Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving on the Other Side

After much planning and effort by Karen, the stars aligned and the waters parted (or the snows held off), and we made it to Chicago for Thanksgiving. Stopped at the Museum of Science and Industry for Holidays around the world, but also love the standing exhibits there. Checked in, and K had found a great rate back at the Palmer House.

The renovations are complete, and, thanks to Percy Jackson, the kids were into all the mythological art in the lobby. Y and K liked the Peacock theme... is that new? We finished the day in Pilsen at the Museo Nacional del Arte Mexicano, a beautiful little museum, and a great dinner at the Nuevo Leon.

Wednesday we started with Graham Crackers, Xavier's favorite Chicago comic book store. (Cool toys and a great comic selection, especially the graphic novel collections.) We wandered over to the Cristkindlemarket preview day in Daley Plaza, for some good German food on the hoof, warm cider and to goggle at the amazing handicraft. Bela longed for a handcarved dragon and cat, and even karen thought there were neat things. (She's not much a one for 'stuff'.)

Macy's made it clear that Christmas was coming, and both the kids dropped off their Santa letters to contribute to Make-a-Wish.

In the late afternoon we went for a couple hours to the amazing new Modern Wing of the Art Institute. It's gorgeous, even if some of the art is stressful. The third floor is my favorite with all the gorgeous early 20th century modern. The architecture is astounding. After the museum closed, we headed down Michigan Ave to the Mag Mile and the Lego store. (Now a must stop on any Chicago visit.) Ysabela got a neat Christmas village set, which became the Thursday night activity, and now the centerpiece of the dining room table, with the addition of an X-nativity.

Thursday was the parade, which was cool, and relatively sparsely attended, because of a bit of drizzle. It was mostly balloons, bands and folkloric dance troops. (Including the excellent Polish marching cello.) The kids were troopers for the full duration. The people who got there way early left about halfway through, promoting us to the front row.

I thought Rocky needed a moose, but he was just lagging behind.

Afterwards we had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. Xavier is quick to count his lamb chops as the most amazing.

Afterwards, we revisited the Christkindlmarket, where we bumped into a Cirque de Soleil group promoting their new show, Banana Shpeel. I am proud to report that I officially have award winning schpiel, as we found out a few days later we won 2 tickets to the show. (Now how do we get there...?)

Friday we left early and had clear sailing out. Great trip, better than we could have hoped for.

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