Tuesday, September 17, 2013

sacred weekends


As Summer Reading ended I realized I hadn't yet taken a lick of my vacation time--and the year was already half over!--thus began that fun time of figuring out how to use up 12 days of vacation...Fast forward to this past weekend: 4 days of relaxing and no work, in and around the Windy City.

The Boy doesn't have any available time off right now, so I'd planned time to myself in Chicago on Friday. After parking downtown--gaping at the $30+ parking fees!--I made my way over to the Art Institute. I love the Art Institute, it's pristine layout, it's carefully thought out collection. I love that when I see the Art Institute's lions, guarding the front steps, my step quickens; being on the steps of the museum affords you with one of the best views of Chicago, in my humble opinion. I love Michigan Avenue's hustle and bustle, it's proximity to Millennium Park, it's skyscrapers, and the constant flow of cars and tourists alike. To an outsider it would be a view of a NYC street--Chicago is the NYC of the Midwest, no?

One of my favorite Impressionist paintings,
"Paris Street; Rainy Day," Gustave Caillebotte
The exhibit, "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity," was very good, but I found myself bouncing between that museum mode of loving/hating the busyness of the place; amused by how people get so lost in a museum, staring at the art or reading the plaques that they bump into one another--museums are one of the last few places in our modern world where it seems that people let their guards down--and then finding myself just as equally frustrated by people unaware as to good museum etiquette. So, when I'd taken it all in, I said goodbye to the Impressionists and made my way to the gallery of American Art before 1900. The immediate quiet was soothing and I quickly found myself lost in the near silence of that gallery. Museum success!

Hunger put me in search of a Chicago dog (a must for every visit to Chicago), and common sense put me on the expressway extra early so I could avoid as much Friday afternoon traffic as possible. The 40 min. drive turned into 1.5 hrs., so I was more than glad to finally be setting my bags down for the weekend.

I need more weekends like this in my life: lots of laughter, walks in the park, sitting on deck chairs and talking for hours, takeout food, one meal cooked by me in his kitchen, movies, watching football together, reading. It was lovely. No work. No checking email. No blogging. Barely any time on Facebook.

Though it was hard to leave yesterday morning, I am enjoying the comforts of home, reading in my favorite chair, a window open letting this deliciously fall-like crisp in, and a cat pouncing around under my comforter.

P.S. Fun things that take place in Chicago and should be enjoyed while you're traveling there/while you're there:
Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green
Bridesmaids

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