Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chicago's Best

My sister, Althea, heads back home to New Hampshire today after a week-long visit with us in Chicago. I have to say, Chicago really gave us her best over the past week. It was a reminder of why we love this city and how much we will miss it when we move to Arizona next year.

Our week started with an extra-innings win by the Cubs at Wrigley. Considering that the Cubs are currently well under 500 this season, that was no small feat. Singing “Go Cubs Go” at the end of the game allowed us to walk home on air. We celebrated by stopping for dinner at Fornello, our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant.

Friday, we had lunch in Evanston with an old college friend. It was fun to catch up with his doings in the entertainment world. He’s sold a series pilot to Spike TV that is awaiting a contract. His other project is a movie script, which has also been sold and has a director and producer. It will start shooting in October in Puerto Rico. Nice.

We enjoyed an early morning in Lincoln Park over the weekend, buying goods for Sunday dinner at the Green City (Farmers) Market. The fresh tomatoes and radishes were amazing. Breakfast was a rhubarb tart and a stick of buffalo jerky. After the market, we strolled through Lincoln Park Zoo and saw Polar Bears, a Rhinoceros, and a pair of Lions sunning themselves. From there the park continues into the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a stunning historic building with beautiful displays. My favorite was the orchid gardens.

A visit to Chicago would be incomplete without an evening at a neighborhood tavern. The weather cooperated, and we sat on the patio at Bar On Buena to enjoy burgers and beer just a few blocks from home.

The 4th of July was celebrated with extended family, at a backyard BBQ. That evening, we walked to Montrose Harbor to see fireworks. Some were unofficial (I don’t know how more people don’t get their fingers blown off), others in the distance were larger and more impressive. The atmosphere on the lakefront was very festive.

Tuesday evening, we were invited to join generous friends on a sailboat outing from Monroe Harbor on Lake Michigan. What a gorgeous evening with great friends! The view of the skyline and the color of the water were both unforgettable. We tried to convince our Italian captain, Lorenzo Career, to just continue sailing on to Italy.

Althea’s last evening in Chicago was spent “Jazzin’ at the Shedd” Aquarium. More beautiful views of the lake and city – this time accompanied by live jazz, and a chance to walk through the aquarium. We especially enjoyed the Beluga Whales and the special Jellyfish exhibit. The evening ended with the fireworks display from Navy Pier.

Chicago performed marvelously for us this past week. We love this city, and can’t help but already think of missing everything it has to offer when we relocate next spring.

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