Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Amber, Chicago, and Loyola

Last weekend Max and I drove the 300 miles from Cincinnati to Chicago to spend the weekend with Amber. Who would have thought that in early February we would be in Chicago and the temperatures would be near 60? Well, I just think we've heard just about enough whining from all those folks in Chicago telling us just how cold they are- we were there and it just ain't so- sunny- low 60's- now what is to complain about- think they must all be transplants from southern California with thin skin- why we've been in single digits here in Cincy, and only complained a little. Well maybe we did complain a lot- but then we're from southern Ohio- so we expect a bit more of the balmy- besides if you're from Cincy you really know how to complain about the weather! But we were lucky, the sun was bright, the breezes light, and the weather warm. The locals were absolutely in heaven, going out for walks in shorts and T-shirts. Had we been back in San Francisco, the locals would have been in wool coats, hats, gloves, and boots, not necessarily because it was so cold, but because it was February - the time to wear winter clothes regardless of the weather. But these Chicagoans were enjoying the relative heat of the weekend.

What does one do in the evening in a small apartment in Chicago. Well it was our first night and we had already eaten dinner at the Chicago Diner, so the next thing on the agenda was get out the computers and everyone do FaceBook.

But wait a minute- I want to talk about food- the food at Chicago Diner! The Chicago Diner ( has been vegetarian since 1983- way before vegetarian had gone mainstream. And do I need to remind you we are not in California- we are in the heart of the Midwest. So we're always leading- we just don't "brag" so much as the folks on the coasts!

And I had THE BEST REUBEN SANDWICH of my entire life- notice I did not say I had the best "vegetarian" Reuben of my life- NO! I had the BEST REUBEN SANDWICH of my entire life!

I can't wait to have this again!
And then- with much teasing by Don and Am- I did continue with my photography in "public" places- I think maybe- just maybe- they are sometimes just a bit- or maybe even more than a bit- embarrassed by all the time I make them wait- just a bit- for one more picture!

And did you know that Amber lives in Boys town- - From Wikipedia-(Boystown is the popular name of a locally recognized neighborhood enclave within Chicago, Illinois. Situated within the formal neighborhood of Lakeview, it was the first officially recognized gay village in the United States,[1] as well as the cultural center of one of the largest lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) communities in the nation. Boystown has grown into a cultural center for the nearly 300,000 LGBT residents estimated to live within the Chicago metropolitan area today.) Should we tell San Fran exactly how slow they are to catch on to all the new trends started in the MIDWEST!

But then they probably wouldn't believe us anyway...

And then on Saturday morning it was off to Ann Sathers ( for the absolutely best breakfast you can find anywhere!

And with this wonderful omelet you get TWO SIDES- and of course you'd be absolutely crazy not to get the cinnamon rolls- you got it- TWO CINNAMON ROLLS. So for the three of us we had SIX cinnamon rolls.

On Saturday we set out to explore Am's new territory. She lives in "Wrigleyville" (in case you think we're confusing you- all of these neighborhood designations are a bit fluid- and Boys Town is overlapping with Wrigleyville best I can tell) which is just north of the Chicago downtown and given its namesake, Wrigley Field. In fact Am is about 3 blocks away. That's her in the picture below. The person on the left.

But the Ballpark doesn't look so very inviting...

But it is fun to look up at the roof tops- just waiting for the start of baseball season (Don reminded me tonight that spring training starts in a week- that means it's almost time for baseball).

We caught the "EL" next to the ballpark and headed north to Loylola where Am attends classes.

The campus is right on the lake and the picture below was taken from the Library. I'm not sure how one could concentrate on books sitting in front this window and gazing at this beautiful blue lake.

And of course there is a beautiful chapel..

And a grand study hall...

And we step outside and look out on the lake...

And a stop at the local Starbucks:

And then we of course had the FAMOUS Chicago deep dish pizza ( have we mentioned that we could not- not once- find a decent pizza in San Fran (other than the pizza we made ourselves). But WOW! This pizza was SOOOOOOO good.

And then they had a chocolate chip pizza- and Amber enjoyed!

And then it was back to Amber's apartment for the rest of the evening- now there is quite a night life in Chicago- and my guess is that Amber is at least occasionally a participant- but for the three of us- we had a quieter celebration in mind.

A BOTTLE OF THE GOOD STUFF FROM THE BASEMENT! Have we told you about the GOOD STUFF? See Don started buying "good" wine- wine that keeps- to "cellar"- or for us that means "basement". And this was the first bottle of the GOOD STUFF we opened- to celebrate- with Amber- her new life- and our 60th birthdays- and all the fun we were having!

And of course Cat loved my yarn! So there was a party for all!

But then it was time to go. But we'll be back- I need my urban fix-


T-Bird said...

I'm so glad you had a good time. I bet Amber loved having you.

Amber said...

It was so great seeing you! And thanks for posting the blog! (I promise to be more patient with your photo taking in the future because none of these turned out very good!) love you!

Beyond The Strip said...

Great pics, I can't wait to see everything for myself in less than a month!! Am is so fashionable, I love the boots and hat, total city girl!

Liz said...

It looks like you had a great time!

Karen said...

Hey, I missed some posts so had lots to catch up on (the birthday, the new furniture, which is absolutely lovely!) I continue to be so impressed by your food photos, and those of your new room belong in Better Homes & Gardens! What a refreshing color choice!

I loved visiting Chicago when mom and dad lived there, and, yes, Bob and I found the best pizza in the WORLD in Chicago!

What a wonderful experience Amber is having in Chicago - one that she will (eventually ??) treasure.

Love you all!