Out by 7:30 yesterday a.m., it was coldish but so bright we left the canopy off. By the time we'd stopped for croissants (& a nice hot little cappuccino) and crossed the Cortland bridge it had warmed up considerably.
The doors were open at Finkl Steel so we stopped to watch the action. It was much earlier than our usual visits and boy, did that pay off. Spiral showers of sparks were shooting everywhere. Massive steel columns were being sheared off by the welders before sailing through the air in the teeth of the giant crane. Just as we figured it was time to go, one of the huge two-story yellow Finklmobiles pulled out right next to us and backed down the road. Then, to top things off, a loaded gravel barge was chugging along under the bridge as we left.
Small guy and I headed off into the fresh air after dropping the others at school, on our favorite long way home towards the lake, through the city and home. (We use Belden from just past Clybourn all the way to the lake.) We doodled around in the sun exploring on small streets we don't usually ride and surprisingly passed a bakery we love. So... we stopped again and took a little break and maybe had another little cappuccino too. ( At Floriole, where it just so happens they put a cute little cookie on the plate. )
After our snack we rode to the lake and through the Gold Coast (on State Parkway) in even more sun than before. Cutting along through town my small boy argued that we should stop by the Aquarium instead of going home. umm. ok. We changed course and turned back to get onto a stretch of the Lake Front Path from the yacht club to the museums. Just as I got the bike walked around Millennium Park to go to the path he started nodding and drooping, and soon he was asleep. Right by the Intelligentsia. Hmmm. I had a nice fresh newspaper in my pannier and there I was with a sleeping guy, sunny day and giant park. I couldn't help it. I just popped in and stood outside while they made a nice little snip of delicious coffee in a paper cup - which I usually don't believe in but.... I tucked it snugly into the bike and rode the headwind on the LFP to the perfect Museum Campus bench overlooking the lake in the sun.
p.s. I can't help checking over at Born. In. Japan. to see if the baby has arrived.... Danielle has a cute post about her Christiania Trike today.
p.p.s. Parking at any of the museums in town with a bike is a cheap and easy start to any visit. There is good parking at the Museum Campus at the North side of the Field Museum and just south of the Shedd. We have a membership at the aquarium so we sort of drop in and out if we can. A good post on tripping to the museums is in the works. There is an old one on winter biking to the Notebaert!