A perfect day off yesterday. Chicago was wonderfully clear, dry, sunny and warm. Several of us spent the afternoon at Kaminski Park home of the White Sox who squared off with the Houston Astros, the Sox taking it 6-5 in the 10th inning. Sadly, it's no longer called Kaminski Park but U.S. Cellular Field, a most awkward name to the highest bidder. I suspect it will always be Kaminski to most people, including me, even though it's not the original Kaminski that I went to as a child growing up here, but a new park all together. There was plenty of well played baseball on both sides and the usual ball park menu of hot dogs with grilled onions, beer, peanuts, etc. Emmylou, who is a severe baseball addict, was able to swing some fantastic seats a few rows up along the first base line. There couldn't have been a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The only thing nobody thought about was sun block and we all came away looking as if we'd witnessed a nuclear detonation. After the game I took a late afternoon walk along Lake Michigan with my daughter and I can't say enough about what a great city Chicago is, especially in June.
As this tour is not playing Nashville, many of our Nashville friends and family, including my children have made the journey north to join us here for the gig. Mark hosted an intimate buffet last night, good friends, good food and the vibe very relaxed. About 10 o'clock we excused ourselves and took to the street again primarily to find a Walgreen's for aloe gel to soothe our ballpark sunburn. Along the way we stopped at Ghirardelli's for ice creme then continued walking, still not ready to give up this perfect day.
Today....up for breakfast at 8 with my youngest son and daughter while middle son wisely slept. They went on to the aquarium and I back to the room then out for a walk. We all hooked back up around noon and made straight for Downtown Dog for the best hot dog ever. Vienna beef franks done any way you want 'em. They offer a thing called a char dog which is cooked to a blackened outer crust while the inside is hot and juicy, slathered with yellow mustard, sweet and mild chopped onions and brightest green pickle relish I've ever seen. Definitely some food colour in action there. It was a miracle on a bun. Michigan Avenue, Downtown Dog, go there.
Tonight's gig was out doors at the Charter One Pavilion, just off Lake Michigan. It seemed as though everything conspired against us tonight, the cold, the sound, the lighting generator, equipment failures, in ear monitor failures, and human failures. Every once in a while you have one of these gigs where nothing goes right, all you can do is roll with it, laugh and hope tomorrow night is back on track.