Winding between skyscrapers in the Windy City

After a whirlwind of a first day in Chicago, my wife and I were looking for a relaxing way to spend our second night in the Windy City.

By happenstance, we passed a Chicago Architecture Foundation store on Michigan Avenue and decided to pop in. The foundation offers various tours of the city, and after some back-and-forth we settled on the River Cruise.

As far as spontaneous decisions go, it was one of the best I've ever made. The cruise was worth every bit of the $46 price of admission.

The hour-and-a-half journey on the Chicago River takes you past many of the skyscrapers that shape the city's skyline. Our guide explained the history behind the buildings and the architects who designed them.

We went on a day when there wasn't a cloud in the sky, so at some points I struggled to make out the finer points of the buildings while not damaging my eyesight in the sun's rays.

All in all, though, it was a great journey, and one I highly recommend to anyone visiting Chicago.

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The grandson from China

I recently returned to the U.S. to attend my grandfather’s funeral in northwestern Michigan. My grandfather Ed was well liked, and friends and family came from all over — Nevada, California, Ohio and even Canada — to pay their respects.

Perhaps it’s because I live so far away, but I was repeatedly introduced as “the grandson from China,” which led to a lot of questions. Isn’t China becoming more capitalist? (Absolutely.) Do the Chinese celebrate Christmas? (Only in a commercial sense.) Have you eaten dog? (No.) But would you try it if you were served dog? (No, really I wouldn’t.) Continue reading