upon my arrival, I was greeted by my AWESOME cousins, Michael and Rex.

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After catching up and eating a dinner (I love comfort foods like risotto!), my aunt Maureen and I headed downtown to catch Raffi’s Chicago debut at the Chicago Symphony Center. He played Rhapsody in Blue, and rocked it. I am proud to know him! He earned himself a standing ovation with his outstanding musicianship. 😀

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What a beautiful facility! I’m looking forward to heading back over there tonight to hear Keith Jarrett. 🙂
I woke up kind of late and took my thyroid pill, caught up on the news, and ate some breakfast. My cold has sort of progressed to residing in my lungs, which kind of stinks. My cough sounds awful- it almost sounds like I’m suffocating. Other than that… the Chicago Sun-Times and toast with Nutella? Awesome way to start my day. I intended on knocking out 10 miles, but the cold made running a little tricky. I ended up only getting in 7, but considering how miserable I was with my cold, I’m pretty happy with that.
Interesting things that I love about running in Chicago:
1) the flowers are blooming! Tulips and lilacs and a bunch of late spring flowers. It’s a little bizarre, but it makes the air smell lovely!

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2) Unfamiliar but awesome street signs. Just when I was kind of wimping out due to my cold, I found a street sign with the last name of a friend of mine who is an incredibly fast runner. Think ‘elite start’ kind of fast.

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I saw that sign and thought, oh jeez, stop being a wimp. That sign was a little reminder of Brad- and I’m sure he wouldn’t wimp out on a seven mile run. It gave me a little extra oomph. 🙂
3) Fabulous people. I saw an elderly woman wearing totally blinged out sunglasses walking a tiny dog and smiling, and I saw a bunch of people at a bus stop who all smiled at me as I ran by. One guy even gave me a thumbs up!
4) Alleys. Talk about needing to keep on top of your game- if you blow past one of these, you might get run over. Sure, most people seem to honk as they’re approaching intersections in an alley, but I’d rather be safe than a Heidi-pancake!

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5) City architecture. Building up, instead of out. I love tall houses with little gates, and there are a TON of them in the neighborhoods here. 🙂

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6) Big churches. Older cities with big populations= older, bigger churches. St. Ben’s is where I go to church when I’m down here, and it’s where my cousins all went/go to school.

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7) Public transportation. People are always going somewhere, and it helps me stay motivated to keep moving. You know how proud I am when I take the L anywhere and don’t get lost. 😀

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8) Having to wait to cross the street. On days like today, my lungs were SO happy to have those short breaks at stop lights. Plus, in all seriousness, most of the time, you absolutely must wait to cross, or you’ll get hit by a car.

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9) Cool murals, and to a lesser extent, graffiti. I like artwork. I don’t like defacing property, but sometimes the graffiti demonstrates serious talent.

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I finished my run, made it home safely, and had a good time.

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I love that place because the sign looks all sparkly in the sun (and it reminded me of Brian, since he pointed it out to me the last time we were here).

Sure, I never made it to the lake… This is as close as I got:

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I couldn’t figure out how to cross Lakeshore Drive! 😦
That’s all for now. Time to go help with dinner, then head to the concert 🙂

Miles this year: 166

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