Bad Light, Super Bright, Fun at the Zoo, and Attack of the Killer Birds - Chicago Was a Blast!

Shadows and light thrown on the wall from the fire escape

View from the studio apartment

I didn't post last Wednesday since I was on an airplane on my way up to Chicago. 

I took a trip to see my youngest, Claire, and help her move.

The little studio she was in wasn't cutting it anymore. The upstairs neighbor deep cleans his entire apartment from 1-4 a.m. every night, which isn't conducive to a good night's sleep. Well...we don't really know that's what he's doing, but it sounds like it. 

It's a dark little studio facing an apartment complex overlooking an alley. The view is fire escapes. I swear they empty the dumpsters five times a day, starting at 6 a.m.

It was the nicest place she could find when we went apartment hunting back in September. And her landlady was wonderful. But, she was ready for a change. 

I flew in and took the train to a stop near her work so she could give me the keys to her place. 

After dropping off my suitcase, I spent a few hours wandering around with my camera. It wasn't the best time of day, and the light was bad. But, I got a few photos I liked when the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. But all in all, not a great photo shoot for Chicago. 

Fog and low clouds shroud the buildings in Lincoln Park, Chicago

North Pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago

I did come across some cute little geese on my photo walk. The geese elders were standing guard, so I snapped quickly. Adult geese are mean. A lady walking by with her dog warned me. But I already knew. I've been chased before. 

Baby geese in Lincoln Park, Chicago

I ambled back to the apartment and worked for a while, waiting for Claire to arrive home. We had a nice dinner at a little Persian place around the corner from her apartment. 

Thursday morning was rough. We both slept with earplugs, but it didn't help much. I got first-hand experience of the man upstairs doing his all-night cleaning. Ugh. 

I accompanied Claire to work for breakfast. She works for Google in Chicago.

I have three words: Kombucha on tap. Wow. That's quite a setup they have going on. I was impressed. 

Alas, Google was not for me.

I went back to the apartment and dropped my stuff, changed, and walked to Home Depot. Claire doesn't have a car. It's much easier not dealing with a car in Chicago. But it does mean little things like running to Home Depot for moving boxes takes a little more effort. 

No worries. 

I used the little cart she takes to the grocery store. I got the boxes and headed home and spent the rest of the day packing up her things. 

We went to the gym on Thursday evening after which we headed to a club to see a friend's band play. My friend, Liza, has lived in Chicago for a long time now. Her husband, Mike, is a professor (she is too). He's also a great songwriter and singer and has a band - 45 Souls - you can find them on Spotify. 

We had a blast. It was so fun to see them and hear the band play. 

Afterward, we had another semi-sleepless night due to the upstairs neighbor. 

Friday dawned bright.

Liza, Mike, and Liza's brother, Brian, arrived with their strong arms and SUV and made three trips to the new place with us! Yeah! Claire's new place is about a 10-minute walk from the old one, making it pretty easy to make the move. 

The new place is on the second floor - no elevator. By the end of Friday, I was questioning the wisdom in having worked out on Thursday!

But the day went quickly, and we had such a nice time catching up with Liza, Mike, and Brian. They had to head back home after the last trip. We were so grateful for their help. 

Claire rented her first Zip-Car that evening, and we hauled another load over before calling it quits. We had a delicious, well-deserved dinner at a little bar called Gaslamp. A cold beer was just what the doctor ordered! 

We had one more night in the old apartment. But we were so tired, we both slept right through the nightly noisemaker upstairs. Or maybe the guy took a night off. 

Claire used an app to get someone over to help with the big furniture on Saturday morning. One more Zip-Car load after that and the move was done!

We cleaned the old place, said good-bye to it, and locked it up. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon getting Claire set up in her new place. Her bedroom has a huge window with a nice little cityscape view. She's got two roommates, and the whole setup is much better. 

We enjoyed a lovely Italian dinner on Saturday, indulging in a little tiramisu afterward. Yum!

Sleeping in the new place was a treat. It was so quiet! 

Sunday morning was gorgeous. We decided to head to the Lincoln Park Zoo after breakfast. I'm not a huge fan of zoos. I hate putting wild animals in cages. But this was a pretty nice zoo. We saw some cool animals. 

A lioness sunning herself at Lincoln Park Zoo

A lioness sunning herself at Lincoln Park Zoo

I got a few good animal photos, not many. It was midday and super bright - not great for photos.

As we were leaving the chimpanzee exhibit, I saw something out of the corner of my eye coming at me quick. I ducked as something painfully grabbed my head. I almost fell to the ground as my sunglasses got knocked off my face.

It was a bird attack! 

Just as Claire started laughing at me, she became the bird's next victim. Ouch! She hurt her neck trying to get out of the way. 

At the same time, a lady walking towards us pointed and shouted, "That bird attacked me a little while ago!" 

I could not. stop. laughing! Needless to say, I didn't get a photo of the bird. 

I had a flashback to college at UC San Diego. There was a patio area outside one of the cafeterias. The birds would wait in the trees and fly at people's heads as they walked through the area. It was very entertaining. 

Apparently, birds like human hair for lining their nests. And they'll take it right off your head!

I'm still laughing about it. 

Sunday afternoon Claire rode the train to the airport with me where we said our good-byes.

That's the hard part.

But I felt much better leaving her this time than I did when she first moved there. She's adjusted now. She has a routine and friends.

This is one grateful mama. 

I hope you had a great weekend!

See you between the raindrops!