It is appropriate to say that I visited the Shedd aquarium and the Brookfield zoo rather than saying that I visited Chicago. Because, that is all the Chicago I saw other than my niece Bindu’s house where we stayed overnight.
We returned from the tour of Mackinaw city and surroundings on the evening of 5th of July, Monday. Our return journey to India was booked for the evening of 19th July Monday, exactly two weeks later. The last week end was meant for preparations. One week end remained and Bhanu had planned a visit to Chicago during that time, 10thand 11th July.
As we sat around to finalise the plans for the Chicago trip, my wife said that she was fed up of travelling with a kitchen in her luggage and she would rather stay at home. She said that she had seen enough of America and is feeling that she has been inside a car all her life.Full stop. Chicago is not very far from Detroit and Bhanu had been there many times. She decided to stay back with her sister. Children were fed up of our company day in and day out. They were happy to be in the company of their TV, net and play stations and they opted out of the trip. Bhanu suggested that me and Vishwa visit Chicago during the week end without encumbrances, allowing them, the sisters, to shop peacefully without encumbrances. The last part of the sentence was masked as in the case of “Ashwatthama hatah kunjarah” and was not actually heard. So, that was it.
I did not want to miss the chance of seeing another city and moreover I was very keen to visit the Zoo which was recommended by my brother and also the Aquarium. Vishwa had not seen the Brookefield zoo either and was equally enthusiastic about it. We planned to leave on Saturday morning and be back by Sunday evening. Chicago is about four hours by road, four hundred and fifty kilometers.
We planned to leave Detroit by eight on Saturday morning and we left at quarter past eight. We travelled for three hours nonstop and had covered more than three fourths of the distance when we stopped for gas. During our other trips we stopped every now and then as someone felt hungry, someone had to use the rest room or someone needed to stretch the limbs and this was the first time I experienced real freeway travel.
We entered Chicago around twelve noon and headed towards the navy pier, a beautiful drive by the side of the picturesque lake.
We reached the place in another twenty minutes, found a public parking lot nearby, parked and walked to the pier.