Monday, 22 April 2013

Day 131: Last day in Chicago

Day 131 (15 Apr) Monday. Last day in Chicago. I'm not due to fly out to Dallas for the long haul home until about 6pm but neither do we have to checkout until 12 midday. Still there is much to see in Chicago and I don't want to waste time. 'Jet lag' seems to have passed me by. I decide that a walk along S. Michigan Avenue, taking in the park and whatever else takes my fancy, might be the way to go. 

Just before 6.00am
6.12am, really.
But one last view of the skyline before I leave, in fact, just before 6am. The timing, light and weather have been not unlike Brisbane for most of the last few days, although there is a noticeably longer twilight. There was some nice colour in the sky. 

At 6.12am, I realised I hadn't actually taken a photo of the clock in the room which actually required special training to be able to work. Luckily I didn't need it. The hefty-looking bedside lamp sits behind. 

It was a lovely walk all the way down the avenue, dropped in and out of a few spots along the way including the contemporary photography museum and the architecture centre. There are so many universities as well with their shopfronts along this street. Back for a 2.00pm transfer out to the airport, early yes, but allowing for possible traffic congestion as advised by the concierge. 

Preparing for take-off,
at 6.12pm
Good advice as it happened. Not long after I passed through all the necessary security checks and was in the secure area of the airport browsing in a bookshop (of course), news broke of the Boston Marathon bombing. I imagine security probably tightened forthwith. People were glued to TV screens as the news unfolded and everyone waited for the President's words (which came around 6.12pm Eastern time, as it happened...). One young fellow sat down next to me at one stage and asked if I had family 'out there' serious 'security analyst' look must have made him wonder. Turns out his sister ran in the marathon though he had managed to confirm she was OK. He was understandably worried. 

I was a bit taken aback by the immediate 'analysis' on air (CNN)...trying to determine whether or not the bomb was set off by Al Qaeda depending on the explosive substance...this was within minutes, no-one could possibly know at that point. And immediately the assumption that it was terrorism. All very interesting.

At 6.12pm, we had boarded the plane and were awaiting Dallas for the long haul home. Quite an unanticipated end to the Chicago trip. 

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