Gosh, how embarrassing. I haven't posted in a week. I always set these noble goals for myself to post every day, but somehow that never lasts very long!
At least I have a good excuse. :) My dear friend from college Kelly came to visit! She's in medical school in Philly, but she's doing a rotation in Pittsburgh right now, so of course she had to make the trek out to Chicago.
I remember one time in college, Kelly declared that she HATED Chicago. There was nothing good about it! She said it had terrible weather and no culture—in fact, its opera house was right on the street!!
I should add that Kelly has no recollection of ever saying this.
So when I knew she was coming to visit, I had one goal: prove that Chicago does have culture, and is quite a fine city after all.
Kelly arrived Friday night and Frank and I made a fabulous dinner for the occasion. We pulled out the cloth napkins and everything. Then Kelly and I talked and caught up for hours while Frank-the-ever-patient pretended to be invisible.
Saturday morning we woke up early and drove out to the suburbs for a talk on icons.
Frank, Kelly and I do love icons, but the talk was 45 min away, at 9:00 am on a Saturday.
We wouldn't have gone if we didn't have a very special reason: I'm giving a talk at the same church next month, and I wanted to do a little recon first.
On that note, friends, do you have any recommendations for giving a talk to young adults? My topic is "The Church and New Media: How Catholics can engage with social media and use it for New Evangelization without compromising key principles." I have a lot of ideas, but I've never done this before, and I'm not sure where to start!
After the talk we went to my parents' house for brunch. We only intended to stay an hour, but Kelly was having so much fun we stayed for almost three! My dad wanted to talk about medical school, while my mom wanted to hear about Kelly's family. Kelly and I share the unusual distinction of being from families with six girls and one boy—we concluded that our parents have a lot in common.
In the afternoon, I put my show-off-Chicago plan into action. Kelly and I went downtown to the fabulous Art Institute, leaving Frank to get ready for a bachelor party he was going to that night.
Fortunately Kelly loved the Art Institute. Neither of us wanted to leave. We especially enjoyed the miniature rooms in the basement, showcasing different regional and historical styles.
I loved that the New England room below had a blue and white plate collection. Kindred spirits!
I also decided that my new life dream is to have a bed just like the one below. Isn't it cool? And just think of the eavesdropping possibilities... just kidding. ;)
Kelly and I discovered a new favorite painting—this image of St. Andrew:
You can really see how he struggles to embrace his cross. Isn't that what all of us are trying to do in our lives? It gave us a lot to think about.
I put up some pictures on Instagram from the Art Institute and found out that sweet Kate almost got engaged there! Isn't that neat?
After all our artistic education, we decided it was time to relax. We went to a cool, philosophical cafe down the street for coffee and then walked a few blocks more to an Italian restaurant for dinner.
When Frank and I go to Italian restaurants, especially when we were in Rome, he often wants to order margherita pizza. I always get annoyed—"Don't you want to branch out and try new things??" So what did I do at the Italian restaurant Saturday night, with no Frank around? I ordered the margherita pizza! I tell you, marriage does funny things to you.
After dinner we did some extensive window shopping, including looking for a $28,000 handbag at Burberry. I saw the same bag last week when I was downtown with Frank's parents, and I couldn't resist showing Kelly—I mean, isn't that outrageous?! They'd moved the bag, though, and we walked all over the three-story Burberry before we finally stumbled upon it. I'm pretty sure the dude working the second floor thought we were shoplifters. But I recognized the first-floor employee from last week and we had a nice chat. He asked if we had seen the $90,000 jacket upstairs. No, we did not. I can't believe we missed it!
Next stop was Macy's, where we talked ourselves out of buying various dresses and shoes and gave each other makeovers at the makeup counter. We tried to visit American Girl Place, but sadly it had just closed when we got there! No matter. It was time to visit Ghirardelli's.
As we sat and talked, Kelly agreed that she did like Chicago after all. And I realized that, in convincing her, I had convinced myself too. I might not be fond of this place quite yet, but I think it's safe to say I'm getting there.
P.S. If you're wondering when I'm going to publish the next part of the love story—I've been working away on it—talk to Frank. I send him each part for editing before I publish, mostly so he can tell me if I got any facts wrong, and he hasn't gotten back to me about this last part yet. I'll keep bugging him about it, I promise.