Yesterday we were going to go back to the Art Institute, but we woke up to beautiful sunny skies and the forecast said sun, 74 degrees and low humidity, so we opted for the Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour instead.

Lis had read nothing but good things about this tour while doing her (extensive) research for our trip, and our initial tour-guide cabbie had said that all of his fares had raved about it, so we were planning to do it if we could.

We followed our now-regular pattern of lying about in the morning and doing our outing in the afternoon. For lunch, we went to Lawry’s, where Cathy and Claudia had eaten dinner our first night in town. It is a very staid, English-country-house-dark-wood-interior type of place; just what we needed after the hipness of The James (though The James has been growing on us, after we adjusted to all its faults – we are loving our loft and media room!). The prime rib was very good, and instead of bread they gave us home made potato chips that were FANTASTIC and (unfortunately) addictive.

We made our way to the Chicago River in plenty of time for our 3pm tour, and boarded the boat (sadly, I didn’t get her name). We were early enough that we were able to get a good seat on the outside of the upper viewing deck. The docent was an older man, and at first I was afraid he was going to be boring – while we were waiting to set sail, he told us about some of Chicago’s early history at a level of detail that did not bode well. But, once he started talking about the buildings, all was well – he was enthusiastic and informed and funny in a geeky way, and we had a great time, and I took a million pictures (you can view a severely culled but still way-too-many collection of these photos here).

One of the things I really liked about the tour (other than being out on the water on a beautiful day) was his enthusiasm for modern architecture. I’ve never gotten modern architecture – they just look like boring boxes to me. But he clearly loved modern architecture, and was able to explain what was great about each building in a way that you could really see it.

There was one building in particular where this talent was in evidence. It was a bleak, utiliarian thing, and he said that most of the other docents, if they mentioned it at all, joked “Look away! Look at those buildings over there!” But he had a fondness for it, and pointed out its various features, and while it never stopped being unattractive, you could see what he was talking about. Plus, I was glad that the poor homely building, surrounded by beauties, had someone who loved it. :)

After our tour, we split up – Lis went to the Architecture Foundation store, and I went back to the hotel. Lis joined me about an hour later, and we went out in search of dinner. We ended up at The Big Bowl, and found that we had had a misunderstanding – I thought we were getting take out, and Lis thought we were eating there. We weren’t sure what to do, as I was really tired and wanted to go back, but Lis had been really wanting to have a drink with dinner. But then I remembered that we had our purloined airplane rum in the room – how about we get some OJ or something, and have drinks there? OK.

So, we got our food to go, and then I took the food back to the room and Lis went to Trader Joe’s to get some juice (those of you who are Lis’ Facebook friends know how this story ends). After a few minutes the room doorbell rang. I answered it and there was my sweetie, looking a bit shaken and clutching a tattered juice bottle – “I hurt myself,” she said, limping in to the room and showing me her abraded arm. “What happened?!?” “I tripped coming out of Trader Joe’s.”

She had skinned up her elbow and wrist, skinned and bruised her knee, and bruised her pinky finger. She had dirt on her chin and nose, but that washed off. Poor sweetie!

We washed her up and put neosporin on everything, called room service for some ice in a couple plastic bags, and then sat down to eat. She took ibuprofin and iced everything, had her dearly-bought drink, and then we settled down to another movie in the Media Room, this time Sleepless in Seattle. As before, it was pretty AWESOME – this time Lis was prompted to actually price the projector thingy (approx $1,300).

I’m happy to report that this morning Lis was not nearly as stiff and sore as she had feared, and that she should heal up nicely.