An off day. The weather prediction for the next couple of days did not look good for us. Temps still dropping and possible rain. But for the moment it was at least tolerable, and by about 1:30 we were headed out for a bite to eat and to do some shopping on the marvelous Miracle Mile of Michigan Av. We ate at a place right next door to the hotel called Pierot Gourmet. They offered both breakfast and lunch, and I opted for the smoked salmon frittata while Rose Lane went for the grilled chicken salad with butternut squash and pumpkin seeds. Both were good choices. Then we walked up to the corner and turned on to Michigan. We hit Sax Fifth Ave first, and then spied an Apple store. I bought a 120 gig Lacie hard drive so I could back up my Mac, and Rosie got some CD roms. We killed some time there and then went to Neiman Marcus for a short look, and on to Ralph Lauren. Rose Lane wanted me to buy some black pants to go with my new RL western jacket that I would be wearing for the Seattle event, and in addition to that she suggested a nice sweater that she picked out for me. From there we went to the Water Tower shops and hit Macy’s. I needed some sox and underwear and found most of what I wanted there as well as a neat black suede shirt that was on sale. Rosie scored a scarf and a couple of other things. By then we were shopped out and went back to the Peninsula.
For dinner we wanted to go to one of our favorites…the 110 Bistro. The concierge made us a reservation and we had a drink in the bar before our 8pm seating. We had a good meal, in spite of the fact that they were out of the two dishes I really wanted. We both wound up getting a steak. It’s a really good place, and we try to eat there at least once every time we’re in Chi Town.
Being pretty tired we made an easy night of it, surfing the tube and reading some before bed.
Well, it looks like we’ll be paying some dues at the show tonight. Prediction is for 33 degrees and possible rain. It was raining already. Not good. Also, they were looking for a windy night with gusts up to about 30-mph. Not good. Rose Lane had arranged to have lunch with a couple of our friends…Pat Boyer and Kris Collum. I would skip that and work on my speech a little bit, then go to the show early. I wanted one of the techs to help me back up my computer with the hard drive I had purchased. I got Dave Rouze and Will Alexander to help me with that, although we could not get the software that Dave had to work on my Powerbook. We wound up using the software provided by Lacie, but it does not allow for “incremental backup”, meaning that the next time I wanted to back it up, instead of just “seeing” the changes made on the computer from the previous backup, it would want to go through the whole procedure of backing up from scratch. But Dave said he would make sure we had the software the next time and in the future would have the incremental backup feature. The good news is that now I’m all backed up and won’t be worried about losing my data.
Our guests tonight would be many…Pat and Kris; Dave Schumann and his friend Andy; Bill and Kathy Doyle (Bill is CEO of the Potash Corp and a good friend) and their guests; John Malloy, a friend and client of Charlane Plantation; Brad Hall, a friend of our pal Bill Miller and also a hunter; and Dan Joyce from the HMS Host company. There were a few other “friends of friends” attending as well. We made the rounds to say hello to as many as we could. It was really crowded. I had done the set list with Mick earlier, and convinced him to finally get “She Was Hot” in there. So we had a little rehearsal in Keith’s room to run over that and a couple of other tunes. We would be pretty adventurous tonight…. starting with “You Got Me Rocking” and doing songs like “Sway”, “Live With Me”, “Monkey Man” and “…Hot”.
When we hit the stage, we knew we were in for it. God was it cold! Luckily the rain had spared us and the skies were clear, but the temp was brutal. It was freezing right from the start, and my hands (as well as everyone else’s) went numb by the third song or so. The audience looked more like they were dressed for a Bears game than a Stones show…with lots of knit hats, heavy coats and scarves. But we all braved it and put on a damn good set. The wind was really whipping around, and there were times when I literally shuttered from head to toe from the chill. Riding out to the B Stage was the worst…with the wind hitting us hard. It was without a doubt the coldest show we’ve ever done…. and there have been some other cold ones!
It took a while to thaw out afterwards, but thaw out we did. Pat and Kris wanted to hang out with us some, and we went down to the lobby to meet them. For some reason even though it was only about 11:30, they would not serve us drinks in the Lobby restaurant. There was a cigar bar open, but there was no way any of us wanted to tolerate that, so we went up to our room. I had scored several bottles of wine at the gig and we popped them open. Tim Ries called and was looking for a hang…so we invited him as well. He came down and said he had some friends coming and would we mind them joining in….it was a couple of girls that he had involved in one of his recent shows…a flamenco dancer/clapper named Grace and her friend Tara. We all had a grand time talking and listening to music…and at one point Grace even did a bit of flamenco for us as we clapped out a rhythm she showed us. It all made for a very fun if long night….and by the time we called it off it must have been close to 4am. Great fun!
One more off day in the Windy City. I did the gym…and a really nice gym it is…for a good hour and a half. Then we did lunch at the Pierot Gourmet again. We ventured out for a little while, but the winds were so bad that we didn’t last long. We hit Borders Books and Rosie bought a few things to read and went over to Neiman’s again for a while. I left her there as I wanted to go work on my speech some more. I tackled that for a while, trying to edit it down with some success. Still need to cut some lines, but will get that done in plenty of time. When Rose Lane got back we just relaxed for a bit doing emails and watching the tube some. At dinnertime we decided on the Ralph Lauren Grill. She had had lunch there with Pat and Kris and wanted us to try it for dinner. It was very good…but quite crowded and loud. The decor was as you might expect…very “Lauren” country classic. I think this is the only restaurant he has…. but can see that it’s very successful and I would imagine there would be more to come.
After that we did our packing in the room for the departure the next day. Spin would pick up the bags early…at 9:30 and we would leave at 12:30 headed for Seattle.