Chicago. Where is the Wind? Sep 22-23 (Days 23-24)

We had such a lovely two days in Chicago it’s hard to imagine the Windy City will shut down with ice and snow in a matter of months.

First stop was a visit with Vic and Karen Bach and our niece Maddie. She is a bundle of energy, demonstrating gymnastics for us on her trampoline.

Maddie has become a human Van der Graff machine. Look at her hair.

Maddie has become a human Van der Graaf generator. Look at her hair. Click to enlarge.

We heard that she loved art. We didn’t realize how good she is! This is her drawing of a cow she made for Grandpa Bach.

It looks like a fantastic cow to us!

It looks like a fantastic cow to us!

Someday we will be seeing her art on gallery walls, not just Mom and Dad’s living room. Great job, Maddie. Thanks for a very pleasant visit, Vic and Karen.

Notice Maddie's versions of Van Gogh, Degas, and Monet too.

Notice Maddie’s versions of Van Gogh, Degas, and Monet and a  near-photo drawing of Twinkles, her dog.

The mayors of New York and Chicago have had a running debate over which city has better pizza. New York has thin crust pizza and Chicago’s is definitely not thin! So we had to stop for Chicago deep-dish pizza, this one from Giordano’s, to see what the hullabaloo was about.  This one was pretty good!

Jon Stewart says it's a pizza casserole that even his dog wouldn't eat1

Jon Stewart says it’s a pizza casserole that even his dog wouldn’t eat. We enjoyed it.

We visited La Rabida, a children’s hospital that Danny and Susan Real have supported for over 20 years. Originally a tuberculosis recovery center on the waters of Lake Michigan, it now provides chronic and out-patient pediatric care for kids from south Chicago. The very caring workers serve a noble cause.

The  kids here are on the SS La Rabida, a cruise ship for  compassionate care.

The kids here are on the SS La Rabida, a cruise ship for compassionate care.

Danny and Susan are in downtown Chicago, overlooking the waterfront. We walked to Grant Park. I couldn’t find Grant, but did find another president.

Who's sitting in Grant Park? Lincoln.

Who’s sitting in Grant Park? Lincoln.

The Buckingham Fountain is very popular.

Looks a bit like the Jet d'Eau in Geneva.

Looks a bit like the Jet d’Eau in Geneva.

Nancy made a new friend.

First kiss. (Sculpture by Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir )

First kiss. (Sculpture by Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir )

And this look back at Chicago from the lake was impressive.

What a skyline!

What a skyline!

The Reals took us to one of Oprah’s favorite restaurants, Table Fifty-two, where we spoke with celebrity chef Art Smith. We were too timid to take a picture of the chef, but we did get photos of the food.

Who knew catfish could look and taste this good?

Who knew catfish could look and taste this good?

Danny and Susan, thanks for your hospitality.

We left Chicago and  headed north through Wisconsin along the western shore of Lake Michigan. We wanted to stop for lunch at Kohler where the PGA was held in 2010, but Google Maps refused to find a town of Kohler and instead routed us to Sheboygan. We found out Kohler is a giant factory, not a town.

Kohler, the prettiest factory we've ever seen.

Kohler, the prettiest factory we’ve ever seen.

Check your bathroom and you might find a Kohler fixture. The family-run business has been in operation for 137 years and makes vitreous china in fashion colors for bathroom and kitchen fixtures. It’s not just functional, but an art form.

Mamie Eisenhower liked pink, so that was the color of sinks in the '50s.

These are fixtures! Mamie Eisenhower liked pink, so that was the color of sinks in the ’50s.

We ate at a restaurant at the American Club across from the factory. Unlike the membership-only American Club experiences we had overseas, this was a building created to welcome the immigrants who came to work in the Kohler factory and help them achieve the status of American citizenship. That contribution to building America might be the longest-lasting fixture that the company built.

From here it’s on to Marinette and Menominee.

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