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Christmas in Detroit and Chicago

Four friends of mine came over at Christmas to be with me and to see something interesting of the USA. Most of the time we stayed in Royal Oak/Detroit, but we also visited Chicago (2-day trip) and we went to see the hockey game at Joe Louis Arena! (Detroit Red Wings vs. Ohio Blue Jackets) on the New Year’s Eve. It was AWESOME!!

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: My best friends and I in Chicago. From left to right: Magda, Tonda, Mirek, Maruska, and me, center.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005, 7:55 am: For my friends it all started at the Prague Airport Ruzyne.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005: Prague Ruzynì airport

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005: Maruska and Tonda at London Heathrow airport.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005: Mirek and Tonda at London Heathrow airport.

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Dec. 23, 2005: We were watching the screen showing us where we were. Just overflying Greenland.

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Dec. 23, 2005: How much longer??

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005: On the plane we had varied and delicious menu.

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Dec. 23, 2005: We are here!! Landed safely ...

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005: Jari´s house on Hudson Av.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005: Finally got home!! My friends unpacked the Czech flag, so I covered up with and felt absolutely happy having them all on Hudson Av.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 23, 2005: It' s a bedtime:-))

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: The very next morning we went to Nello's to have a typical American brunch.

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Dec. 24, 2005: ... oh, sheer overeating ... but it' s sooooo good!! Marie, Magda, Jari and Tonda

Christmas in the USA Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: ... hmm ... and a strawberry milkshake - Jari's favorite:-)) Mirek, Marie and Tonda

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: And we went some shopping to prepare all that stuff for Christmas Eve dinner. We stopped on Woodward Av. at Florist store to get some coniferous tree tree branches, because we did not have a Christmas tree.

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Dec. 24, 2005: Christmas decoration in my neighborhood.

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Dec. 24, 2005: And what we cooked for Christmas dinner? Menu: Talapia and white fish soup (replacement of a carp) and fried white fish and talapia fish with home made potatoes salad.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: Our little, but cute Christmas tree.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: ... and Christmas presents ...

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: We invited Barbara, a Math teacher from Lahser, to share Czech-American Christmas Eve with us.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: Mirek: What could be inside this BIG BOX?

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: Marie: What a surprise!!

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: And the best comes in the end. All of us covered with American flag patterned scarves Barbara gave us.

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Dec. 24, 2005: After dinned we headed for the First United Methodist Church to Birmingham for Christmas Eve Night Service. It was glorious ...

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: Jari, wrapped up as a Christmas present:-))

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: Magda, wrapped up as a Christmas present:-))

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 24, 2005: Good night, lady...:-))

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 25, 2005: Christmas day, brunch at Linda´s house. We felt at home with Linda and her family.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 25, 2005: Mary and I and Justin.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 25, 2005: Leaving for Royal Oak.

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Dec. 25, 2005: On our way home.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 25, 2005: Hudson Av.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 26, 2005: Amtrak Wolverine 351 train pulls out of the Royal Oak station at 7:00 am. Destination: Chicago. The trip: about 5,5 hours.

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Dec. 26, 2005: Aboard!

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Dec. 26, 2005: From our train we saw many interesting places.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 26, 2005: At noon we finally arrived at our destination.
Chicago "city of the Big Shoulders". Chicago, the third largest city in the US is world famous for magnificant architecture, political history and as a national transportation hub. A city of almost 3 milion people is on lake Michigan, and waterways and later, railroad lines made Chicago a natural link between the Midwest and the East.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 26, 2005: How to get to the hotel?

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Dec. 26, 2005: International Hostel - The Arlington House. After spending sometime searching for the best way how to get to our hotel we finaly got there.

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Dec. 26, 2005: The elaborate Queen Anne-style houses on West Arlington Place

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Dec. 26, 2005: Inside of our hostel.

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Dec. 26, 2005: Soon we left our hostel to look for Chicago downtown.

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Dec. 26, 2005: Chicago´s downtown at night. Chicago´s skyline is characterized by high-rises, both modern and historic buildings.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 26, 2005: And of course we couldn´t omit Chicago´s shopping.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 26, 2005: Chicago´s latest fashion.

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Dec. 27, 2005: Here is the view from navy pier entrance. Chicago´s skyline is unique!

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Dec. 27, 2005: Here we got some great photos of Navy Pier and ourselves.

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Dec. 27, 2005: Navy Pier is a bustling recreational and cultural center. Originally a municipal wharf, the pier was used for naval training durign world war II. Navy Pier Park has a 150 ft (45 m) Ferris wheel; old fashioned carousel; outdoor amphitheater; ice skating; miniature golf; and IMAX 3D theater.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: The gang is coming ...

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Ahoj, Cau - We are so lively here!!!

