Saturday, March 24, 2007

Our fun and foggy day in the Windy City

We told the girls -- including visiting niece Gabrielle -- that we were going to surprise them today with a ROAD TRIP.
As we drove deeper into unusually foggy Illinois, the girls' guesses drew closer to the truth:
"Are we going to Galena? Are we going to Rockford? Are we going to CHICAGO?"
We went to Chicago, where we:
1) Nearly got lost in the AMERICAN GIRL PLACE, a three-story, high-end doll shop which was PACKED with 12-and-under girls and their money hemorrhaging parents.
All three girls received a doll and two outfits.
2) Ate at PORTILLOS at Clark and Ontario. Of course I got a CHICAGO-STYLE HOT DOG -- an all-beef dog topped with mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges, tiny peppers and a dash of celery salt... but don't even THINK of adding ketchup.
3) Shopped at TRADER JOE'S. Yeee haaaa! After loving Trader Joe's stuff -- the peanut butter... the microwaveable Indian food... the cheap boxes of Charles Shaw wine (TWO BUCK CHUCK)... the San Pellegrino Limonata (the world's greatest sparkling lemon beverage) -- during my trips back to San Francisco and Reno, I can finally enjoy it here. In fact, I'm drinking Limonata right now!
4) Worshipped at IKEA. I mean, shopped at IKEA. I was finally able to show Kerstin and Annika my favorite store. We got some new kitchen chairs, Swedish cookies, a Swedish-flag colored umbrella, pint glasses and -- did I mention Swedish cookies?
5) Hit the Woodfield BORDERS on our way out of town. I got "Moanin'" (1958) by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (featuring my favorite trumpeter, Lee Morgan) and "Tunnel Vision," the video collection of the Hoodoo Gurus.
What a day!


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