June 18th, 2007

Loon

Fathers Day ...

Yesterday was great ... as noted previously we had a lot of stuff planned. The day started with a fairly early wake-up (as The Girls are always over-eager to get these things going) with my getting some presents, most notably being tickets for a Cubs game next month (that we'll all be going to). They'd also gotten in some cinnamon rolls, etc. which made a nice start to the day.

Around noon we headed out for Dim Sum down in Chinatown. For a while over the weekend it looked like we might have to figure out something else, as the Red Line subway was being re-routed southbound, but we ended up walking a mile or so down State St. and catching the #29 bus that then took up to within a couple of blocks from Chinatown on Cermak. As usual, we went to Three Happiness and stuffed ourselves. The Wife had suggested that I would want to go get some goodies down at the Chiu Quon bakery, but I took a pass on that as we were going to be out and about most of the day, and I was not wanting to have a box of BBQ pork buns sitting out in the sun in 90° heat! We were able to take the El back north (the pic here is from the Cermak/Chinatown stop) and get to our next activity.

We recently signed up for membership at the Art Institute, largely for the "family programs" they have. Sunday they had an art activity for the kids, keyed to the famous Thorne Rooms (incredibly detailed "doll-house" type displays), with all sorts of "craft supplies" for them to make "furniture". Another activity is a "kid-friendly" gallery tour, which takes the kids to 3-4 spots to look at related paintings and seed some "art concepts" ... it was good that I'd opted to take a pass on the bakery side-trip, as when we got to the museum it was only 10-15 minutes before that headed out. We ended up staying there until 3-something and then moseying up Michigan Ave. towards the Cultural Center.

Part of my prizes was a token good for the amazing and always delightful Art-o-mat© machine at the Cultural Center. I've written about these before, but it's an "art project" that's been running for 10 years now (originally out of Winston-Salem), which features re-furbished cigarette machines that vend little bits of art rather than smokes. They're up to 82 machines around the U.S., and have recently even gone international. For five bucks you get to pick from what's in the machine, which can be all over the board, from jewelry to soap, paintings to sculptures. This is what I got ... note the quarter for size!

From the Cultural Center we hopped the 151 bus and headed up Michigan to the movie theater, where we saw Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (as reviewed in my previous post). Over my lifetime, I have been a very infrequent movie goer, so it felt absolutely bizarre to be at the same theater twice in a weekend (we'd seen Pirates on Friday, as regular readers will no doubt recall), but that's how it played out.

We were going to walk home, but ran into the #36 on State so took that to give our now somewhat fatigued legs a break. We were only home long enough to drop our various things (we'd done some shopping for The Girls' summer camp needs on the way) and then headed out again for dinner. One of my all-time favorite restaurants is Standard India up on Belmont, which has excellent buffets at both lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, The Girls are not big fans of Indian food (although The Wife likes it well enough), so I don't have many opportunities to get up there. Of course, on Fathers Day, I get indulged, so that's where we went. Normally, if I know that I'm going up there I'll try not to eat much during the day, so I can "do justice to" the buffet, but I was still running on Dim Sum, so I had a much more genteel dining experience than I would typically up there, but it was wonderful. Again, due to the El re-route, we had to have alternate plans getting home (we ended up taking the 22 bus), but all in all it was a great day!


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