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Magda with her Chicago´s stuff.

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Dec. 27, 2005: All for one and one for all!

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Boys and I

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Girls and I, anchored firmly

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Dec. 27, 2005: The Lighthouse of Chicago

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Dec. 27, 2005: Pleasure boats

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Dec. 27, 2005: The Illinois, American and Chicago´s flags.

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Dec. 27, 2005: Sears Tower. At a hight of 1,454 ft (443 m), this is one of the tallest buildings in the world. Opened in 1974, was designed Bruce Graham. Today, the tower contains 3.5 milions sq ft (0.3 milion sq m) of office space, more than 100 elevators. It also contains approximately 43,000 ft (13,100 m) of telephone cable, almost enough to encircle the Earth twice.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Magda trying to see the top of the Sears Tower.

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Dec. 27, 2005: Views from the glass-enclosed observation deck on the 103rd floor are stunning. We were walking around the Skydeck and the view was amazing! From the tower top you can see Chicago´s tallest buildings as for example John Hancock Tower ("Big John"), The Standard Oil Building ("Big Stan") and others. On a clear day you can see four states - Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: The top of the Sears and I

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: The top of the Sears and Mirek

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Sears Tower - World' s tallest building until 1996. Opened in 1973, took 3 years to build. The Sears Tower continues to be the tallest building in the North America. It is 1,450 feet (443 meters) high - 1,730 feet (520 meters) including twin antenna towers. Approximately 25,000 people enter the building each day.

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Dec. 27, 2005: You can see many architectural landmarks if you visit the Loop. The Loop is Chicago´s downtown area (it got its name because Chicago´s elevated railway makes a circle, or loop around it).

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Dec. 27, 2005: After sightseeing we got hungry ... would you like a taste of typical Chicago´s pizza?

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Dec. 27, 2005: Art Institute of Chicago. The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection at this museum, one of the most important in the country, is world famous. The museum was founded by civic leaders and art collectors in 1879 as the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, changing its name to The Art Institute of Chicago in 1882.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Maruska in The Art Institute of Chicago

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Dec. 27, 2005: Chicago Union Station at night. Leaving for Detroit. Tired, but full of experiences and impressions.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 27, 2005: Guess who it is. :-))

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Dec. 28, 2005: We are home! Tonda and Mirek helping with housework on a garbage collection day.

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Dec. 29, 2005: Thursday was devoted to guided Detroit tour with Mary. We stoped for a few minutes at one of the first Ford´s factory buildings.

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Dec. 29, 2005: On our way to Detroit downtown we could see some Detroit´s architectural landmarks.

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Dec. 29, 2005: Comerica Park - home to Detroit´s Tigers (baseball)

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Dec. 29, 2005: Detroit downtown

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Dec. 29, 2005: Mary wanted us to learn by experience and took us to Detorit´s bar to have some beer.

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Dec. 29, 2005: Detroit´s People Mover. It goes around downtown.

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Dec. 29, 2005: These are photos taken from People Mover.

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Dec. 29, 2005: Greek town is one of the Detroiters´ favourite destination where they shop, dine and just enjoy their life.

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Dec. 29, 2005: In Mary´s car.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 29, 2005: Belle Isle - Detroit in the distance.

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Dec. 29, 2005: Last visit of that day - Detroit´s brewery.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 29, 2005: Later that night we had our friends taste the Czech strongest spirit - slivovice. They did like it!

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Dec. 30, 2005: End of season sale in Birmingham downtown let us do some shopping and Tonda was willing to carry our bags. It was a treat!

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Dec. 31, 2005: Kilwin´s Birmingham shop. Thanks Mary, we got a unique opportunity to observe chocolate fudge step by step production (using only the finest and freshest ingredients) with our own eyes.

Christmas in the USA

Dec. 31, 2005: Finally, we tasted at about thirty kinds of ice-cream.

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Dec. 31, 2005: Getting ready to celebrate New Year´s Eve. We made a lot of open sandviches.

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Dec. 31, 2005: During Sunday we got excited to go to Joe Louis Arena for a game. We were crazy about being Detroit Red Wings fans. We even made some posters to support "our team" and Czech players who play for Detroit.

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Dec. 31, 2005: The game is on ...

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Dec. 31, 2005: ... and over!

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Dec. 31, 2005: At home preparing the midnight toast, feeling extremely happy ...

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Jan. 1, 2006: ... until we found that the champagne was non-alcoholic ...

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Jan. 1, 2006: ... but it couldn´t take our fency of dancing, laughing and having fun.

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Jan. 1, 2006: Happy New Year 2006!!!

Christmas in the USA

Jan. 1, 2006: It´s hard to say good-bye and pack all these happy memories ...

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