Subject: Chicago trip
Hi Ziners We've just returned from a four day trip to Chicago, primarily for the Marathon, but also to see the city. Thanks to all the Ziners who offered suggestions, especially Lisa, Jenni and Alan. We ate at some of the suggested restaurants and managed a two-hour shopathon at the Lighthouse Mall in Michigan City. Even the men in our group found bargains they couldn't resist.

We stayed at the House of Two Urns in the Wicker Park area, which I highly recommend. The rooms are lovely. Kapra, the host, is gracious and a talented photographer. She has decorated in a warm and comfortable fashion and serves breakfast every morning. She is extremely helpful with tips on what to see and how to get there.

We ate at Feast, Le Bouchon (great choice), Hilary's Urban Eatery, and Smoke Daddy's which are all in the neighbourhood. We stopped at other places in the Loop and near Grant Park - whatever caught our fancy.

Visited Frank Lloyd Wright's home in Oak Park but we weren't too impressed. However, the walk through the neighbourhood was entertaining and a lovely way to spend an hour on a warm Fall day.

The Art Institute was a real eye-opener for us. We dropped in for a short visit and spent hours viewing art, artifacts and sculpture. Very impressive - wear sturdy shoes. The place is huge. I cajoled the group into walking to the Water Tower, after the Marathon finish on Sunday. They weren't too eager until they saw it and marvelled at how such a utilitarian structure can be so beautiful. We also took a river cruise to view the architecture of Chicago.

Well worth it. Our only quibble was when the guide pointed out the Mies van der Rohe IBM tower and said that it was the tallest building he had designed. We in Toronto know differently. Mies' TD Centre here has five buldings, one of which is taller and was built before the Chicago structure. We just surmised that she meant tallest in the U.S.. She did ask passengers to correct any mistakes she may make or offer new information, so that's what we'll do via e-mail.

Chicago is Cubs crazy these days so, so in addition to the Marathon madness, Chicagoans are in a celebratory mood as they hope to break the curse of the goat and win the World Series.

Finally, we attended a GTG unlike any we've been to before. Thanks Andrew for inviting us to the opening of your father's show at the gallery. This is one reason for being a Ziner. We met a fellow Ziner but also saw a gallery that we would not have otherwise visited because it's not on the tourist route. Another wonderful travel experience.

Lucy in Toronto