Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicago Or Bust!

During the weekend, I travelled to Chicago to watch my sister, Nancy, in the 3-Day Breast Cancer walk closing ceremonies. LOTS of photos below but here's the trip in pictures!

We rode a double-decker Megabus to and from Minneapolis-Chicago.



On the way to Chicago, we rode on the lower level. We made this choice because the people ahead of us went upstairs with about three babies! We were trying to keep our sanity - lol! Brea, Shelby, Mom and Debbie had seating at a table so they were playing cards and had a sweet place to put their stuff in front of them.

Ashley and I sat together right behind Debbie and Mom. We spent most of the time talking or reading a book. Ashley brought a book with which she let me borrow ... and read in about three hours. There was nothing else to do - LOL!

We're in Chicago ... and by the looks of this sign ... it would have been nice to have a city tour guide! I mean, seriously, the map was crazy confusing!

We travelled using the "L" train. Here's the route for the different lines. We only went on the blue and red lines. However ... on both of them there was construction so we would have to get off the subway, go back up to the street level, board to bus, go through traffic and then reboard the subway train. It was an unforseen adventure.

After being on a bus, on a subway train and walking a lot, these hotel beds could not have been a more pleasant sight! We were so exhausted that both Brea and I crashed into bed. The hotel was near O'Hare Airport so I would wake up in the middle of the night hearing them fly near the hotel.

The next morning we all got ready to go watch the closing ceremonies for the 3-Day. All dressed in pink, Shelby and I were excited to continue the journey!

Debbie, Mom and Brea wait for the shuttle bus to take us back to the L train.

While on the L train, I took this picture of the streets in Chicago. Ashley was sitting next to me and said it would be fun to shop down there. I said, "this is as close as you are getting to that Kid."

We went to a cool place to eat called "Eleven City Diner." It was a very vintage, yet industrial-looking place. To top it off, the food was delish!!!

Shelby and Mom shared a yummy shake, topped with a cookie and cherry. So good!

Brea and I enjoyed sitting and relaxing our feet for a few minutes at lunch.

When we were walking, we came across these statues in a park. It is called "Agora," which consists of 106 cast iron figures created in Poland by Magdelena Abakanowicz. I thought it was cool since we were in Chicago for people walking ... great significance!

Brea was goofing around acting like one of the figures.

We also took a break in a nearby park. I walked around taking some picture but took this quick snapshot of B. Love it!!

Here's a landscape picture I took of the area where some of the walkers were coming through. It's the park near Michigan Avenue with part of the skyline in the background. Very beautiful area.

Along the walk, we saw the bay area FULL of boats. Wouldn't this make a great puzzle!?!

Here's the outside of Soldier Field. The closing ceremonies took place near here.

Here's what happens when you have time to waste before the closing ceremonies start! Ashley has some markers so we all started decorating our arms, legs and even our hair! LOL!

Nancy took this picture of all the walkers in line to come into the closing ceremony arena. In total, there was around 2,300 walkers ... raising $6.1 MILLION for the Susan G. Komen for a Cure Foundation for Breast Cancer - so beyond awesome!!!

We were just on the other side of a fence which fills up with the walkers. The presenter announces all the flags as they come in, such as Best Friends, Joy, Turning Points and Victories!

During the time where the survivors of breast cancer walk in, the other walkers remove a shoe and hold them above their heads as a symbol of their support to finding a cure for the disease. It's very powerful and emotional.

Part of the presentation is having people on the stage with banners of who you can walk for. Nancy and Sarah carried the "My Grandmother" flag during one part of their journey.

This is some of the survivors walking in with more banners, which they place around a center ring.

After bringing in the flags, they create a ring around a flag pole ...

and raise the flag that says "A World Without Breast Cancer."

Here's Sarah and Nancy at the closing ceremonies! The both walked 60 miles in 3 days - YOU GIRLS ROCK!!!

Nancy with all of us that travelled to Chicago ... Mom, Debbie, Me, Ashley, Shelby and Brea!

So, the ceremony is over and back to the L Train. This time we're on the Red Line connecting to the Blue Line ... just another part of the journey!

We chilled out at Union Station before getting back on the Megabus at 10:30 at night!! Oh, and you can't sleep very well on those buses ... so we were all super tired by the time we got home around 6:00 a.m.!

I took some pictures of Union Station because this place is massive and so architectural. The back area by the flag was used in the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding."

Such cool features from floor to ceiling!

These two statues are over the entrance to go to the trains.

Here's me and Brea on the famous staircase from different movies, including "The Untouchables."

So there you go ... an adventure of a lifetime for a great cause ... all crammed into two days!

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