A Squared: 2 Brunches, 3 City Walks, and 6 Months of Marriage

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2 Brunches, 3 City Walks, and 6 Months of Marriage

Syracuse ladies... circa 2005?
I ate a lot of brunch this weekend.  The ironic thing is that I ate brunch at the same restaurant both Saturday and Sunday and the place is conveniently named Brunch.  Easy to remember.  Love it.

On Saturday I met up with my college roommate Liz for brunch-- that's us at right (with our counterparts Liz L. and Maggie) in our younger drunker days.  Liz and I fell out of touch for a few years after college when she was in Japan and then I was in Boston, so it's been so great to see more of her over the past couple of years since we've both returned to our Midwestern roots.  I love getting together with her when she makes it down to Chicago every couple of months.  Thanks for brunching with me, Liz!

Breakfast on a pretzel roll.  Yum.
Alex's Red Velvet Pancakes.
After brunch at Brunch #2 on Sunday with our friends Mike and Colleen I needed a little physical activity otherwise I was likely going to go home and take a long food-induced nap.  It was a beautiful [chilly] day so we decided to break out the City Walks again and go explore our city.  I let Alex pick this time and he got adventurous and chose 3 concurrent City Walks along the downtown lakefront.  It was a lot of walking, but a great way to spend a Sunday.  Did I mention that it is also our 6-month anniversary?  Happy Anniversary, Alex-- thanks for a wonderful (and always eventful) first 6 months of marriage.  Looking forward to spending the next 6 with you too.

City Walk #1: Millennium Park

We started this walk right at #1 in Millennium Park.  I've been here a handful of times since it's a place that our friends and family always want to see when they come to visit so it was interesting to see the Park this way and to find out how much of it I have actually never seen before.

1. Wrigley Square Monument.
2. Cloud Gate
The Walk started at the Wrigley Square Monument (at right) and then moved on to one of the tourist attractions that we most frequently visit with our out of town guests: Cloud Gate a.k.a. "The Bean."  We took our 1,274th self portrait in its reflection today too.

3. Crown Fountain
Our next stop was the Crown Fountain and I have to be honest about it: I find the face fountain to be really creepy.

The next stop was Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion, which we have both been to before since we are both architecture nerds, but never to see an actual performance.  I think that seeing a concert there will be on our Summer 2012 bucket list.  Doesn't a free outdoor concert with a picnic and a bottle of wine sound great?

4. Pritzker Pavilion
At the Pavilion we also encountered a lovely tourist couple who offered to take our picture if we took theirs.  Thanks, folks!
5. Lurie Gardens

After that we went to the Lurie Gardens.  I've never been here and it was actually really beautiful.  Apparently the different sections of the gardens are intended to represent different aspects of Chicago's history...  I think we needed a guided tour to figure that out because it was in no way evident just walking through.  Lovely tulips and a great view of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute though. 
6. BP Bridge

This walk ended at BP Bridge, also designed by Mr. Frank Gehry to connect Millennium and Grant Parks over Columbus Drive.  When I first moved to Chicago I lived blocks from this bridge and never set foot on it until today.  I love these walks!

1. Cancer Survivor's Garden
City Walk #2: Grant Park

Walk #2 starts right where #1 leaves off, so we figured we might as well continue and enjoy the day.  The first stop was the Cancer Survivor's Garden-- again, a place that I did not know even existed until today.  The park is flanked by planters (made from the columns of Chicago's old Federal building) and plaques with facts and sayings about cancer and life.  I particularly liked this one: "Have plans for pleasant things to do and goals to accomplish."  We should all live by those words.
2. Buckingham Fountain

Our short second walk ended at Chicago's famous Buckingham Fountain.  Unfortunately, since it was still a smidge chilly, the fountain was not running today.  It did bring back some memories of the TV show Married With Children though.

1. Shedd Aquarium
City Walk #3: Museum Campus

Ah finally, the third and final City Walk along the Museum Campus.  Are you exhausted yet?  I am tired just telling you about it so imagine the actual walk.  It was a long afternoon.  Here is a confession for you:  I've never actually been in ANY of the museums that we saw on this walk.  I'm a bad Chicagoan and I am adding actually going in and viewing the exhibits to the  2012 Chicago Bucket List too.
2. Adler Planetarium

The first stop was the Shedd Aquarium where there was HUGE line of people waiting to enter when we walked by... good thing we weren't planning to go in today.  There's my husband being goofy in front and there is also a hilarious sign that we saw outside of it that warned us to watch our heads around the protective nesting blackbirds.

After that we walked along the lake to get to the Adler Planetarium and it was super windy and FREEZING.  I've included photographic proof of that.  Needless to say, after that refreshing breeze we were ready to get on with this tour so we made a third stop at America's Courtyard right on the water next to the Planetarium.  Again, didn't know that this was here.  It sort of reminded me of a combo of Stonehenge, a sundial, and the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.  It was really beautiful and kind of peaceful since it was situated all the way at the end of the Museum Campus peninsula.
3. America's Courtyard

After that we headed back toward the Field Museum of Natural History, our final stop of the day.  So, after 3 hours, 6.5 miles of walking, and 12 "must see" Chicago locations we were done being tourists and ready to head home.
4. Field Museum

That was a super long blog post and I promise that the rest will not be this involved.  Thanks for reading though and an even bigger thank you to Alex for being such a good sport for the long chilly walk-- and for 6 great months of marriage.


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