Last night, we started out on the 18 minute walk to the dessert cafe. It was a beautiful night. The sun had set. It was about 80 degrees with a light breeze. We could see the deep blue of the night sky, a few white puffy clouds overhead and intermittent glimpses of the moon. We had walked about 6 or seven minutes when I felt a tiny drop of water on my head. No problem, probably a drip from the air conditioner in the window overhead. About ten steps later, I felt a tiny drop on my arm, then Jennie felt one, too. We looked up. The night sky was still visible, still only partly obscured by the clouds. That didn’t stay true for long.
Saturday, as you know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, is Adventure Day. You can start out with an idea of what you might do, but then you let fate take over; let fate dictate the events of the day (it will anyway, so just yield to it early and often). Given the sheer quantity of thing we’ve done in the last 36 hours, I’ll just highlight the main events and interstitials.
I started with 7am yoga, and then met Jennie back at the apartment where we made omelets for breakfast and formulated our plan. We were to head to Unique, a local thrift store for some shopping, with a stop at Bridgeport Coffee on the way. That much, we got done (two iced chai lattes, please, and a dress and two tops). We walked the rest of the way to the Orange Line, stopping at a local park to update our profile pictures.
We boarded the Orange Line headed for the Shedd Aquarium, a destination I’ve been saving for Jennie’s visit. (She loves aquariums). We alighted at Roosevelt, and headed on foot toward the aquarium. We hadn’t gotten far when we noticed some event taking place a couple hundred yards to our left – there was an announcer and cheering, but we couldn’t see what was going on, so we wandered over. We ended up at Grant Skatepark Damn Am skateboarding championships. It looked like this. We watched that for a while, then continued our trek to the aquarium.
When we got there, the first thing we noticed was the unusually busy hot dog stand. The sidewalk we were on was below the entrance grade of the aquarium. As we climbed the stairs to get up there, we saw why the hot dog stand was so busy – a huge line of people waiting to get in. Not even the best aquarium is worth more than an hours wait, especially if time in Chicago is limited, so we walked over to the Field Museum of Natural History to see if things were better there. They were, so we went in. We saw a bunch of cool stuff, ate a light lunch at the Field Bistro (the food was good), and continued to explore. Although we paid three dollars per ticket extra to see the Terracotta Warriors, there was a long line for that, so we skipped it. Our philosophy was, if there’s a line, that’s fate telling you to skip it – too many other fun things to do.
We enjoyed every part of the museum we saw. Such an eclectic mix of exhibits. We especially liked the gemstones. There’s a story there that has lines in it like “We looked around for museum personnel, but didn’t see any” and “We were suddenly surrounded by museum personnel,” but that’s a story for a different audience. There is a whole other Chicago story line that occasionally shows up in this one, but in reality weaves intimately through it. I’ll leave you to fill in the missing pieces. Think Lion King 1½ – the minor characters have backstories, too. Some are just as much fun as the main story line.
We left by the south entrance of the museum (we had entered at the north), to find the tail end of the Icebox Derby. We hung out there for a bit, and then caught a bus for dinner.
Jennie suggested that we find a place I hadn’t eaten yet. We ended up at a Turkish restaurant called Galata near the University of Illinois at Chicago, on Maxwell Street. Such wonderful food.
We came home, played cards for a bit, and then headed out toward the dessert cafe, Jsmile51, which I’ve mentioned before. We didn’t exactly ignore the drops that were hitting us, we simply gambled that the rain wouldn’t really get going the way it did so quickly. We gambled, and we lost. About 6 minutes later, the sky opened up. We were about half way there, so no sense turning around. We stuck to paths under awnings and trees for as long as we could, but the last several hundred yards were out in the open. We got to the cafe drenched and cold. We took our time with warm beverages and nice desserts, noticed that the rain had stopped, and walked back noticing the details in the tiny vegetable gardens which seem to be in nearly every tiny yard. The main crops in the areas seem to be these things that look like shriveled cucumbers and super long (about 18 inches) beans that are thinner than pencils.
The adventures continued today beginning with a service at First Lutheran Church of the Trinity. We chose this one because it seemed like a very welcoming church from the website, and indeed it was.We met Tom, who engaged us in a conversation about nametags (everybody wore a nametag,and they provide them for guests). I teased Tom for not having his, only to find out about two minutes that he was the pastor. Oops. It was OK, though, because he had a great sense of humor, which he used throughout the service, and kind smiling eyes. It was avery nice, intimate service. There were only about 15 odf use, so we spent a lot of the service in a circle around the altar. After that we headed to the Polo Cafe for Gospel Brunch, which, of course, was delicious.
We came home, rested up a bit, and then headed out to the Maxwell Street Market. We shopped around there for a while, then took the train to Ping Tom Park, where we watched the ultimate (as in last) outdoor production of Twelfth Night.
Jennie was interested in getting some bubble tea afterwards (we were in Chinatown). We found a fast moving line at the drink window of Joy Yee. In this case, a line was a good omen. Our drinks were so delicious.
Now we’re home again and it’s time for bed, so I bid you adieu.