Here I thought that I would be doing the first flight relatively alone in terms of people going from Chicago to London. But apparently I wasn't the only one who took advantage of the great deals at the end of the low season. Next to me at check-in was a family of six on my right and a family of three on my left all looking to get to London Gatwick.
Actually as I just looked again as they walked out of the terminal it was two twenty-something women who were checking in next to me.
The absolute first picture that I took and one of the great paradoxes of American advertising. This is an ad for a lighter under a no smoking sign still at the Clinton stop. I wanted to know what kind of advertising was in the London Underground when I got there (4/14/05; 1:10 p.m.)
I'm hoping that I'm sicking closer to the mid-life hippie chicks than the family because the latter were positively clueless. Northwest now requires that you scan your passport through a reader at the self check-in. It was something that the matriarch of the family couldn't seem to grasp and she required assistance from the attendant like it was the self checkout like at Jewel.
The second picture I took for this England trip. I saw the original "Fever Pitch" with Colin Firth in November of 2003 and it rekindled my interest in the English Premiership. That night was the seed for the entire trip to England. When I saw this sign in the Clinton stop of the Chicago El's blue line, I just had to capture it. I even made plans in advance that if I caught the American version of "Fever Pitch" playing at any theater in England, I was going to watch it to come full circle (4/14/05; 1:11 p.m.)
I hope to be nowhere near them because I don't want to be associated with other "dumb Americans." Maybe staying away from the tourist traps will help that. My behavior on the way to the airport certainly won't.
Before I left for the airport completely, I had one last stop to make in Chicago, North Community Bank on Damen. Checking my balance one last time I took out $140.00 U.S. hoping that this would make it through my first day in London. Or, at least until it came time to check into the hostel. One of the amazing things about the Damen stop is the amazing elevated view of the west side of the Chicago skyline (4/14/05; 1:43 p.m.)
Before I had even left the Clinton stop my camera was at the ready. Should anyone have asked, I would have told them that I was a masters student doing a project on comparitive advertising (I plan on taking pictures on the tube just like I did on the El). But in reality I was just documenting the trip from the start and trying out my camera.
My final chariot to Chicago's O'Hare Airport comes out of the tunnel between the Division and Damen stops on the blue line (4/14/05; 1:45 p.m.)
I even thought to myself, "I'm not a dumb American tourist, I'm just an American tourist who likes to take pictures." Time will prove which half of the that statement is actually true.