WARNING: Visual heavy post ahead! What’s a girl gonna do with the 900 photos she happily took during a fantastic trip? Or, as her friend pointed out that day at the Art Institute of Chicago:
Now, let’s back up a bit. In the light of day — and with our rainy forecasts quickly fading — we headed out on Day 2 of our Chicago trip with great expectations, past the Snickers joint that reminded me of our dog “Snickers” back home…
Past a colorful mural…
And eventually, bumping into our first planned destination: Millennium Park.
The Bean bellowed to us, and we spent some time under and around this interesting work of art, capturing our images and their reversals…
…along with other pieces of evidence that, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Fargo anymore.” No, we were really in Chicago — the place we’d long been dreaming about.
After we’d had our fill meandering about in MP, we moseyed over to the art institute, where we would spend the greater portion of our day.
I paused at this little corner, admiring the various angles and layers of the city that presented themselves.
We learned we could gain a cheaper admission by becoming museum members. So we did. It also granted us the privilege of coming and going as we wished, hanging out in the museum members lounge for a little reprieve, and indulging in a free drink.
And let’s face it, museum looking can be exhausting. So much to take in.
Obviously, I can’t replicate everything we absorbed but I’ve collected a few treasures to share. The girls were intent on seeing Chagall’s America Window.
I seemed most mesmerized by works involving mothers and children. Surprise?
Even the famous “Whistler’s Mother” had a mother-child aspect to it.
A few religious works also drew me in, including this, “A Glimpse Into Hell.”
This one, I’d seen online a few months earlier. It’s a Dutch impression of the Annunciation. So beautiful.
A little closer…
At some point, we found our way to the terrace cafe. The girls liked the idea of eating al fresco, and who were we moms to resist?
My pea soup included a bit of goat cheese for flavor.
But the highlight of our lunch was when Chica 2 was presented her “garden.” Where to begin with this thing??? We had some giggles over this lovely jungle of a salad.
Meanwhile, a certain snowman watched us devour our food.
The art institute was a great introduction to Chicago and its creative flair. This piece really drew me in.
The music exhibits too, of course…
But I have to share a favorite corner of the place. It was the section where I found a little piece of my heart.
My grandfather was born in a house (where my mother and her sisters grew up) built for our family in Bismarck that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and Wright is among the art institute’s treasured geniuses.
How surprised and pleased I was to find this nook, which bore furniture and angles similar to those I recall in my grandparents’ home in my childhood. Grandma sold the big “Byrne home” after Grandpa died, but it still holds so many of my early, most treasured memories. To find this piece of my own history here was like a secret little joy.
After all that, our eyes and minds needed a rest. Mama D had heard about a spitting fountain — the Crown Fountain to be exact — and we were pleased to come upon it on our walk back to the hotel. This fountain displays varied digital images of moving faces, and after a while, each face forms an “O” in the mouth, and “spits” out a fountain of water for the onlookers to enjoy in the wading pool below.
Check out the umbrella below his mouth catching the cool.
Finally, we took a cue from this guy…
And paused a while at these formations created by tires.
Our day was coming to a close, but we had one more stop to make on the way back to our hotel. It deserves its own post, however, so stay tuned!
Q4U: What of this day in Chicago stands out to you, and why?