Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Vacay in Chi-Town part 2

The best way to fall back in love with your home town is to see it again for the first time through the eyes of a tender new comer. Not only was this the Frenchman's first time to Chicago, but the first time outside of European soil.

He survived the flight without having to stop the pilot for a cigarette break. At the airport he's already astonished at the size of O'hare. I had to leave him briefly at customs as I was in the U.S Citizens line and he was in the VISITORS line. Once we find ourselves at baggage claim he mentions how friendly the customs agent was, wishing him a happy holiday in Chicago - a far cry from the smokey grunts you get off customs agents at Charles de Gaulle airport.

His next observation: the cars are huge. He reads out loud a sign that says "Over sized cars use right lane" he ponders this, then says, " But zey are all oversized". "Zey have school buses just like on les Simpsons!". Ahh, America as seen by the French, oversized and littered with pop culture references. I love it.

And so we arrive to my mom's place in Bucktown.

It has been way too long since I have had a Christmas in Chicago, dirty snow on the ground, biting wind and my mother's fabulous Christmas flourish.

We turn on our electric fireplace and I mention to Stephane that this is America - you can have everything at the flick of a switch.

Frenchie on the balcony taking in some winter Chicago sun.

We relaxed the first night and ordered Lou Malnatti's pizza - I made sure to get my favorite - Deep dish with anchoivie. Mmmm, Sweet Home....

The last three or so times that I have been back to Chicago I have tried to rope some poor soul into going to the Shedd Aquarium with me. Finally I had a captive audience in Stephane that basically had to do whatever I told him. So off we went with my sister in tow to the fabulous Shedd Aquarium. Whales, Sea Otters, Penguins and tons of Fish (and yes, my reverence for marine life and delight in all things aquatic does require capitals for these darling creatures)

Here we have the view of the Chicago skyline from outside the Aquarium. Blue steel.

And here we are outside of the Shedd.

My favorite: The Sea Otter.

Baby Beluga, oh Baby Beluga....

The next night friends came over for a Christmas cookie party. Stephane was a walking zombie due to jet lag. And the cookies came out, well....

Interesting, to say the least.

Well, I don't want to overwhelm you. Tomorrow: Christmas and all the fabulous presents I got! Oh how I spoil you.


Donny B said...

Notice the candy cane cookie on the bottom left of the plate? Notice the perfect brushstrokes with the red and white icing pens? Yeah, that was the one I did. I rule at cookie decorating.

RedLady said...

Oh those cookies are cute! Did you decorate them? I dragged my parents to the Sea Life centre whilst home over the summer. I was in a trance all the way round but they had to rush me away from the children's hands-on rock pond when I accidentally dropped a crab against a rock and took the starfish out of the water to look at it (I DIDN'T SEE THE SIGN AND ANOTHER KID WAS DOING IT!) Fortunately no official fish people saw me and the creatures seemed to still be alive. Do they play creepy underwaterish music in the Shedd Aquarium?

teahouse said...

Hey, I would give anything to see Shedd! I love aquariums, and it is the one major one I've never been to.

Hope you had a fabulous Midwestern U.S.A. Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Oh SO great---- getting to go home! With your Love! Deep dish pizza! And Sea Otters!!!! (In native american tradition I am an otter, so I am partial to those fun loving, slippery creatures).


Lauren said...

Blue Poppy - I want to have an animal in Native American tradition. Gimme!

Eric said...

I think you should put up some pictures of all the cute people that were decorating your cookies ;)

Danielle said...

That sounds great! I love the way you tell it. Your man is such a cutie pie. And your report of what he said made me and Adam both laugh out loud!

fin said...

love the cute cookies!