Ellen and I spent a few days in Chicago last week for a spring break vacation. We traveled there and back on the Amtrak train out of Red Wing. The Red Wing train station is a beautiful building and has been cared for over the years. The city was prepared for flooding from the Mississippi River and had installed sand bags around parts of the station. I talked to the train clerk and learned that the flood waters did not go nearly as high as anticipated, but it was still wise for them to be prepared for a flood. The train crew did inform me that they had to reduce train speed through parts of North Dakota where flooding was more intense.

Due to the threats of a winter snow and ice storm, and with the train leaving at 9:00AM,  we decided to spend Tuesday night in Red Wing to make sure we made the train connection. We stayed at the beautiful St. James Hotel, directly across the street from the Red Wing train station.What a wonderful old river hotel! The building is well preserved and has been renovated to serve modern traveling needs. We especially enjoyed the historic lobby of the hotel which appears to be preserved exactly as it must have looked when the hotel opened. It includes a pipe organ and a nice library area.

Once in Chicago we took an architectural river tour on the Chicago River. The docent was excellent, informing us about many of the wonderful buildings visible from the river. Some photos….

We also had a chance to attend a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field is a wonderful outdoor baseball park. It has a true feeling of old time baseball. The scoreboard in the outfield still has the numbers changed by had by someone stationed in back of the scoreboard. The outfield wall is brick with nice hanging ivy type plants growing on it. And of course, there is ‘rooftop Wrigley’ where people sit in bleachers on the roofs of buildings across the street from Wrigley Field.

We had a wonderful time visiting Chicago and would recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting the Windy City.