March 11th - 20th, 2010, Chicago & Cleveland ...

As we have a contract in the US since last November, we decided to do one trip together ... and add two days in Chicago ...
 

Chicago

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So on Thursday we flew via Stockholm to Chicago, where we arrived at 12:30. We took a taxi to our hotel (downtown) and started to explore the city. This was the view from our hotel room (25th floor)!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Luckily, one of my customer's customer (Pepsi) was born in Chicago and gave us many tips around the city ... one of it being the hotel Omni, right in the centre of everything!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). First night we followed a recommendation of the hotel and had a superb dinner at the "Devon" seafood restaurant ... just around the corner of the hotel ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here the two of us having dinner ... quite a bit tired! ...
see the curious woman in the background ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). As Chicago is the hometown of Blues, we wanted to visit one of the famous blues clubs in the travel guide ... but the guy from the hotel recommended "Kingston Mines", being the best in town at the moment ... and it bloody hell rocked there! ... here the bar ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... the guy announcing the band ... just read the t-shirt ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and here the band: Joanna Connor ... two guitars, bass, drums, an amplifier and boxes: wow! ... see the Obama picture in the background!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and here the extra-cool guitarist ... it was just great to experience! After that we fell into bed ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and started exploring the city next morning, 7:30! We were lucky with the weather during the day ... here the Millenium Mile ... main shopping street in Chicago ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here the water tower from 1869 that - surprisingly - survived the big fire in 1871 ... we have to say that there are a lot of interesting buildings there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Loved this "greatest bar below the earth" ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and Chicago Police got new "moving around equipment" ... some police quads ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here the John Hancock Center, where we had dinner that night ... see below ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We headed north and crossed the Chicago river ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... saw the elevated railway with its stations ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and a slightly "odd" guy, shooting at everything with his umbrella ... ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here the railway approaching ... the sound exactly as in the movies ... see below ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Then we went to the "Cultural Center", where free city walking tours were offered from the "Chicago Greeters" ... here inside the building ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Volunteers took us around for approx. 1,5 hours ... here a mosaic in this building in German language: "O sweet voice! Very welcomed tone of the mother tongue in a foreign land!"
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here - we were told - one of the first skyscrapers ... with a steel construction inside and the facade attached to it ... at its time it was outstanding ... ... the windows with the two side-windows on top of each other are famous and known as "Chicago windows" in architecture ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). But now to something completely different: Of course Thomas wanted to see the places of his favourite movie "Blues Brothers" ... here some roads, the fans might remember from the chase ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and of course the city hall, where the movie ends ... the building on the right is the one, they drove through the glass windows ... ... Note: the green fountain due to St. Patrick's Day ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and - how great is that - the elevators, Jake and Elwood took upstairs ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and they even had an "assessors office" sign with "cook county property taxes" on top!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here another side ... also a job ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here Cynthia with our guide "Joe" ... really a great guy full of information about "his" city ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here the two of us ... legs already hurting ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and the second best photo this time: "homeless but not phoneless" is the title ... ... how things have changed the last 15 years: in 1995 it was a luxury to possess a mobile phone ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Then - already clouding over - we went all the way up the "Sears Tower" (or now called Willis Tower) ... where Cynthia stood on the glass ledge ... 400m above the ground ... Thomas couldn't do it ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). And here the best photo: if you thought that whales only strand on beaches ... they also do on glass ledges in Chicago!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Last but not least during our walking tour, we visited the "bean" at Millenium Park ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and had fun with the distortions ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This afternoon we recovered with a drink at the hotel bar and wrote post cards ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here the classical American bar with a TV ... drowning all conversation ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This evening - our anniversary - we booked a table on the 95th floor of the Hancock Tower ... to enjoy a nice dinner with the total skyline of Chicago ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... but this is the fish bowl we got!!! Completely covered in clouds, we could not see 1 (one!) light ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... but on the other hand, we didn't suffer vertigo and - we have to say - the restaurant is at least ridiculously over-priced!!!

So we have to say: Chicago is a really great city and one day was definitely too short; but we plan to come back one day!
 

Cleveland

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Saturday, we headed towards Cleveland for work (flight was cancelled, so we were 3 hours late) ... and Thomas introduced Cynthia to "Brown Derby Steakhouse" with its wonderful steaks! ... here together at the bar with our customer and now friend Gregor ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Cynthia had the free time to trace her roots and actually found her grandmother's old school... she was born in Cleveland ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... the Hathaway Brown School, founded in 1876 ... a very nice person from that school actually gave her a book about its history ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Wednesday night, we could actually leave site at 6pm to head towards downtown Cleveland to visit the birthplace of rock'n roll ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... the rock'n roll hall of fame ... here with Gregor and us in front of it ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We have to say, this museum is really great and we could have stayed 5-6 hours instead of the two we had (museum closes at 9pm on Wednesdays) ... here Pink Floyd "the wall" ... inside the museum, no photos allowed ... sorry!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here some "Trabbis" (east German car) hanging in there ... we didn't get the gist, why ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and here, as we left, the museum at night ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This was our last dinner / drink with Gregor at Ruby Tuesdays in Streetsboro ... the "home" restaurant of Gregor and Thomas when there ...

So it was good for Cynthia to see Thomas' work in Cleveland ... now she can picture him, when talking on the phone!