This last weekend was very enjoyable, except the part where I had to wash the entire outside of the house on Sunday. Other than that major choir, I had a great time with my son Robert. We went up to Chicago and spent the evening together. Robert has never ridden on a train, so I decided to drive up to Joliet and take the Chicago Metra up to the city proper and walk to the IWS Members show reception from the train station.
We got a late start out of Bloomington but we still had a spare 30 minutes to get to the Joliet station… until there was a lane closure about ten miles south of our exit. That wiped out the cushion of time we had. After crawling at five miles per hour for what seemed an eternity, we finally broke free of the logjam and had a mere fifteen minutes to get on the train. Unfortunately we were still ten miles away from Joliet. The alternative was to hop back in the car and drive the rest of the way up: dealing with the downtown Chicago traffic and parking.
Lady Luck was with us, that day. I used my phone to GPS us about a block from the train station, which had our train sitting on the overpass as we drove by it. I took the first right after the station and it was a residential street with free parking and space, so I didn’t hesitate. Robert and I flew out of the car as soon as the wheels stopped. I made poor Robert sprint a
bout two and a half blocks. I was ahead of him some trying to get the conductors attention before he got on. Robert and I boarded and sat there out of breath for about twenty minutes as we cooled off from our mad dash.
The rest of the evening was very enjoyable. We pulled into Chicago with a good ten to fifteen minutes before the artists reception started. So we leisurely walked several blocks to the show and spent a few hours mingling about and looking at all the artwork. Several of the paintings I had picked out the week prior won, including on of my favorites by artist Ken Call. His painting won the best of show. I gave Rob the camera and he took quite a few good pictures, including Ken’s so I must include these here. ☺
We finally moseyed out and headed to a German restaurant around the block and had a nice dinner at The Berghoff, another first for Robert that night. Finally we boarded the 8:40 train and rolled back to Joliet. It was a bit after ten when we got back to the car and around midnight when I pulled in to the house. It was very difficult to keep awake and I was struggling the closer we got to home.
There is no better way to get to Chicago than a train ride. It takes away all the hassle of traffic and allows you to relax. I just wish there was a better alternative to Amtrak; their prices are not very good, nor is the quality or efficiency of the ride itself. I forgot how much I enjoy the city, and I really would like to spend more time up there, mainly to take pictures for more painting references and to enjoy the plethora of great restaurants and cultural attractions Bloomington seems devoid of. I’d like to close this off with a promise to start talking more about some of the art techniques and processes I have as I work through my paintings.