Showing posts from February, 2017

Chicago Day 1, In the Loop, 17th February 2017

We landed at O'Hare airport late on the Thursday night and Michael, Anne's son, drove us to his apartment in a northern suburb of Chicago. It is a pleasant residential area with older houses which are all individual. Mike's building dates from the early 20th century. He is on the 4th floor with no elevators and we always dreaded the moment we arrived back to climb the stairs after walking miles around the town. For the record here is a picture of Michael's building, rather nice I think you would agree.

The next day we were anxious to get into the city. Michael has spent a lot of time walking the streets of Chicago and knows the architecture very well. He proved to be an expert guide. We walked down to his closest 'El' station. The El is Chicago's metro system, and is very effective and very cheap, we paid $28 for a week's unlimited travel. The trains mainly run on elevated sections. which is fascinating to watch in the centre of the city. The first par…

New Smyrna Beach, 16th February 2017

It was the last morning before Anne and I were due to fly to Chicago. But the flight was not until later in the afternoon and we did not wish to waste the day. So Anne planned a quick visit to New Smyrna Beach, the closest to her home, about a 45 minute drive away. New Smyrna is just north of Titusville and Cape Canaveral, on the west side of Indian River and the Intracoastal Waterway This is the only beach in the area you can actually drive on to, but we took the boardwalk path down to the sand instead. The sun was strong for February although the stiff breeze meant that a tee shirt was not enough. We were lucky to see a pod of dolphin fishing off the shore, too far away to photograph, but there were pelicans, egrets, gulls and royal terns who were more obliging.

The Morse Museum, 15th February 2017

The Morse Museum is an imposing edifice which stands on the main street in Winter Park. It was created by Jeannette McKean, granddaughter of a Chicago industrialist Charles Hosmer Morse. In 1957 Jeannette's husband Hugh learnt that Laurleton Hall, the estate of Louis Tiffany the glass artist had burnt down. Tiffany had created Laurelton Hall on Long Island and it was used for the study of art as well as being Tiffany's residence. Hugh himself had been a student there. Tiffany followed the sentiment of the Arts and Crafts movement established by William Morris, but because of his personal fortune managed to make a commercial success of it. Laurelton Hall was no ordinary mansion but had been designed by Tiffany as a work of art in itself. He designed the interior and the paintings he collected were also displayed there. After Tiffany's death in 1933 the family fortune reversed and most of the art and glass work was sold off before the fire in 1957, that  gutted the building…