Comfortably settled into our hotel room a block from the party venue, K and I found ourselves with time on our hands.
What to do?
K checked the lake. Whitecaps.
We walked around the block enjoying the crisp air. Everything seems better in Chicago: it's cleaner, prettier, cheaper, people are happy.
And then we came upon an idea.
We'd been contemplating visiting The French Market and an opportunity presented itself.
It was, perhaps, only a mile or so from where we stood. We got excited. We went back to the hotel to change into more suitable clothing and then back to the bicycles.
For seven dollars each, we rented two bikes and started on our trek.
The streets were pretty quiet. The weather was perfect. The bikes were heavy and safe feeling.
(I haven't been on a bike in a long long time.)
We rode and rode. I liked flicking the little bell on the handlebars.
We rode over bridges and past buses and around trucks. It was pretty easy and mostly flat.
There was a bike station right outside the market. We put our bikes back, went in and looked around and bought cheese and bread and olives and an apple.
I got some lavender-scented soap and salve.
We tasted a combination of red wine, chocolate and cheese. Fascinating.
We bought sausage.
Then, we went back outside and grabbed two new bikes.
We rode to Millennium Park to see the bean and the fountain.
We left our bikes and walked around for a while.
We grabbed two new bikes and headed back to our neighborhood.
We got bread and wine -
and turned in the bikes one last time.
And THEN we went back to the hotel for a picnic.
And there was chocolate.