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Big Birthday – Piano Man

On Friday I passed a milestone in my life, which in all honesty, I haven’t yet got my head around. We were in Chicago, which made me happy, and a lunch at one of our favourite old haunts in the sun, was followed by an unknown sequence of surprises in the evening.

The secretive-other-half had given me some hints, which turned up a blank, but she was in a real hurry for us to get out of the hotel at 5pm and into a cab south of the city.

The reason was that we had a helicopter to catch. The two of us having a private sky top tour with Travis our guide and pilot of Chicago’s awe-inspiring skyline as we fluttered, lingered and sped over its skyscrapers, spotting every well known nook and cranny and some others less familiar.

It was 15 minutes of exhilarating fun and if it was harder for me to love the Windy City even more than I do, then somehow I now do after seeing it’s beauty from the roof tops.

imageBack in a cab, we stopped at The Bar in the Peninsula Hotel, which has always held good memories for us. For an hour and a half we people watched, stuffed our faces with bar snacks, and drunk cocktails, before we were back in a cab heading north.

One of the clues I was given was ball park. I knew that the Cubs were away, but it started to make sense when as we closed in on the iconic Wrigley Park, thousands of people were making their way to the famous stadium.

Tonight the Cubs were not headlining the ‘friendly confines’ but Billy Joel was and as we pushed our way onto the heaving and throbbing field, 42,000 others had joined my birthday celebrations to come out to see him.

Joel was incredible knocking out an extraordinary amount of hits, one after the other (his 14 albums have sold 150 million copies). There was no pyrotechnics or high tech, just Billy, his rotating piano and his band, oh and 42,000 fans, of all ages, going crazy for almost 3 hours.

Joel added to his huge play list his rendition of My Kinda Town, ending by saying “I miss Frank.” Joel asked the crowd to vote on different songs, and then there were all the favourites including ‘Just the way you are,’ Uptown Girl,’ and the inimitable ‘Piano Man.’

Our seats, not that we used them, were on the field and it was also really cool to see Wrigley packed all around us. It was a milestone occasion for a milestone birthday!

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Russell Twine #

    Hi CA

    Wow, I’m sure the helicopter ride was amazing. Closest I got was buying the excellent ‘Above Chicago’ book by Cameron. I bet you already own a copy, if not it’s fascinating with all the old as well as new photographs.

    As you know I also think Chicago is a great city. I can’t understand why it’s not a more popular destination with us Brits. Just the right size for a 4/5 day visit. Fantastic sightseeing, night life and sports.



    August 29, 2016
    • Hi Russell, nice to hear from you. I have always said that about Brits and Chicago. Bet it doesn’t feature on most people’s Must see North American top 20’s.

      I will need to search for that book by the way.

      August 30, 2016
  2. happy Birthday Simon!

    August 29, 2016
  3. Peter #

    Happy Birthday Simon – Here’s to many more

    August 29, 2016
  4. anotherdean #

    Happy birthday, CA, what a wonderful way to celebrate a “biggie”!

    August 30, 2016
  5. LP #

    Now had it been Bruce i would have been properly jealous. Belated birthday wishes. X

    August 31, 2016
  6. Martin Cowan #

    Happy birthday CA. Sounds like you had a great day.

    September 1, 2016

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