Monday, July 12, 2010

European Vacation Travelogue: Day 16, Transatlantic Travel and a Tornado

So on Day 16 we sadly headed home.

Ten was really looking forward to returning to her best friend and neighbor but the rest of us were quite sad to be leaving and ending the extraordinary trip and special time spent together.

The flight itself, although long, wasn't too bad.

Big and I spent some time playing "hangman" with an interesting twist: He made up the words that I was supposed to guess!

I got to spend some time watching the Temple Grandin movie (played by Claire Danes) which is absolutely fabulous and I highly recommend it.*

We arrived at Chicago O'Hare around 3:00 p.m. expecting to leave around 5:30.

We were fairly exhausted at that point having left our hotel around 10 a.m. Dublin time and arrived at 9:00 p.m. Dublin time.

There was some hint that the airport was having troubles when we heard the luggage guy tell the gal checking the luggage to stop sending luggage back.


Our second hint were the hoards of people and the long lines at restaurants and particularly restaurants with alcohol (which, by that time, we were accustomed to at that hour).

Our third hint were the darkening skies and the guy over the loudspeaker saying that the airport was shutting down due to the tornado in the area.

We finally decided to head to a hotel, give up trying to get home that day, and get some rest. As it turned out, we wouldn't be able to leave Chicago until the next afternoon, so we gave in even more and decide to explore the Shedd Aquarium.

It was a great conclusion to our trip even though at the time we only wished we were home.

On the way over we ran into the public sculptures Agora by Magdalena Abakanowicz.
These were an amazing set of seemingly anonymous, yet distinct--each set of legs was different than the other--overlarge legs walking in all directions. It reminded me of the Dave Matthews Band's song Ants Marching.

When I saw her title Agora, I laughed out loud. How perfect.

And then we headed over to the aquarium with the gorgeous Chicago skyline in the background.

*She, by the way, has a TED talk about autism that is also worth your attention.

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