Now that we've completed our cram prep session in Houston, Team Solari is headed due north on the first flight to Chicago.
As we (literally) dropped in, Bodin took note of the fairly cloudy weather. It looked like someone had pulled a blanket over the city. We weren't going to let that discourage us! We grabbed our bags and the prototypes and headed for our lodging. Time for a dry run for our on the go Tour setup. Remember - Solari Cooker is fully portable, so we had to be as well :)
Early Friday morning we formulated our game plan for the day. Jump into the Team Solari uniform (thats the hat and shirt - available soon). Stop by the grocery store - sun cooked Mediterranean Quinoa on the menu (recipe coming soon). Drive downtown to Millennium Park. Hangout by the Great Lawn, move over to the Running Table (Dan Peterman's 100 foot long picnic table made of all recycled materials), and get a few cool shots of Solari by Anish Kapoor's 100 ton mirror like Cloud Gate "Bean".
Millennium Park! Team Solari has arrived! We have the plan, the food, the prototypes, and the gear. Now time to cook up some lunch...
Security: Hey what are you guys doing?
Kevin: Just having a picnic.
Security: I'm sorry but you guys can't cook here. We can't let you starting fires in the park.
Bodin: Well, its actually 100% safe, no fuel, no pollution. All solar powered and no open fire.
Security: Wait, really? Let me see that? Pretty neat! This is the first time I have seen a solar cooker around here.
After finding out that there is no fire or dangerous fuels involved, everyone was surprised that this might be the first time a solar cooker has been brought to the Millennium Park! We look forward to introducing more people to this fuel and pollution free cooking method.
Millennium Park is setup to be eco-friendly and solar powered! The Exelon Pavillions are designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano - with solar panels sandwiched into their glass walls. These panels are capable of providing enough electricity to power a dozen small homes. The Exelon Corp is a leading competitive energy provider in the US.
In the end it was a good experience as the Park Staff were very nice and interested in Solari. Although our cooker did not fit neatly into their rules right now, they allowed us to stay and talk with interested passer-bys who wanted to see what Solari was about. We hope to be invited back next summer!