summer visit to Chicago

Shane had a little business in Chicago early this week, and he gamely invited those of us who “don’t travel lightly” (always, we’re carrying stacks of books and electronics) to accompany him for a couple nights’ stay in the city. We routed through Tinley Park on our way, so we could take in a rec league soccer game my brother Adam’s girlfriend, Kaitlyn (in sage green t-shirt), played. She was great — and it was a fun surprise to see her dad on the pitch, too! Little bro Nathan & his fiancee, Emily, joined us for the match and dinner afterward.IMG_6277After a morning of workouts all around, we cleaned up and walked to Bongo Room for lunch. Man, their pancakes are delish… I had a single (plate-size) blackberry graham cracker pancake topped with lemon cream and blueberry swirl. The serving sizes are so large that I knew I could round out my smallish meal with savory bits plucked from the kids’ plates.
IMG_6278 Bellies full, we strolled through Millenium Park…IMG_6279 IMG_6280 stopping for some goofy photo ops…IMG_6285 IMG_6286and landed at the Art Institute, where we spent the rest of the afternoon. Here, Molly is peeking into one of the Thorne miniature rooms, which the kids and I read about a while back in The Sixty-Eight Rooms series by Marianne Malone.
IMG_6288It rained heavily both evenings we were in the city. Here, I tried to capture a photo of one of the storms as it approached over Lake Michigan. Unintentionally, I think I also caught a bit of the World Cup competition on TV and a bit of our hotel room decor!

The book I brought along with me was After the Sour Lemon Moon, a first novel by Denise Parsons. The story took place in a few settings, one of which was Chicago. The central character grew up in the city with the seemingly oceanic lake as a backdrop and touchstone. She recalled the comfort that gazing out at the vast body of water would deliver to her. I think it’s similar in ways to the smallness or humility that one feels when in the mountains or atop a rise in the midst of cornfields in the Midwest. I enjoyed Parsons’ sentences while sprawled across the hotel bed, looking up at the changing scene on the other side of the glass while feeling safe and dry inside.


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