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.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

I'm afraid our weather experience in Chicago pales into insignificance with the tornadoes that have ripped across the South-East - almost 200 killed. The pictures on television are horrendous.
The flight from Dublin to Philadelphia was long and uneventful with rubbish movies. However, Philly airport was a beautiful building, which was just as well, as we had a bit of a delay in clearance due to thunder storms and wind in Chicago. The 2-hour flight certainly had its moments. There was constant light turbulence and an event I had never seen before when the stewardess shouted out "Is there a doctor on-board?" a young girl a few rows in front of us had a seizure. thankfully, there were about 5 doctors and a plethora of nurses willing to help. The descent was very turbulent but the highlight was when the stewardess screamed from the back of the plane and began a sprint to the front. a little old lady had decided to leave her seat in an emergency totter to the loo. The crew managed to rugby tackle her, get her sandwiched securely between themselves and shoved her into the bathroom. A few minutes later, they used the same procedure to get her back into her seat before hastily strapping themselves into their seats on the point of landing.
We exited Chicago airport in about 5 minutes and into a taxi. The driver was one of the most honest, pleasant and helpful taxi drivers I have ever encountered. Our hotel is beautiful - great breakfast and cookies in the afternoon. Our room was "upgraded" to one with a computer/TV which isn't a lot of use as I've got my lap top with me!




a wet Wrigley Field



Yesterday morning, in the rain, we took our travel passes and headed to Water Tower mall - a 7 storey upmarket mall downtown. The "El" is a very efficient transport system and its great to see the amazing buildings. Chicago has an architecture all of its own. We then wandered round Millennium Park for an hour before heading to Wrigley Field. The El was solidly packed with Cubs fans who were in for a disappointment. after an hour and a hot-dog later, it was announced that the game was posptoned until June 27th. :(  Much as everyone was disappointed, their was still a good atmosphere as people gathered up their coats and went home. 

As for us, we went back downtown and shopped - Filene's Basement, American Eagle, Aeropostal. It was late when we went to find something to eat and we finished up in Chicago's top Pizza restaurant - giordianas. As expected, the standard of the service was outstanding and us Brits could learn  a lot. However, the food didn't really match up. the starer was delicious - mushrooms, zucchini and mozarella - all deep-fried in breadcrumbs. It was tasty but why deep fry good food? The pizza was a traditional Chicago stuffed. We ordered one small between the two of us and only ate half" basically, it was a loaf of bread (not cooked through) with bacon on the base, a large slab of tasteless cheese, a slither of tomato sauce and herbs scattered with tinned pineapple chunks. One slice would have been tasty but two was a killer. Most customers left with a doggie bag, as did we - leaving it where we hoped someone homeless might find it!
deep stuffed pizza - small portion
deep-fried everything
Today, the temperature will not rise above 50F but it should be quite dry. the plan is to head into town and take a trolley-bus tour, hopping on and off as the day proceeds. 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Brian and Heather's Big Adventure

The proposed route from Chicago through Kentucky and St Louis

There are now only two sleeps left until Heather and myself head to USA to explore Chicago, Indiana, Kentucky and a bit of Missourri. We might even be able to add Tennessee to the list. The plan is to stay 4 days in Chicago, taking in a baseball game at Wrigley Field. We will then hire a car and drive to Bloomington, Indiana where we will meet our friends James and Amy (we have actually never met them before!). After that, its a free-running, unplanned road trip which might include Kentucky Horse Park, the homestead of Daniel Boone, the KFC museum (finger lickin good), a quaker village, and most likely a shopping outlet. This trip will finish in St Louis and from there we will drive Route 66 back to Chicago. The bags are in the process of being packed, the satnav has been uploaded, and there are just a few parish duties left to complete. Do check in here to see how much, or how little, we actually achieve.