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.
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!
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