Day Trip to Chicago

July 6, 1989

Seurat, Cemetery, Cubs

In 1989, Dave was supporting Allison Transmissions in Indianapolis, flying over from Detroit for two days each week. At this time, Southwest Airlines started operating from Detroit's City airport with deeply discounted fares to 4 cities: Chicago, St Louis, Nashville (and Indy) literally $19 each way, non-refundable. Northwest immediately matched the ridiculous price. Dave started same-day commuting to and from Indy as it was actually cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Jesse was just a year old, and our Cincy-Indy long weekend car trip had been unsatisfactory. With lots of willing babysitters in the neighborhood, Dave suggested "day-trips" to Chicago and St Louis, to see a few sights, take in a baseball day game, and then beat it home for bedtime.

The Cubs had only installed lights the previous August, so most of their home games were still played in the afternoon sunshine and, besides, we had already seen the White Sox play at "old" Comisky on a previous trip. Dave decided to rent a car for our day in Chicago, because at the time he was uncomfortable using the "el" trains (but would certainly use the trains today). We scheduled to stop at a nearby cemetery to see the marker for Dave's recently deceased grandfather, to head downtown to see the Art Institute, then out to Wrigley field for the game. From there it would be back to O'Hare for the quick flight home to Detroit.

Art Institute of Chicago

Cubs vs Padres

Art Institute of Chicago

The flight to Chicago was uneventful and we quickly had our car and were on our way to the nearby Cemetery to pay respects to Dave's grandfather (and to take a picture for his mom and dad). After that it was downtown to park the car and visit the museum of art.

We had visited the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979 but were so young and frazzled that we could not enjoy our trip. This time we were able to quickly park the car and head right in to see Seurat's masterpiece "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte". It had become our favorite painting when Dave was required in high school to write a paper about the painting and artist. He was surprised to learn it was located so close by (and not, for instance, in the Lourve). We had both gone to Chicago on various childhood vacations, but nobody had thought to stop to see the art gallery.

But Lyn was most taken by the several nearby rooms, all jammed full of famous Impressionist masterpieces. We sat to just take them all in. Years later, we would make another pilgrimage to these galleries, this time bringing Jesse as part of his home schooling.

When we finished, it was back to the car and onto Wrigley field.

Chicago Day Trip - July 1989

Dave's Grandfather had recently passed away.

Chicago Day Trip - July 1989

Chicago Day Trip - July 1989

Chicago Day Trip - July 1989

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Cubs vs Padres

We drove from the loop out to Wrigley field and parked the car. We must have been an easy mark, as we paid a premium to have a nearby lot and  front row spot (in case of an early exit) and then we bought our tickets from the attendant / scalper. We had a bad experience using the ticket window at Comisky on our last trip to Chicago, so we gladly paid a little extra for "Row 1" seats, only to find they were Row 1 from the main Aisle, not Row 1 to the field as he had implied. But we still had a great time (whenever the hot dog vendors stepped aside).

The stadium was so historic, with the lights only installed the previous year. Dave had previously been to Wrigley field in 1979 to see a Detroit Express soccer game. Needless to say, the crowd was considerably bigger today to see the Cubs. The weather was great and the stadium experience was perfect, from the ivy covered outfield walls and apartment blocks overlooking the field, to the antiquated restrooms.

The game itself was secondary for us, although we were amused that the Padres pitcher was Walt Terrell, who we had watched and rooted for as a Tiger just the previous season.

Chicago - July 1989

Dave enjoyed visiting Wrigley field

Chicago - July 1989

Of course we bought a Cubs hat!

Chicago - July 1989

Chicago - July 1989

Chicago - July 1989

Chicago - July 1989

Walt Terrell pitched for the Padres
Harry Carey led us all in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" 

Chicago - July 1989

Chicago - July 1989

Wrigley field bleachers and historic scoreboard
It was after 4pm, time to beat the crowd to the airport

As the game wound down, the Cubs had an insurmountable 7-3 lead and we were both very worried about getting caught in traffic jams at the ballpark, on the freeway, or at the airport. We took off a little early and made use of our premium "easy out" parking spot. Traffic was light and we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to buy some souvenirs. Then to our surprise, the one thing Dave had not counted on! Our flight was delayed and threatened to be cancelled. With nothing to do but wait, we made telephone arrangements with Lyn's mom to switch off, then settled in at the gate to wait. Eventually, our plane departed and we arrived home after Jesse's bedtime, a little nerve wracked, but with memories to last a lifetime.




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Last Update: February 23, 2003