It was a short drive today, which was a relief, because we were expecting rain. We awoke early, as we have all through the trip, and saw that the weather channel was calling for rain between St. Louis and Chicago. But what really caught our attention was the revelation that tornados and thunder storms were called for in the zone between Amarillo and Oklahoma City. We are truly blessed on this trip. We missed the tornado warning by 1 day.

When we started our journey in St. Louis this morning, it was raining. This concerned me mainly because I still needed to get our “Melen North American Tour” picture under the Arch. We made our way down to the riverside, and fortunately, there was a tented structure across from the Arch.

I spent a few minutes setting up and figuring out how to make this shot work. When you are that close to something that big, in wet weather, it makes the composition a bit tougher. I think we got the shot I wanted, and then off we went for our trip to Chicago.
Helen has never been to Chicago. I’ve been many times on business, and way too many times through O’Hare (the 2nd busiest airport in the world). But this trip was pure pleasure, and I was looking forward to it.

The GPS did a great job (again) getting us to the hotel. We checked in with no fuss, and checked in at home. We wanted to see Chicago from a high vantage point, so we trekked off to the Sear’s Tower, which at one point was the tallest building in the world. It’s no longer the tallest, having been surpassed by buildings in Malaysia, Taipai and most recently, Dubai. The fact that these contests apparently include the height of their antennae make this a bit of a joke. But the boys in Dubai are going All In. That building is massive. It must take you half your work day just to get up and down it.

By the time we did the “History of the Sears Tower” film, and looked around up top, it was getting close to dinner time.

We headed back to the Fairmont in a taxi, and while we were en route, a large white limo pulled up next to us. Helen was sure that Oprah was inside. I have no data to refute her claim, so I will agree that it was Oprah.

Tomorrow is our first non-driving day since Helen arrived last Friday. I’m looking forward to just relaxing for a day before heading home. I can’t wait to see our kids again. This was a long trip, even my my standards. But they are clearly enjoying their time with Grandma and Papa.

Tomorrow, Helen wants to tour the “Magnificent Mile”. That reminds me, I have to cut up my credit cards tonight :P

We were reflecting over dinner about how lucky we are, and what an incredible experience this trip has been. I’m so happy this “crazy idea” I had way back became reality, because I’ve seen and experienced things that money can’t buy, and got to spend a week all alone with the girl I love. You can’t beat that!