blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Visiting Chicago

I'm starting to type this post in the US departures lounge at Ottawa airport where, officially speaking, we're already in the States. Chris has his usual training course materials with him because he'll be giving a course about the safe use of embedded software to the employees of a company that makes feeding tubes for hospitals. It's much the same course as the one he gives to companies who make computer systems for cars, railway signals, or industrial robots; the variety lies in the applications.

Coming through the security checks today we were pleased to see a security man whom we knew, a Rockcliffe Flying Club member. Ottawa airport is quiet today, like the Rideau Centre; Mondays seem to be a good day for travelling, and the weather's fine.

This post is being written on a new laptop that Chris persuaded me to buy -- it's a Chromebook that usually connects to all things Google, but when I'm offline, as I am now (in the air over Carleton Place, having taken off a few minutes ago) I can continue to add words. Only the additions can't be saved until I'm back online. The advantage of having a laptop on my travels is that the keyboard is far easier to use than the a tablet screen. The disadvantage is that a laptop is heavier.

Our hotel is going to be in the town of Lincolnshire -- to a Brit that sounds like a contradiction in terms -- quite a distance from downtown Chicago, but apparently I can take the stopping, $7 Metra train from Prairie View and reach Union Station that way. Union Station is very central. We shall see, tomorrow probably, how well that works. I shall pretend to be a Chicago city girl commuting into work, but when I get there, I'll wander around at leisure.

... This flight is going very fast. I wandered away from this page, did some work on another, looked up, looked down, looked out again through the window, and we are already on the western side of Lake Huron. Chris flew in this direction with his boss in PTN last month on their way to some meetings in Detroit. It took them the best part of a day, on that occasion, and luckily they too had excellent weather for it. By all accounts the flights by Hobbs-Air were much more fun than the meetings. The weather's good today too, which meant that after all we could have taken our own plane, although it would have meant a long journey in limited daylight.

... Continued in the evening, the weather still clear and crisp. We have been for a half hour walk in the neighbourhood which is mostly prosperous business premises set among wide roads in expansive, manicured landscapes, each with its obligatory duckpond, reminding me of the Hangzhou CBD, though without the footpaths. We're on the edge of a locality known as Buffalo Grove, although the buffaloes are long gone, and the groves, such as they are, colourful in an autumnal kind of way, are artificially planted. On the other side of Half Day Drive are detached houses of a vast size.

There's an elegant steak restaurant s, called Sullivan's, on the other side of the surrounding carpark opposite the hotel, where we ate this evening. That was an excellent meal, meticulously prepared and presented. I did like the mustard and lemon flavoured creamed potatoes and am a little tipsy after the Chardonnay, but to dine there every evening or would be overspending.

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