About Me

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Mullavilly, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
A child of the early 60's. Married with three children, two of which are at Uni. I have been the rector of Mullavilly Parish since 1993. I enjoy travel and animals, and I look after three dogs, four cats, and a snake.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

It would seem that the rain is determined to follow us around. Although warm and dry yesterday, it is once again wet. We are now in Bloomington Indiana at the home of the Thomas family. We drove down yesterday from Chicago and the trip was really the dawning of Spring in a day. Chicago is still in winter mode but as we left the city, we began to see some green on the trees, then a little blossom on the black cherries. As we travelled, the green became greener and  the trees burst into life. We stopped twice on the journey - once for a quick lunch at Wendy's which was uneventful, but prior to that we stopped at a rest area. The story of the rest area cannot be told within the confines of a blog but it involves President Obama, lots of African-American laughter, and the greatest paper chase of all time!
Tiffany ceiling in Macy's
Thursday and Friday in Chicago were good days. On Thursday, the temperature plummetted so we wrapped up and took an open-top bus tour with our guide, Claudette. By lunchtime we were frozen solid and deboarded at Navy Pier. Most of this was indoors so we had the chance to thaw out and walk to the end of the pier where there were some beautiful views of the city.Neither Heather nor I had any interest in lunch as the deep crust pizza from the night before was stilll clinging gelatinously to the walls of the stomach. We returned by the Tour Bus (staying inside) to State Street and explored a few of the shops. The most impressive was Marchall and Field (now Macy's) The architecture and design of this store was a amazing. At least 13 stories high with a variety of spaces open from roof to floor, including a walnut restaurant and glass-tiled Tiffany ceiling. Thursday evenings are free at the Art Institute so we called in there for some wonderful culture. By 7:30pm , we were finally ready to eat and enjoyed the faithful reliability of the largest McDonalds restaurant in the world.
a geocahe hiding in a tree in Lincoln Park
Friday was a beautiful sunny day. We spent most of the day in Lincoln Park, walking, geocaching and visiting the zoo (admission free). Here, we saw the usual famliar exhibits but a few that were totally new, including the beautiful sand cat, the strange Sichuan Takin (giant goat) and the white-lipped dear. The beaver were active and it was fascinating to watch them swimming.
the Sichuan Takin (google it)
We finished the day with another visit to Millenium Park (in the sun this time) and then returned to our hotel, enjoying a beautiful meal in a Turkish restaurant.

So now we're on the road. Our car was so easy to collect and, with automatic gears and cruise control, a very comfortable vehicle. This morning, we're off to church and then doing a geocaching tour of Bloomington. Tomorrow we head for the horse country of Lexington.