Monday, October 30, 2006

A town so smart its spelling starts with C-H-I-C...Chic!

Back from the activity portion of my vacation. Mike and I went to Chicago for the long weekend. Here's the rundown:
  • Terrific room at the Palmer House with a wonderful surprise gift basket from my sister and her husband
  • Nice dinner (terrible table) at Italian Village. Great breakfast at Lou Mitchell's (the donut holes were everything I'd hoped for, and I need to recreate the cheddar and apple omelet at home some time). So-so pizza at Giordano's. Best pomegranate martini I've ever had at Miller's Pub.
  • Taping of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me at the Chase Auditorium. This was our favorite ticketed event of the weekend, even above the two musicals we saw. Two lovely handknit sweaters in the row in front of us. I tried to take pics with my camera, but they didn't turn out. We bought mugs, because like they told us at the show, "If you don't buy any overpriced trinkets, it's like you weren't even here."
  • Miles and magnificent miles of Urban Hiking (or "Shopping"). Here's Mike with his celebrity boyfriend at the Gap.
Altar Boyz was good, poking fun at boy bands and the clumsy bad art of Christian rock. The stereotypes were played a little too broadly, but maybe that's the point. (I think it still could've worked with a lighter touch). 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was better, although I kept getting distracted by the brat precious little girl sitting front and center, who kept standing up and talking to her parents every time a performer was spotlighted downstage. Both shows had a mix of humor and sentimentality that make them enjoyable if not particularly moving or challenging (although the song Olive sings in response to "chimerical" really does earn the tears, I think).

The one big dud of the trip was Adler Planetarium, which we went to because there was, even late in the afternoon, a long line to get into the Shedd Aquarium. Some of the astrolabe stuff was mildly interesting. But in general the Adler is so lame that I think it actually does damage to the cause of making kids interested in science. (For a good planetarium experience, go to the Hayden in New York).

I need to sing the praises of my amazing L. L. Bean Weather Challenger Jacket -- waterproof shell, removable fleece liner. The weather was fickle, but this jacket adapts to everything.


rcclive said...

I am so jealous - Chicago, my favorite city, "Wait - Wait" my favorite show (the only news worth listening to!) ... sounds like quality time to me, she whined. LC2

Mel said...

You're making me think I need to visit Chic-a-go again. It's been a while, and you make it sound so fun.

Cat Herself said...

Sounds like an excellent weekend! We're going there Nov. 10 a.f. Can't wait! Wish we were staying at Palmer House, but we'll be with friends so it'll be free - yay. And we are going to go to the Field to see Tut. Yay! Wait Wait sounds excellent, too - maybe someday . . .