We began our trip to the Midwest by flying to Chicago via Portland. After we checked in then grabbed a bite to eat, we were ready to call it a day.
As with many trips, the planning on this one started out pretty early. This was different, however, since everything was so intricate. The centerpiece of the trip was Melody's family reunion in Indiana, but we wanted to take time to visit some of my cousins in the area. We were able to find times that would work for everyone (it was really nice that for the most part people were available for when we were hoping to visit), and we also decided to tack on a few days beforehand to go to Chicago. It had been about 20 years since Melody had visited the windy city, and I had never been.
Since we flew out on Sunday, we knew we wouldn't be able to go through the produce we would normally get from the Farmers Market on Saturday. Fortunately, Tynor and Noël said they would pick it up and divide things between them. In addition to that, we're getting a bi-weekly box of fruit, which is pretty large. That arrived the Wednesday before our trip, so we had a lot of apricots, apriums, peaches, and cherries. We finished off the peaches and half of the other fruit, getting things down to a reasonable amount to carry onto the plane.
The trip to Seattle-Tacoma Airport was uneventful (other than the fact that when we were ready to transfer from the bus to the train, we waited for less than a minute). Our first flight was down to Portland, then from there to O'Hare in Chicago. We knew the connection wouldn't be leisurely, so we picked up a couple sandwiches in Seattle to have with our fruit and other snacks.
I hadn't been to the Portland airport before (and it was quite a while since Melody had), but I knew I wanted to take a look at the carpet, which is so popular, people take photos of it with their feet. There are even socks and shirts with the pattern on them. Unfortunately, the carpet is starting to be removed due to wear, and they're unable to replace it with the same pattern.
By the time we got to our connecting gate our group was boarding, so we walked right into line. The other passenger in our row was quite chatty, and was saying that he lives in Portland but the home office of where he works is in Chicago. Unfortunately, the last time he was there, he had appendicitis and went to the hospital. There were apparently some infection problems, however, since he had to go back into the hospital when he returned to Portland; it took him several months to fully recover.
We landed at O'Hare what seemed to be pretty early, but we were on one of the outer runways, so it took quite a while to get to the terminal. Once there, we made it down to the train station to figure out how to get day passes. Onto the train, which wasn't very full, then we transferred once we got into the loop. The second train was quite full, but had enough room for us to find space with our bags without any problems. Back out of the loop to the Lincoln Park area, then we found our way to where we were staying, dropped off our bags, then went back south to find some dinner.
Since we wanted to try the place, we ended up going to Water Tower Place to find Foodlife, which is kind of a food court. The rest of the mall had closed by the time we got there, fortunately Foodlife was open for another hour. Melody got a pot pie and I got a brisket sandwich; even though it was still early to eat in Seattle, we were pretty hungry after lugging our bags around for most of the day.
Back to the train to go back to our room, have a few cherries, then settle down for the night.