Day 04 of our trip was divided between laundry and sightseeing with my sister-in-law Julie. I love Julie. I hate doing laundry in a hotel. The Embassy’s idea of laundry is to put one tiny washer and dryer on the 10th and 14th floor. The set up on the 10th was busy, so we had to make several trips back and forth between our hotel room on the 6th floor and the washing machine on the 14th. The kids were naturally bored. Meanwhile, I slaved over the last three days’ worth of dirty undies.
Fortunately, Julie came to save us at noon. She whisked us away to the Disney store and then to the freakiest place on Earth, the American Girl Store. You know yours truly is not American Girl material, not by a long shot. I don’t do the girlie girl thing, and I sure as hell don’t get into dolls and kids wearing matching outfits. American Girl is just too mundane and too commercialized for me. I saw a lot of families walking through that store, Moms chasing after daughters who brought their dolls with them so they could get just the right accessories, Dads dragging behind, arms loaded with doll stuff. Someone should have put those guys out of their misery. Someone should have put me out of my misery. I was just freaked by the whole Stepford atmosphere. But Princess and Pixie were in seventh heaven, running from one display to the next, oohing and ahhing over the dolls and their overpriced stuff. All along, Julie just kept laughing at me. Remember how I said I loved my sister-in-law? Maybe not so much in the American Girl Store.
We ended up getting two small (6 inch) dolls. I insisted on the historical dolls, so we got Josephina for Princess and Kaya for Pixie. We also got books on each doll. Then Julie got us out of there before my stomach turned itself completely inside out. We hopped on a bus and headed back to the hotel where we deposited our loot, then headed back out for the Millenium Park.
Millenium Park was cool. We started off with the big Bean, which is a giant bean shaped chrome sculpture that reflects everything at weird angles. It’s HUGE! And outside the Bean there were a group of kids doing a re-enactment of the big fight scene from Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. Then there was a display of modern sculptures by Chinese artists, as well as the fountain area. In the fountain area there are two tall pillars that display video images of faces. After these giant faces smile for a while, they purse their lips and spit, and a stream of water comes shooting out, soaking everyone. The girls loved it. After a while in there, we caught a rehearsal session of a local symphony (they were damned good!), and then Julie guided us back to our hotel.
Hubster came back a little later and took us out to dinner at a place called Big Bowl. They serve Thai, Chinese, etc., there, and all of it is good. But Pixie was a little too tired to enjoy. She fell asleep at the table, almost nodding off into her plate. Fortnately for Hubster, Big Bowl wasn’t too far from our hotel, because I nominated him to carry our sleeping offspring back.
And that was day 04! Here are the pics:
Julie discusses the joys of American Girl with Princess (I didn’t dare take a picture inside the store, for fear their security would break my arm).
Our loot after a day of shopping. Hubster is so broke now.
Fans re-enact the ending to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the Bean.
More Harry Potter. Their MacGonigal was very good.
Julie (foreground) and the Bean (who’s proper name escapes me, but I think it’s called Cloud Reflection Sculpture or something like that).
Inside the Bean, looking up. Look for the bright flash. That’s me with my camera, reflected in the celing (and Julie’s ponytail is in the foreground).
…and Escher Pixie.
Giant Toy Dinosaur in the Millenium Park! Made in China.
Rinse and spit! Faces pillar in the Millenium Park.
At the symphony rehearsal, I asked Julie if Chicago was always like this. She said, “Like what? Awesome? Yeah, pretty much.”
Dinner at Big Bowl. Pixie was worn out!
And that’s pretty much day 04!