"I fell in love again All things go, all things go Drove to Chicago All things know, all things know We sold our clothes to the state I don't mind, I don't mind I made a lot of mistakes In my mind, in my mind"
“Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens is one of my “turn it up” songs when it pops up on the radio, and Stevens is my favorite musical act that is currently performing (my all time fav is R.E.M, who I first heard in 1984 and immediately fell in love with, but have not performed since 2011).
Today was day three of my four consecutive Dee days; Thursday in Champaign (“Hail to the Orange”) and Friday in Chicago (“Girlfriend”), chronicled the last two Sun-Dees.
Living in downstate Illinois, with relatives in Chicago (previously aunt and uncle, now my sister and cousin), I’ve been to Chicago at least a hundred times (fifty Thanksgivings alone, at a minimum). I’ve been to at least twenty-five Cards/Cubs games at Wrigley Field, the first two a double header in 1978, ten years before the lights were installed. In short, I have a long history of being and getting around in Chicago–or at least the boy me.
Dee is trying to catch up. My first out of town Dee trip was to Chicago in 2017. I had a couple more days during Pinkfest in 2019, and I’ve squeezed in a couple of more days since 2017. In short, I’m comfortable doing girl things here.
I was staying at a hotel in downtown Chicago, the same place as my 2017 trip. Saturday’s weather was comfortable and sunny, as opposed to Friday being chilly and overcast. I wore a favorite black and yellow dress, bought three years before at the Macy’s in Water Tower Place (now closed). I found it hanging on the discount ranks and immediately knew I had to buy it.
The plan was to visit the Nordstrom Rack near my hotel, have a return visit to Akira, do a few touristy things, and then hit the Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue, the shopping mecca of downtown Chicago. My train back to Champaign was departing at 4:15 PM, so I had about four hours to be out and about.
Nordstrom Rack was first, trying on some shoes, some tops and a couple of dresses, but no winners. Next was the Akira store where I’d been the day before. As I noted last Sun-Dee, it’s a store aimed at a slightly younger (and hipper) demographic than me, but after frequent urging by my GG friend Renee to expand my comfort zone, I occasionally shop there–or at least try things on.
In the overnight hours between Friday night and Saturday morning the two fun (read “skimpy”) tops I tried on Friday had become more appealing. I had texted pictures of me trying on the tops to Renee and she liked them both. I found both on the racks, tried them on again, and decided I would kick myself if I didn’t buy them. The butterfly top, pictured here, was on sale for $15, and reminded me of tops the cute young things I saw in New York City were wearing. The other top will make an appearance next Sun-Dee, so stay tuned.
I stopped for “lunch” (a slice of carrot cake) at a trendy bakery and then did the touristy thing, seeing the “Bean” in Millennium Park. Cloud Gate, the official name, is a stainless steel (shiny) outdoor sculpture in the park, and gets its nickname from its shape. Like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Bean attracts a multitude of visitors, including yours truly.
As usual, I walked downtown Chicago, there were lots of people, and I had zero issues.
At Nordstrom I found (and bought on discount) a more conventional top. All told my three additions were a little over $40. After Nordstrom, I walked back to my hotel to get my luggage, and then walked to Union Station, and the uneventful return train ride to Champaign.
After checking into my hotel in Champaign, I changed into a more casual outfit of bodysuit top and button up jeans, paired with my open toe shoes (to finally show off my painted toes) and headed out to a nice dinner.
Following dinner, I test drove some potential outfit choices for Sunday’s day out, took some pictures, and texted them to Renee for her opinions. I had a pretty good idea of my final choice, but always good to get a second opinion. Then it was time to get cleaned up and get some sleep to be ready for my Sunday morning challenge, a sprint triathlon at the University of Illinois. That story next Sun-Dee–along with another fun day out.