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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Museum visit and more

Saturday evening we went to a local restaurant, where we had a very nice dinner with the Hassmans. The junior member of the party, Nolan, aged 5 months, attracted everybody's attention. Cute (and quiet) kid. Joyce and Pat had traveled all the way from Rockford, and it was great to see everybody again. Since I have done too much shopping, I handed over some of my belongings to Nancy. I will meet them again in a few weeks.

Sunday I went by train to Chicago, this time to go to a museum. The Chicago History Museum is a newly renovated place with very interesting displays. I learned there that the name Chicago comes from a wild onion plant. The exhibits covered many aspects of life in the Windy City; the immigrants through the ages, the big fire in 1871 that devastated 18 000 houses, the World's Fair in 1893, inventions, Chicago architecture, steel and meat industries, race riots, jazz and blues music, sports and Native Americans. The special exhibit contained fancy designer dresses from the 1920s and on.

In the evening we had dinner at Colonial, a restaurant with a long history. It was started in 1901 by Swedish immigrants. The food was very good, but the ice-cream was even better. I had a large cup of vanilla ice-cream with chocolate, peanut butter, whipped cream and M&Ms. Yummy!

Monday I went on the early train again, but this time I got off in Maywood. I visited the library to search for information about my relatives who lived there around 1885-1950. Quite a few people from Norra Strö settled there, and I have always wondered why. I found the city directories from the early years and wrote down all the Swedish-sounding names. There seems to have been three grocery stores, all of them owned by Swedes.

Later in the evening, Ann came over with her family and brought along a delicious crispy cake.

Today I will travel on to Minneapolis, another "Swedish" town.

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