Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Kind Of Town

A brief respite to the mid-west to reunite with my best friend from high school and spend time with my sister and family was exactly what I needed.

My sister Donna and brother-in-law Jaime picked me up from Midway, then it was all about relaxing!

The next trick is to recall everything else.

The last time I saw Linda was the day before she packed everything into a large U-Haul truck and moved with her son to Michigan to be with her (then) husband. That was about 15 years ago. I was wondering if she would have changed much, but I was happy to see that she was the same Linda I knew back then: full of life, fun, and always embellishing on a story each time it was told. Yeah, we're older and have added a few wrinkles to our faces, but in my eyes she still looked exactly the same as when I last saw her.

At the Grand Lux Cafe for lunch

My sister played tour guide a little, and we mostly spent time around Michigan Avenue for sight seeing and shopping, but mostly shopping. I'm not a big shopper, and I guess it's because I don't have my sister and best friend to go shopping with. I'd be in serious debt if I always went shopping with those two.

Donna and Linda playing tourist. This is right before we dumped money on shoes and other stuff we really didn't need but had to have.

We made our way into the old Marshall Field's building, which is now Macy's. Linda spent her younger years of childhood in Chicago and remembered when Marshall Field's was THE store to go to. They had everything. She remembered being able to buy groceries and barrels of laundry soap there, along with clothes, and going out to a nice dinner. I guess it's somewhat of a sore subject, that Marshall Field's is no more. The building markers still indicate that it is the Marshall Field's building, but the signs are all Macy's.

The mosaic tile ceiling at Macy's, AKA Marshall Field's.

Donna had the foresight to make reservations at the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock tower around 6:30 PM, before sunset. The views were spectacular.

Linda only had two days with us, as she had to get back to work, but the time we had together was bliss. I hope it's not another 15 years before we see each other again.

I was also able to spend some time with one of my nephews, Kyle. He's quite the character. He's written and produced a few plays that were in production, and able to pay the crews and actors, but never made a profit. He's now back in school working on the small screen, as in commercial production. He's an interestingly funny fellow. He also has a job renting out apartments, which keeps the bills paid. He took us out for Thai food somewhere near Lincoln Park.

Kyle and Donna

My other nephew, Brandon, never made an appearance. He's the one who recently graduated from college with a degree in Political Science and had a rather cushy job at a law firm in Chicago. He decided being in law wasn't for him, so he quit his job and is now attending classes at one of the culinary schools in Chicago to become a pastry chef. He's also working part-time in an Italian restaurant near Wrigley Field as a sort of a sou chef and whatever else there is to do, like wash dishes, etc. When he finishes culinary school in Chicago he wants to trek on over to Paris, France to attend the Cordon Bleu. The bank of mom and dad were rather surprised with this change of career path, but actually happy that Brandon had the where-with-all to do what makes him happy. He currently wears a uniform to class, which includes an ascot. (I so wanted a picture of him in uniform!) Kyle is relentless and often comments about the ascot, getting under Brandon's skin. Kyle has thus renamed Brandon "The Angry Chef."

On Sunday, Donna and I did a very touristy thing and took a tour ride on a red double-deck tour bus. The weather wasn't that cold, it was around 60 to 65 degrees, but once the bus got going we froze our asses off, especially when the bus went near the lake.

Brrrrr! Wearing our "mom" sunglasses... By the way, a large purse on your lap does not keep you warm!

After that informative, yet freezing tour, Donna insisted that we go out to a late lunch at a traditional Mexican restaurant called Adobo Grill. It's right next to Second City. It's real Mexican cuisine, not the typical smothered in cheese tourist crap. They served things like moles and real, freshly made margaritas. It was a little on the pricey side but well worth it. I'd go back just for the margs... They were THAT good!


Dontcha just love my sister's post tour bus, wind blown hair? I inhaled that guacamole, by the way.

