Illinois looked more or less the same as Iowa until we reached Chicago. It is the first visit to Chicago for Lukas and the third one for me. Friends that I have made during Lithuanian school work trips are always waiting for me and my family with open arms and a list of activities.

This time our stay in Chicago was defined by nighttime walks through an empty downtown, sailing with the cityscape in the background and meeting the morning news reporters we just saw on TV on our way for breakfast.

During our stay the Chicago downtown was looted so the next evening the downtown was isolated by pulling up the bridges for safety. Unfortunately, we were staying downtown and everything was closed so there was no fun to be had in the evening. To be honest, entertainment was very limited on all the days. But we did get to experience an empty city like in the movie "The Omega Man" or its remake "I Am Legend".

Speaking of movies, we also visited the house and the chapel from the timeless Christmas classic "Home Alone". Even though the house was huge and pretty, you would not be able to tell it was actually anything special or different from the other surrounding mansions. Maybe the movie is too old by now and no one cares anymore.

And of course we had to visit the Lithuanian church, eat a bunch of Cepelinai at Grand Dukes restaurant and take a picture of the Darius and Girėnas monument.

In the end, Chicago felt like a midwest town that just grew too big. The size of the buildings is, of course, amazing, but from our experience the mentality of the people was the same both in Chicago and the other towns we passed with populations in the hundreds.