More on Chicago and Expedited TSA Clearance


Following up from our last Travel Explorations, I have a couple of additional notes from my recent Chicago trip.

I’m always pleasantly surprised to find lovely natural spaces in big cities. On my recent Chicago visit, I had the pleasure of hiking on Northerly Island. This is a 91-acre peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan in the Museum campus area. Northerly Island is just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field. The Island features beautiful strolling paths, casual play areas and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. We saw folks fishing in this area and the word is that the fish are biting! My husband took a few minutes to help a young fisherwoman untangle her line.

Many outdoor concerts are held in the area at an attractive pavilion.

It is always inspiring to be aware of the effect one person can have on a city. Chicago’s famous architect and planner Daniel Burnham imagined Northerly Island as one of the northernmost points in a series of manmade islands stretching between Grant and Jackson Parks.

Also on the Chicago lakeshore is Burnham Park. Northerly Island and Burnham Park were selected as the site of Chicago’s second World’s Fair in 1933. Now Burnham Park includes prairies and grasslands , a bird sanctuary and much more along six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Take time during your Burnham Park expedition to have lunch at the Safari Café, where you can also rent a bike!

The Burnham Hotel is also named for this well-known urban planner. A historic hotel in the center of Chicago, it is kitty-corner from Macy’s, which was formerly Marshall Field’s flagship store. I stayed at the Burnham Hotel several years ago. From a corner room, I could see my son, then a student at the School of the Art Museum of Chicago, doing an art performance in the City Hall plaza. The Hotel’s ground floor contains the delightful Atwood Café in an art-deco setting.

It is really terrific that the concrete of the city does not go right up to the lakefront. In addition to Burnham’s leadership, an early 20th century Chicago businessman, A. Montgomery Ward, advocated that the lakefront must be publicly accessible and remain, in his words, “forever open, clear and free.” Ward’s influence led to the protection of the lake shore parks system to this day.

I could talk more about Chicago, one of my favorite large cities, but I want to pass on some other travel information to you.

Are you tired of standing in security lines? The Transportation Security Administration , or TSA, has announced a new application program for TSA Pre-check lanes. This is an opportunity for US citizens to receive expedited screening through the TSA PreCheck lanes at select airports.

I plan to sign up for this. My husband already has this clearance and I’m tired of seeing him whiz through the special pre-check line ahead of me, although I don’t mind reading a book while in line.

For more information on streamlining your security clearance, call 1-866-289-9673.


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