Chicago Weekend, Part 2

Start with Part 1, if you haven’t seen it already.

Chris and Veronica

Chris and Veronica

Fri­day evening was Veronica’s per­for­mance at the gui­tar fes­ti­val. She and Chris, the gui­tarist from UW, played first on the festival’s open­ing con­cert. I glanced through the pro­gram book­let, and I’m pretty sure that Veron­ica was the only non-guitarist per­form­ing all week­end. The two of them did an excel­lent job — they played two move­ments of Mauro Giu­liani’s Grand Duo Con­cer­tant. I’m look­ing for­ward to hear­ing the whole piece on Chris’s recital in a cou­ple of weeks.

Sue the T-Rex

Sue the T-Rex

On Sat­ur­day, we got up rel­a­tively early and checked out of the hotel. We were able to leave our bags there while we headed off to the Field Museum. Our main objec­tive at the Field was to see their tem­po­rary Real Pirates exhibit. We arrived fairly early, so we were able to breeze right in to both the museum and the pirate exhibit. The exhibit fol­lows the his­tory of the Why­dah, a slave ship turned pirate ship. So, it starts out detail­ing the ship’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Atlantic slave trade of the early 18th cen­tury, then picks up with the story of Sam Bel­lamy, the pirate cap­tain who cap­tured her in the Caribbean. The exhibit does a good job of explain­ing the var­i­ous sorts of lives at sea — those of a slave, a pirate, and a sailor in the King’s navy. The exhibit is pep­pered with arti­facts from the Why­dah — can­non, pis­tols, pieces of eight, etc. The ship sank off Cape Cod in a storm in 1717 and was found by a team led by Barry Clif­ford in 1984. Part­way through the exhibit, I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed at the arti­fact to dio­rama ratio, but a whole sec­tion about the recov­ery of the ship and con­ser­va­tion of its arti­facts set that straight.

We vis­ited the Field a cou­ple of years ago, so many of the exhibits were fresh in our minds. We did go through the dinosaur hall again, though (I’ve always been a dinophile). We also spent some time in a cou­ple of small tem­po­rary exhibits, one fea­tur­ing ancient jew­elry from around the Mid­dle East, and another of pho­tographs of the mas­sive Hindu Kumbha Mela pil­grim­age. Sadly, we didn’t have the time or energy to see the other big tem­po­rary exhibit, The Aztec World.

A Colorful Wall Across the Street From Our Hotel

A Col­or­ful Wall Across the Street From Our Hotel

We made some great food choices through­out our visit, thanks in no small part to the iPhone appli­ca­tion. Yelp lets you search for busi­nesses near your cur­rent loca­tion and pro­vides user-supplied rat­ings and reviews for them. Aside from the deep-dish pizza we had the first night, we had a deli­cious break­fast at the Bongo Room, great very fresh sushi at Oysy, and delec­table Cuban sand­wiches at Cafecito. We even found an impres­sively stocked inde­pen­dent liquor store where we were able to buy a bot­tle of Goats Do Roam red and a bar of Ghi­rardelli dark choco­late, thus bypass­ing the allure of our hotel room mini-bar.

The only snag in our trip came at the end. When we attempted to pur­chase our return trip Metra tick­ets at Union Sta­tion, the agent informed us that on the week­end, trains don’t go as far as the sta­tion where we’d parked the car. Whoops. We got on the train any­way, fig­ur­ing we’d find a cab to take us the rest of the way. But, we remem­bered that our friends Les­ley (of Le Tri­an­gle d’Or) and Keith were in Elgin that week­end vis­it­ing Keith’s fam­ily. They agreed to pick us up and ferry us to the other sta­tion. Even bet­ter than that, they invited us to stay for a deli­cious din­ner with Keith’s par­ents and sis­ter. So, what appeared to be a snag turned out to be serendipitous!

As usual, click any of the pho­tos above to see the whole gallery.

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3 Responses to Chicago Weekend, Part 2

  1. Dad says:

    Nice pics! Glad to see Veron­ica get­ting a chance to per­form a bit!

  2. Cameron says:

    Dude– you saw SUE!!!!! How cool:-)

  3. Dave says:

    I know! I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of my love for dinosaurs, and it doesn’t get much bet­ter than a T-Rex!