Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We now have the house with kids again. Love it! Pepper, our old black Lab/Great Dane mix is beside himself with happiness.

We did tons of stuff. These are just a flavor of the trip:
  • Dinner at an original Route 66 diner the first night out in Litchfield which we happened upon while trying to avoid McDonald's and the like. It was an odd mix of excellent and mediocre food (for instance using canned green beans in the Greek Green Beans should never be done). But fun overall and a good meal.
  • We went to Chinatown in Chicago as Rose showed us around a few favorite spots in what is now "her" town.
  • Manifest was fun despite the cold and driving rain that permeated the day. Hence, outdoor sites with bands had to shut down and the parade was canceled. Still, we saw some fantastic photography, heard good music as Buddy Guy's opened itself to host music, made sure we saw the knit cam-car (photos to follow), and more.
  • We discovered that Panera's and The Corner Bakery are the new McDonald's as they saved us on several occasions: when we ducked into one in desperation to avoid that afore-mentioned rain, had an egg-bread sandwich thingy when nothing else was around for breakfast and lunched at The Field Museum. (By the way, seeing Sue at the museum was a highlight ... although those Arctic/Northwestern people's totem poles were absolutely my favorite. No one ever told me that they were so huge, so very tall! Impressive.)
  • Also at The Field Museum store, I saw many knitted animals done by Kenyan women, using their homespun wool. Examining technique, I saw that it was exactly the same as for the Baby Bobbi Bear, excepting noses, ears, and (possibly) manes. Which I had suspected. I'd already been pondering making a monkey or lion instead of a bear. In a related note, by knitting on the way up and back, I have another bear to the "stuffing point" beyond which I could not pass, not having any stuffing with me.
  • We met Rose's roommate for next year (adorable) and her parents (quite enjoyable to talk to), saw the new apartment they'll have in The Roosevelt Hotel building (a historic landmark and now renovated inside for student apartments). Very nice indeed.
  • Went to Mass in the cathedral's auditorium (the actual cathedral's renovation after the fire should be done by the next time we are there). I never heard such a squeaking as when everyone stood and sat.
  • Glimpsed Obama on CNN at the Notre Dame commencement and actually they played quite a bit of his speech, which sounded as if it was his typical was his usual smooth double-talk which leaves everyone thinking he agreed with them. Just enough to let Catholics who want to agree with him say, "See? I told you so ..." Proudest moment was seeing senior Emily Toates' sound byte, which was articulate about why she was boycotting the ceremony. She is from our parish.
  • Visited Mom and Dad in Springfield on the way home. It's been way too long since they saw the girls. We dined at Ocean Zen which is fusion cooking that has a Pacific Rim flair. Truly it is worthy of any large city in sophistication and deliciousness! Altogether an enjoyable time.
And then there was the reading. I finished four books:
  • Angels of God by Mike Aquilina. Suffice it to say that it was easy to understand without dumbing it down. Altogether an informative and fascinating read about the angels and their relationship to us. It makes a good accompaniment to The Angels and Their Mission. There is some duplication of information but a suprising amount in both books stands as complements to each other. Some of that is due to their different foci in the authors' intentions for their books, naturally. Highly recommended and I will be posting excerpts in the days to come.
  • The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers. The first espionage novel and I loved it. Even the yachting information was clear enough for me to follow and that is quite a feat.
  • A Safe Place for Dying by Jack Fredrickson. A fast paced, enjoyable noir-ish mystery set in Chicago. I didn't really think about the setting until I discovered I was reading it while IN Chicago. Which made a nice additional twist for me.
  • Operation Terror by Murray Leinster. Audiobook. Couldn't wait for Mark at SciPodBooks to finish feeding me this one before I left. So I pulled it from Librivox where Mark also uploads his readings. I listened to the last four chapters while driving the first day. By the time we were done, Tom had caught the gist and we were both guessing at the solution to the puzzle. Both wrongly as it turns out. There was a final twist that caught us both off guard. Great book and great reading by Mark as always.

No comments:

Post a Comment