While we were seated, the rain came. We were quite thankful that we were no longer on the bus tour. We would have been drenched! This is the view from our window-side table at the restaurant:

The guy with the bike had to wait until the rain let up.

After our wonderful meal and margs, the rain stopped and we went for a brief walk. As we crossed the street we came upon two preppy guys, probably in their late 20s to early 30s. One of the guys said "hey ladies!" I reluctantly responded with "Uh, hey?" We walked past each other and one of the guys smacked Donna on the butt and said "Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!" They just kept walking in the opposite direction. They looked like they had been drinking. We just kept walking on our way and then came upon a Pier One Imports, and darted in there to regroup. WTF was that??? My sister was dumbfounded and flattered all at the same time. There was no use getting bent over that incident, we just kept going, but sort of laughing about it at the same time. It was weird. I suppose we could have made a big deal about it and called the cops, but after a Pier One purchase and a short while, we just got a taxi back to the hotel and called it a day.

I did manage to get in some haphazard running while I was on my trip, but I'll leave those details for my next blog post, along with some other pictures. I'm afraid I'll blow up Blogger if I post everything now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009's song:

Girl's Nite Out - Tyler Collins



Pat said...

frank sinatra

Pat said...

I think I can see some runners down there. And the cyclist should be waiting next door.

KatieFeldmom said...

Very cool!!! The margarita looks yummy and the picture looking down on the city is pretty cool. Glad that you had a good time away!!!

I Run for Fun said...

I wandered over from Melanie's blog. Love the pics! Sounds like an awesome trip.

Erin said...

Thanks for sharing, Irene! I love seeing visitors' perspectives on my city :) Well done on the Adobo Guacamole... excellent choice! Let me know if you want tips on more things to do the next time around.

Rookie on the Run said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Your pictures are amazing! Looks like you're having a great time. :D

Do you run with SDTC with Alice? I'm thinking of signing up with them after my West Coast Road Runners training is over.

Anyway, I look forward to reading more posts! :)

AKA Alice said...

Hey stranger! Glad to see you (in pix). Looks like you had a great time. I completely laughed at the "boys" who slapped your sister's ass...too funny.

Those margaritas do look excellent.

I won't be at the club run this weekend...doing the Race for Literacy instead.

Miss Rachel said...

Sounds like a good time. The "butt slap" incident was kinda weird- I think I would have gotten mad (though perversely flattered). Sounds like you guys took it in stride, you hot mamas you! ;-)

Donna said...

Hi Irene - I went back and re-read about your hip fracture and the symptoms you were having. Yeah, you're right, it does sound awfully similar. And, of course, everyone I have seen just says it's muscular too. I am certainly no where near the training that you were doing and that's why I've kind of just listened to them and gone along with the muscle strain. I'm still hobbling along. At times it seems like it's better and then at other times, it's real bad again. I don't know what to do. I went to a chiropractor/sports med specialist yesterday and he said the same thing. I see him again on Monday and am supposed to start PT on Wednesday. I'm thinking that if it doesn't feel better next week I should call and ask for an xray. It's so frustrating. I can't do anything right now for cardio.

Irene said...

Winner! Maybe that's Oprah down there? I don't think the cyclist had any cash on hand...

Yep, Patron margs made with fresh lime juice... Mmmmmm... I had a great time.

I Run For Fun,
Welcome! It was a long and very overdue trip!

Next time I swear we'll hook up! I didn't realize you were THAT close!

Rookie on the Run,
Yes I run with AKA Alice with the track club!

AKA Alice,
It was soooo much fun. My sister said (re: that ass smack incident) "Yeah, I've still got it!" LOL... Oh, and yeah, those margs were right up there! See you next week!

It was weird. I mean, how does one react to something like that? We just kept on our way! Now we're laughing about it. :)

I'll email you back! Take care!

Dori said...

Great post, Irene! It sounds like you had a really fun trip. I'm glad your reunion with your friend worked out so well. I have some friends like that--five minutes and it seems like we've never been apart. :-)