Monday, February 03, 2014

Chicago - Sunday

Thanks to a kerfuffle from American Airlines, my parents wound up switching to a flight leaving at almost the same time as Jason's.  While I was glad they found a way home, it meant that I wound up with a morning to myself in Chicago.

We had breakfast together, said our good-byes, and I leisurely got myself ready for the day.  Once I was bundled up, I headed out in search of shopping and second breakfast.

The store I had in mind didn't open until 11, so I wandered around until I suddenly came upon a building I recognized:

Eataly.  I saw an article about this indoor Italian marketplace/eatery last fall when it first opened.  I had time to kill and freezing cold cheeks, so I headed inside.

They had fresh produce, kitchenware, a coffee shop, and the noises of a restaurant upstairs; but I found myself drawn to a counter on the right:

A Nutella bar!  I almost passed it up, but then I recalled that I am my father's daughter and that I am out of town and therefore allowed to eat hazelnut-chocolate gooey bread.  So I did.

About two bites in, I realized that I lacked milk.  Fortunately:

they were all too eager to supply me with "the best American milk."  In cute little pints, nonetheless:

I managed to eat just one slice before the sweetness overpowered me, so I tossed the other, licked off my gooey fingers, and headed out to a nearby French-styled miscellany shop.

My intentions were to browse, but then I remembered that I lacked a proper egg cup.  I have never cooked a soft-boiled egg in my life, but I want a proper egg cup, you see, because I dream of having a leisurely breakfast of dipping toast into a soft-boiled egg while reading a long novel in a cottage in France.

I usually dream of such things while I'm scarfing down a banana between classes.

And so I needed a proper egg cup, and I suspected this may be a good place to find one.  So it was!  I picked out a charming ceramic one painted with brown and yellow designs.  Definitely something I could get home in my carry-on.

And then I saw the bowls.

Knowing that ceramics make packing a bit trickier, I tried to talk myself out of them.  I did a terrible job.  After all,
a) I really liked the designs,
b) new dishware makes me excited to eat at home,
c) since they are Especially For Me bowls, I can get away with only one in each size, and
d) I had already decided exactly what each one was for, which is practically like naming them; and therefore I was getting them, bag restrictions be damned.

For soup, for salad, for dreamy breakfast eggs,
and for yogurt with dark chocolate almonds and blueberries.

I had just enough time for some traditional vacation grocery shopping at:

Trader Joe's

I picked up a few cartons of my favorite almonds and a chicken wrap for lunch:

I also bought a reusable bag, since I figured it would hold more than my travel purse and yet still count as only a "personal item."  After swinging back by the hotel to pick up my suitcase and squeeze the almonds in amongst my clothes, I tied the Trader Joe's bag to my suitcase and headed out to the train station.

After a few blocks I came upon this memorial.  It looked so much more appropriate covered in snow than how I usually see it, I stopped to take a photo:

An older gentleman with white hair, an enormous furry hat, and wire spectacles came up to me as I pulled out my cell phone.  In a perfect German accent he said, "You know if you tie the bag the other way, it will not drag on the ground and cause you problems."

I realized he thought I had stopped out of luggage frustration.  I tried to explain that the bag actually keeps slipping around when I position them the way he was suggesting and that my method was working just fine, but he brushed off my explanations, "You see, the way you do it may make it rub on the ground and wear out."

I gave up trying to explain and just thanked him.  He nodded, smiled at me, and turned to go.  I took the picture and as I lowered my phone, I realized he was at my side again.  "I am an engineer you see," he said.  "I can't help but think about these things."  And then he walked away a second time.

"Of course you are an engineer," I thought as I resumed my walk without changing my bag tying system.  With that look and accent, he could have stepped right out of this movie:

It was a cold walk, but the skies were clear and I paused to admire the effect of the snowstorm on river, a city made of glass and ice:

Then it was back on the train, back on a plane, and back to an airport filled with orange and blue fans who would soon be severely disappointed.

P.S.  I know I skipped the show review.  I only had time tonight for one entry, and I picked the easier one to write.  Hopefully tomorrow I can wrap up the trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment