Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chicago...my kind of town

Last week was MEA weekend, a couple days off in October for teachers to go do some professional development. Since Derick was working outside of Chicago and my parents were visiting from Maine (free babysitting!), I got to visit.

First, how great was it that I wore my happy socks to the airport? Made taking off my shoes alright.

Next, I learned that I ADORE Chicago. This was my first visit, and what a great city! Here were some of the reasons for my new love:
  1. Everyone is super helpful. One young man, for example, spent about a 20 minutes helping me figure out where to park and how to pay for it.
  2. Everything in the downtown is conveniently located. The El was so easy, and even when I walked, nothing seemed horribly far. True, I wore a hole in my shoe, but I think that says more for my shoes than the city.
  3. The city had varied and interesting sights. I went to scrapbooking stores (more on that later), visited the art museum, and went to the Natural History Museum, the Field Museum, over the two days I toured. I also look forward to going to the history museum, the architecture tour (especially to see Frank Lloyd Wright's house), the Tower Formally Known As Sears, the Aquarium, Navy Pier...and so on. What a trip.
  4. Great food. And I didn't even have pizza or hot dogs.
  5. Terrific trees that hung over the sidewalks, all the more important because it rained while I was there. Sad, but considering it snowed in Minnesota last week, I consider rain an upgrade.
My first day I was lucky to meet a scrapbooking friend, Alexandra, whose blog I visit and whose work I've been a fan of for years:

She took me to a couple great places, including The Paper Source where I got these for the boys

and Windy City Scrapbooking, where I blew my scrapbooking budget for the rest of the year, willingly. I also did that more than a little in Downers Grove at Memories and Beyond.

Alexandra is a terrific ambassador for the city. Seriously, the city should hire her for that job. Because of her enthusiasm and help with looking at my tour guide, I look forward to returning to Chicago with my boys.

The next day I visited the Art Institute:

My favorites: an exhibit of Caldecott winning art (Flotsam and Knuffle Bunny!), Renoir (those beautiful blues), and the collage exhibit of art by 19th century women (I think it was only women) who merged photographs with other mediums. Sound familiar?

That night I met another scrapbooking contact, Grace from CKMB:

Another person whose generosity and talent impress me. What a great city.

Derick and I then moved into the city to stay at a hotel called The Wit, a place I probably am not cool enough to be in. I still tried, though:

The hallways at night play crickets and owls (no lie), and in the morning, birds.

That night we went to House of Blues, perhaps the one time I was happy the service was a mite slow. All the better for us to enjoy the music.

Before our flight left, we visited the Field Museum, where we went to a pirate exhibit (it was amazing--I had trouble dragging this boy away):

and where we met someone named Sue:

She smiled for the camera.

So again, a wonderful weekend at a place I plan on returning to and spending more time, this time with the whole family.

And by the way, a week ago it was snowing. And yesterday?

I was outside in bare feet. Gotta love autumn in MN. Snow is coming back this weekend, though.

Tomorrow I'll post some pages with a mission: how to make multiple photos pages.

1 comment:

alexandra s.m. said...

Oh Jennifer how I've enjoyed reading your post!
I wish you could come again this week-end, actually today would have been terrific, a real beautiful indian Summer day!
You did so much in just a couple of days and you have shared your story so well! I'm very moved by your words. Come back soon! This time I'll cook for you!

( love your toe nails & you look really cool in that chaise longue BTW!)