Hey there– Back from the best kind of spring break– not balmy beaches and swimming pools, but blustery days out and about in Chicago. Trekked back with a college friend, Jenon, to stay with my Lovable Laurel of the blue and purple hair. It was grand!
P.S.– I apologize in advance for any “photo fatigue” you may endure here– so many pictures– I couldn’t narrow it down! (just skim!)
Our first morning we headed downtown to study our way through the Art Institute. The monumental building welcomed us in and we set off toward the European paintings with loads of happy anticipation–favorites: architectural details along the Grand Staircase, “Meekness” one of series from the Beatitudes by by Eustache Sueur (French), the American folk art collection and this more modern take on “The Annunciation” by George Hitchcock (American)
In the afternoon we scurried through the chill of Millennium Park (the Bean!) and across downtown, stopping midway for a restoring cup of hot tea. Here’s our mandatory reflection in the bean photo– we’re the 3 jolly gals in the middle!
We did a little grocery shopping at Eataly (Mario Batali’s super amazing Italian grocers/eating spot) and at the local Mariano’s for soup ingredients. Grocery shopping–one of my favorite indoor sports!
. We started the next day with a Swedish Ann Sather’s breakfast and then strolled next door to the Swedish American Museum– checking up on Jenon’s Scandinavian roots!
Of course we squeezed a little shopping– to the Four Corners Print shop to pick up a Chicago skyline print for Laurel– and into the fanciest Walgreens installed in an old Chicago banking building.
One soggy morning, we found ourselves in the (slightly drippy) Garfield Park Conservatory– an immense glasshouse, built in 1908 and chock full of lush vegetation, secret pathways and the brightest blooms. Loved it!
One of my favorite stops was at the historic Romanesque Glessner House, built in 1886, by architect Henry Richardson. It’s on Prairie Street, once home to Chicago’s elite, and is filled with original Arts & Crafts movement furnishings of the Glessner family. So grand to pretend we were guests in this exquisite house– ((last photo: Laurel and I examining Mrs. Glessner’s dressing table.)
And we spent a fishy afternoon gaping at all the creatures in the Shedd aquarium. Personal favorites– the sea turtle and the otters.
Next stop, the Lincoln Park Zoo. One of those beautiful older zoos–the lion house is a classic. And it’s free. That just feels like a friendly thing to do– welcoming people in to say hi to the animals without even standing in line for a ticket.
And finally we topped off our trip at the Chicago History Museum– It’s one of my favorite stops in a new city– to get a real sense of the place. They had exhibits from Fort Dearborn, the Chicago Fire, and architecture and pop culture. Big fun. Here is the Water Tower that escaped the Chicago Fire and Laurel pointing out her neighborhood on the map.
And, of course, there was plenty of eating involved– Laurel and John know how to pick the most intriguing places to sit down to a meal. (and I do have to include the scrumptious Nicoise salad tuna melt). But I’ll save most of all that eating that for another post…
Thanks bunches Jenon and Laurel for all the fine times out and about in Chicago. xoxo!