Hellos friends—Last week we spent my spring break catching up with Laurel in Chicago. It was grand! From the moment she whisked me “home” on the blue line train to the lazy good-bye Sunday brunch, I loved every minute with that girl! Here’s my Chicago top ten:
#1. Surprisingly, my favorite hours of the week were the ones that Laurel was “at work.” She writes for “Photojojo” and that involved mornings breakfasting in interesting coffee shops while she tapped away at her computer and I poured over a book. All those quiet hours together felt luxurious– companionable small talk and working over mugs of tea… (photos: peanut butter and jelly bar–our breakfast dessert! And Laurel at work in our her old standby coffee house, Filter.)
#2. And you know we managed to find some good things to eat. Late night Chicago hot dogs at the neighborhood spot, bowl’s full of silky noodles and veggies at Penny’s, a chilaquiles brunch at Prasino’s, vegan tacos at Native Foods… I’m not weighing myself this week back home yet! (photos: outside the neighborhood hot dog shop. Colorful–and delicious– vegan tacos)
#3. Once Larry joined us, we spent a intriguing morning in the Field Museum. I kept wishing my 3rd graders could have tagged along to see things we had talked about in science lessons. And I couldn’t resist taking loads of animal photos to email off to the grand-girls in China. It was big fun.
#4. Laurel’s a walker–so we spent lots of time getting from here to there through north Chicago neighborhoods. I loved the traditional brick homes of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village neighborhoods. (photos: 2 houses on Laurel’s street and a grand home in Wicker Park)
#5. It was big fun to sit over meals and talk with Laurel’s room mates Raul and Keighty– such bright and creative people. And to meet other friends who were coming and going.
(photos: dinner time, 2 old friends)
#6. For Larry, of course, a good trip to Chicago includes a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. So we bundled up and joined the crowds rooting in the Cubs. Fun to be in such a historic old ballpark. (photos: outside and in the stands at Wrigley Field)
#7. When Laurel and I get together, there is always a little shopping involved–browsing at Myopic Bookstore, picking out favorite little art pieces at the Paperish Mess shop, gawking at the bounty at the huge Wholefoods, picking up treats at the Crate & Barrel Outlet… (photos: Laurel reading at the childrens’ books shelves and a grind your own variety of nut butter station)
#8. We hopped into Laurel’s little brown Fiat 500 to travel out to the suburbs to join my cousins for a beautiful breakfast by the fireplace and another night to travel out to meet up with old Spain friends for dinner and lots of good talk… (photos: Cousin Brenda at home and old friends from Spain Paula and Elaine)
#9. On Saturday Larry, Laurel and I trekked the 2 1/2 miles from her house into the city center. We stopped at an amazing Italian bakery midway to snack on cannolis, shopped a bit on Michigan Ave., lunched at Bao Wow (fast food Chinese buns), walked along Lake Michigan and stopped for churros and thick hot chocolate (just like Spain!) at Xoco. (photos: Hancock building and our walk along Lake Michigan)
#10. Sunday we walked just a few blocks to church at “the Painted Door” a group that meets in an old high school auditorium– and brunched on chillaquiles and banana bread french toast in the sunshine before we set off for the aiport and home to California.
(photos: On the walk to church and a Prasino brunch together before we take off for home)
Thanks Laurel for all the good times in Chicago. You know we loved the time with you!