The reason that we were venturing off that way was to see the much ballyhooed Niki in the Garden exhibition, featuring the works of the "world renowned artist" (that I'd never heard of) Niki de Saint Phalle ... 30 sculptures set up in the Conservatory and its gardens.
Personally, the statuary wasn't my cup of tea, but there were a couple that were impressive enough, a 2-story high "firebird" covered in mirror tiles being the "best" of the lot (in my opinion), and a very cool (literally ... it was about the only place with any shade out on a hot and humid day!) skull that you could go sit inside.
We had planned on having a late lunch at an Irish pub when we got back downtown, but didn't end up leaving there until after 3pm, so we (pretty drained from too much sun and heat) opted to just go home and order in pizza (which turned into a debacle, thanks to Leona's steep decline).
Monday was The Wife's actual birthday, so we got up early and "did prizes" before The Girls headed off to day camp. I ran off and got my hair cut around noon at a new place (it's a long story), and got stuff planned out for our trip to Iowa. Once The Girls got back, we ran out to pick up a birthday cake, then got cleaned up and headed off to Greek Town for dinner. The Wife has been missing a dish from the Papagus place that closed a year or so back on State St., so we were in search of a similar entree down there. We ended up going to Athena's and sitting out in their rather large garden/patio area, which was very nice. After dinner we walked back into the Loop to grab a bus home an have birthday cake.
Tonight I ran The Girls up to Dojo after camp (and got caught in the torrential rain that crawled through the north side today), and we picked up some stuff for the trip. Tomorrow (this is still sort of part of The Wife's birthday) we head off to Iowa, to a water park near the Amana Colony. Why? Good question! Well, my father-in-law has an RV that he and his wife use to escape the Phoenix summers, and they've been up in Iowa visiting her relatives, and this was a place where they could find a place for the RV and have some stuff (the water park) to amuse The Girls. It's supposedly only a 4 hour drive and is straight out on I-88/80, so I shouldn't be too fried from the drive.
Anyway, that's what I've been up to. I should be back on Saturday night!