I recently took a week off  the bicycle and relaxed in Chicago. My original plan was to cycle there, but extremely painful leg cramps made me change the plan. I caught up with some friends that used to live in Fort Worth, Texas. It was fantastic to spend time catching up, making jokes and cooking with them. I had the chance to get to know the Hyde Park neighborhood, which I previously hadn’t explored.

 

 

I spent a few days in a very hostel environment where I made some great international connections for future tours. The unflattering photo on the bottom left is Peter, from Glasgow, and he’s cycling Route 66 from Chicago to LA.

 

 

I spent an afternoon at Hubbard Street Dance studios where I was given a tour of the facility from my buddy Zac, who is a former dancer and now works behind the scenes. I also caught up with an old friend from Pittsburgh, who now directs the 2nd company. It had been close to 20 years since we’d seen each other!

 

You might recognize the gal below from my photos of the west coast tour I did in May. Shannon is writing a piece for the blog and will be the first “guest blogger” on Lewis and Clark and Mark.

 

 

 

Years ago I played in Peoria, Il and would drive up to Chicago to audition for summer schools. I remember one of the other students in the car, after noticing the elevated trains, asking if Chicago had subways. One of the parents responded, “Yeah,  and they have Quiznos too!”

The 2nd city was my first big city to visit when I was young and lots of old memories came back during my stay. The family took a train trip to California and back and almost every time you get on a train in America, you go through Chicago. During the layovers we would tour the city and then rush back to Union Station to catch the next train. It was nice to reminisce and create new memories in the course of the week.