Monday, September 04, 2006

Chicago, "Wicked", movies, friendship and the Crocodile Hunter

It's Labor Day and I have been enjoying a relaxing weekend. I arrived home late Friday evening and have been in recoupe mode ever since. I was completely exhausted from my trip, but had an absolutely WONDERFUL time!!!!

Where to begin...I arrived in Chicago on my friend Lori's 35th B-day. We spent the entire week celebrating! Lori and I have been best friends for 18 years! That's sooooooooo hard to believe. I can remember meeting her like it was yesterday. Two teenage girls from completely different parts of the country arriving at rehearsal camp to start a summer of touring with a performing group! We met and something clicked and we have been friends ever since. We are very similar in so many aspects that it's scary! She's truly what I would call a "soulmate friend".

Anyhow...I digress...I arrived very late on Sat. night and we immediately went home and went to bed. Sunday was a relaxing day of girltalk, talking a long walk, going to dinner at a wonderful Italian place called Noodle in Evanston and watching chic flicks. Monday we drove to Welcome Stitchery in Crystal Lake, IL. A great little shop in the charming downtown area. The owners of Welcome Stitchery were so friendly and let us browse forever! Lori isn't a stitcher, but had a great time looking at everything. We planned on going to an evening concert at the Botanical Gardens, but the weather nixed that plan! So, instead we ended up going to see the movie "The Illusionist". We both loved it!!! It will definitely be added to my collection. Tuesday the weather still hadn't improved much from the icky rain of the day before, but we bravely headed downtown to the Chicago Art Institute. If you love art, I highly recommend you go. Millenium Park is right across the street as well and we enjoyed seeing a little of that between bouts of rain. We managed to get caught in rushhour traffic, but, you know what? It's not that bad if you have a friend with you. We stopped at The Cheesecake Factory on the way home and spent the evening in our PJs watching movies, talking and eating cheesecake. Wednesday was our BIG day!!! We headed downtown on the Metra and walked from the station to where the Oriental Theater is located. There was a Puerto Rican Festival in a courtyard right near there. They were handing out free samples of Pina Coladas. I'm not a drinker, but that is the best tasting Pina Colada I have ever sampled!!! If we hadn't been in a rush we would have grabbed one, but we planned to come back by later. We went to Marshall Fields for a few minutes and shopped the sales rack. I managed to find a great black blazer for $21!!! The store has recently been bought out by Macy's and was in the midst of the changeover. Right across the street, on the corner, is the Atwood Cafe'. A glorious, Art Deco style eatery. We made it in time for our reservations. The atmosphere was great and the food was sumptuous. The soup and salmon were great, but the lemon creme brulee with blueberry compote was to die for!!!! Well...away from food and off to "Wicked". If you enjoy "The Wizard of Oz" I truly believe you would love this!!! It was really and truly an amazing show!!! After that we took the public trolley to the Water Tower. (after getting caught in the crowd from "Wicked" we forgot about the Pina Coladas. Bummer!) I looked in the Disney store for stuff for my son and we enjoyed the shops on Michigan Ave. We planned to take the trolley back, but we missed the last one by 2 mins! It was LOOOONNNGGGGG walk back to the Metra station. My feet are still recovering. I'm here to tell doesn't matter how comfortable your shoes are for working and standing, that doesn't mean they are meant for any type of walking!!!! I could barely walk the next day and had to resort to flip-flops so that my toes and heels would not be touched! Wed. night was another evening of movies and such! And some leftover cheesecake!!! :-) Thurs. we drove to Oak Park and did the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio tour. My feet protested the whole time and wouldn't allow for the walking tour of the neighborhood. At this point I finally decided we had to go back home and get flip-flops or I wouldn't survive anything further that day. After the flip-flops pickup we drove out to Vernon Hills and saw the Cuneo museum and gardens. A very interesting home and tour. The statuary garden was used in the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding" starring Julia Roberts. The gazebo from the movie was built on the property and is still there as well. The house had some great religous art pieces and even a stained glass chapel. After the museum tour we stopped at a grocery and picked up picnic supplies and went to Ravinia Festival Park for a picnic and concert. What a great evening. Amy Grant was the singer and it was very nice. A very pleasant evening to end my trip. Friday I flew home. So...needless to say, I had a wonderful, wonderful time!

My recent movie thoughts:

"The Illusionist" - very good!
"World Trade Center" - moving, heartbreaking and should definitely be seen!

Today Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter died. This news really saddened me. He had such a gusto for life and a passion for his work that was truly a pleasure (though sometimes frightening thing) to watch! I'll miss seeing him. At least he died doing what he loved. My heart goes out to his family. Could you imagine if we all had that type of passion for what we do?

PS: Lori loved her Friend sampler.


Anonymous said...

Wow sounds like you had a great time and I'm guessing no stitching lol ;o)

Sharon said...

Sounds like you two had fab time! What fun-no worries for a week!