Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Heinz 57 (ie catchup)

We have blown back in from Chicago. A visit to see Smith's sister graduate with a lovely velvet fob on her head. No flimsy nylon covered cardboard for this gal! Congratulations Alex and good luck on the bar [insert lawyer joke here.]

We are SOOOOO lucky to have family in Chicago. It is my favorite big city - made even more lovable by my in-laws. Alex has always had swanky loft digs across the street from Whole Foods - a corner spot with views of everywhere. Fourth of July was a cool time to visit as we could see dozens of fireworks displays - downtown to the burbs - bursts of light spanning the horizon. She and beloved spouse have recently moved to a 1900s 3-story brick apartment building. Cue the ivy covered walls, craftsman wood details and sweeping windows. Three blocks from the lake. A $10 cab ride to Navy Pier. How much does that suck? We really need to come visit in February to take the shine off of this place.

OH! and I almost forgot to mention the mafia princess bathroom: shiny brass and chrome fixtures, big mirrors, lots of glass and the piece de reistance: the have-a-party- (or a baby) inside jacuzzi tub! N could not wait to hop in and test out all the buttons. I merely heard the ensuing screams as the inaugural whirl came about as all the jets were pointed skyward and soaked Alex (i.e. the dry person outside the tub.)

And speaking of Navy Pier (yeah, I know, go back a paragraph), we looked admiringly up at its ferris wheel on our way in to the Children's Museum. And again on our way out, SIX hours later (we did break for lunch, but just barely.) It would be an understatement to say that Nbear really digs that place. He couldn't wait to get to work in their construction zone. It really is cool to see him in action like that, he has such focus and intense interest in some things. J and I had been through the museum several times (mostly sitting in the driver's seat of the real ambulance) while Smith & N just built away. J also proved his climbing prowess to the museum staff as he navigated the rope tube ladder to the crow's nest of the pirate ship.

The other offerings we enjoyed: a crazed Nordstrom's shoe sale, the FREE Lincoln Park Zoo (totally made the $12 stroller rental easier to stomach), the Nature Museum and the playground 2 blocks from Alex's place. Not quite as famous as the "Diana Ross" playground in Central Park**, but pretty darn cool. My brother-in-law opted to join me one afternoon. We were already barefoot in the huge sandbox and I could see his head scanning the playground searching-searching-searching for us with a lost look on his face. I had completely blended in to the setting of mom-ish figures wearing sunglasses with a cell phone to the ear. (Chicago doesn't seem to have as many stay-at-home dads. And I think Austin is completely lacking in Polish nannies.)

At the zoo, N was very interested in the petting zoo. From there we visited the farm section. We spent a good deal of time looking at the cows and the milking machines and how that worked, pointing out the metal tubes, the udders, the works. Next he wanted to see the piglets. Mama hog was busy nursing one of her spunky litter and I could see N's little gears working up to an observation (please-don't-compare-me-to-the-cow-or-this-nursing-pig...) and then,

"Do we drink pig's milk?"

And so the conversation ensued. Big Smith & Nana piped up with their own experiences with camel's milk and horse's milk (two reasons you probably won't find me hiking across central Asia anytime soon). But yes. We drink or use the milk from so many animals, why NOT the pig?

**I realize that this trip was from back in the day (pre-blogging) when I'd send out my massive emails, remember those? Perhaps I will post that here soon.


An entire jar of freshly mixed salad dressing applied to dress one salad.

"You cannot really love a pillow; you can love the shape of a pillow."

I got to witness N's first experience with chewing gum on the airplane ride. Interesting to see someone try to navigate the experience of chewing without swallowing for the first time, and figuring out what to do with all the extra saliva.

SMITH'S NEW TOY, er... business tool

psst. it's really a new laptop. with a camera built in to the monitor. see how goofy we are when the kids are asleep? this is why we are married.


Sinda said...


Lisa said...

That photo reminds me: where are the hillbilly teeth?

Jennifer said...

What a nice long post. Chicago is one of my sister's favorite cities; I've always wanted to visit with her.

Great photo!