Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Break 2009 Monday and Tuesday

Yesterday we woke to this outside our window.
Snow in April Come on, people!
It didn't turn out as badly as was predicted, which was snow both Monday and Tuesday with accumulations of 3 inches and more. It actually was just very blustery and cold both days. Hey, we knew we were going the wrong direction for balmy and predictable in the weather department. Yesterday we had a bit of sun peeking through fast-moving, suspiciously wintry-looking clouds. Today, Tuesday, while the sky was crystal clear and as beautiful to the eye that a day could be, it remained about 15 degrees shy of being truly pleasant for being outdoors. Lucky for us, we're not the sort to let that stop us.

Fortunately, yesterday was just for sleeping in, running errands, and dinner at Grandma's. I also received the gift of a beautiful (and very large) antique trunk that belonged to Eric's grandmother and may have come over from Eastern Europe with his great-grandmother. We'll get it home somehow. That's what big trucks are for, right? I'll take a photo of that when I get it cleaned up, or we actually get the car packed around it.

Today was a brief visit to the great city of Chicago, about an hour's drive from Eric's family, and one of my favorite cities to visit. We chose as today's objective the Field Museum, to which I had never been. I wanted to see Sue the T. Rex, and I just love the setting of the museums in Chicago-right on the lake. The museum was great-such a beautiful building and lots of great stuff for a geek like me. Here were my favorite things:
  • The gorgeous building that houses the museum-classic, large galleries and atriums, arches, columns, beautiful details-wonderful!
  • Heading for the field museum
  • Sue the T. Rex. She is just amazing and I love knowing that she has a wishbone, which proves that dinosaurs are more closely related to birds than modern reptiles.My new pal Sue
  • The Ancient American exhibit-all the pottery designs and the textiles! I was in heaven collecting images for my inspiration library for future knitting designs.Ancient woven textile
  • The Supernatural Bat. This mythic character as captured in pottery COMPLETELY captured my imagination as I thought about how magical bats, and really all creatures must have seemed to our ancient forbears. Bats are actually a favorite animal for me-a bit overlooked and looked down on for being spooky, but I cheer when they come out on summer evenings and start eating their weight in mosquitoes.The Supernatural BAT!
  • The palpable excitement in the kids' faces each time we entered a gallery and they looked at the map to see the quickest route out the other side. (That one was written with fingers dripping with sarcasm, in case you missed it.)
  • Palpable excitement at the Field Museum.
Eric and I could have spent all day there, but the kids were done after a couple of hours, so we finished up. Everyone indulged me for a walk to the edge of the water where we sat on the promenade and jumped at our shadows and tried to stay warm. and againNext we took the long way home with a drive all the way up Lakeshore Drive, which is just what it sounds like-Lake Michigan on the right, city on the left. We turned around and took Lakeshore all the way down to South Shore , then followed Route 41 through South Chicago,South Chicago neighborhood across the border into Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago( where Eric's mom and grandma were raised) and finally down to Highland (where Eric was raised)-all on the same road. In those southern and eastern areas just outside the border of Chicago but still decidedly too urban to be called suburbs, we saw how the houses were mere yards from oil refineries and factories. There was a sense of community juxtaposed with the sadness of urban decay. There were neatly kept homes with curtains in the windows next to vacant lots so covered with broken glass they sparkled in the sun with an ironic kind of beauty. Such contrasts. My prosperous, well-kept, HOA-monitored neighborhood seems both beautiful and banal in comparison. We continued driving from the past toward the future as we showed the kids Eric's old house, then headed further south to where his mom has settled. When we left Highland, I announced to the kids that the historical portion of the tour was over. Without missing a beat, Evan's voice came from the back seat with this commentary, "A tour? That was a historical tour? It sure was boring." Someday they'll want to know this stuff.

The day ended with pizza at Uno's and an impromptu Easter Egg hunt at Grandma's. She is great about celebrating holidays and always sends the kids cards. This time it was nice to actually be with her to celebrate.Sara enjoying Easter Treats

An almost shot of Grandma with the kids

Click here for a bunch more photos.

6 comments:

  1. Great pictures. It looks like you're have a fun time. I'm sure your kids are too. They just have to pretend like they aren't. But they'll remember it and appreciate it later.Taylor still talks about our trip to Boston. He's 5 so he was REALLY bored with the sites. But he loved it because his grandparents were with us and we stayed in a hotel.

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  2. I LOVE the photos with grandma - precious.

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  3. WOW, what a tour down memory lane. Sounds nice tho. Love the kids faces at the museum. They look so into things. I ADORE that last picture! Oh my!! PRICELESS!

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  4. Fun trip!! And awesome pictures!! I went to that museum when I was 14 and LOVED it! That trunk sounds so cool - what a treasure!

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  5. My Noah would be so jealous that you got to see Sue! And I couldn't help laughing when I saw your family shot at the museum :)I imagine that what's my kids will look like in the near future when I continue to drag them around to museums. Hope you have a Happy Easter!

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  6. The pictures at Grandma's house are FANTASTIC!!!!! I loved this post :)

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Thank you for sharing your insights!