Since my Mom died in '04, we've had to come up with new "family traditions". It's kind of hard since we don't have any friends or family nearby, and (obviously) can't afford to travel to see anybody. So, we have things like getting up and going down to the Loop for the Thanksgiving Parade (see yesterday's post) and going to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily Circus the day after Thanksgiving.
They usually send out coupons to all the grade school kids, which are good for discounted $9.00 tickets, which makes going to the Circus reasonable. In previous years we'd been up in the nose-bleed seats at the United Center, but this year all seats were available with that, and we had great seats on the ground level, which would have been like $25.00 otherwise.
This was a new show (I guess they're usually "new" shows, as Ringling has 3 tours out at any time, which will cycle between regions), "Fully Charged". The most "wow" part of this was "The Human Fuse" who is launched by a giant crossbow (although not actually a crossbow) across the stadium, while on fire.
Because we were closer to the action this time, I got some better pics. Some day when I have income again, I really want to get a good digital SLR. My current camera, while quite functional, is "iffy" for anything like this, The guys in the wheels up there was a lucky shot with "stabilization mode", while the other 3 are shot with the flash ... obviously, the settings for the flash mode invokes a faster shutter, getting sharper pics, but because the flash has very little effect at 200ft or so, the pics tend to be dark. However, I ended up with some shots that looked OK this time.
The Wife had mentioned that she'd never seen The French Market (down at the train station), so on our way back we stopped in there, with the intent of grabbing some lunch. However, while it was open, about half the vendors were closed, and those that were still open were pretty pricey for what they were offering (although, I must admit, the truffle mayo that the Belgian Fries place had sounded quite appealing!), so we ended up hitting the food court in the other part of the station (which was very familiar to me as I frequently had my "lunch" over there when working with the Census).
We ended up walking back over to State St., with The Wife wanting to go brave The Store Formerly Known As Marshall Fields and The Girls and I having to hit Blick for some rubber cement for some upcoming project boards. Blick, instead of having "Black Friday" specials, had a "wheel of fortune" with prizes ... everybody won something, from a Sharpie up to a tote bag ... I was kind of hoping for a T-Shirt (they looked cool), but ended up with some color pencils (which Daughter #2 also won, with #1 getting some acrylic paints).
We hopped the bus back home, with The Wife eventually following, having gotten Xmas stuff for most of the Nephews and Nieces. It was sort of nice having pretty much a full day AFK and off of Twitter.