Hi. We're back from the cornfields. Actually, not much of the cornfields left anymore. More like edge-of-strip-mall-land. In fact, I was able to observe the complete lifecycle of the American suburban strip mall: from larvae to adult to dried out empty husk.
We took the train up to Chicago on Christmas eve.
Why yes, we saw the bean.
What they don't tell you is that the curving on the middle inside makes these really neat infinite reflection patterns.
Even the lions at the Art Institute were dressed up for the holidays.
By the way, Christmas Eve (especially if it's particularly cold) is an excellent day to visit the Chicago Art Institute. It's not as crowded as usual and there's little to no wait time to see the exhibits. (On one other memorable Christmas Eve there were maybe 2 dozen people in the whole building. K says he has NEVER seen the garage look so empty. We parked next to the stairs.)
There was this nifty Indonesian textile exhibit that we got to see. Lots of fabulous and intricate ikats (both warp and weft!), batik, and embroidery, among other things. I was sad that they'd archived the big Chagall windows during their renovation, though. I would've liked another look at those.
We saw what will ever be fixed in my mind as the Blues Brothers Hut-Hut building.
And that Picasso.
It wasn't super-fantastic cold (like the day before. mmm, 17 F and windchill to 0. Something to make me appreciate my mild Pacific Northwest winters), but it was 25 F chilly. Still, both of us had had a little too much sedentary time and pizza lately so we walked all over downtown. Here's the Chicago river (yeah, the one they dye green on St. Patrick's day):
I don't really have much in the way of other pictures but it was a lovely restful Christmas and I was able to dump all my guilt and worry by the wayside for a week. I got a lot of knitting done too, including finishing off the Sport sweater. No, not in time for Christmas, but in time to give it to NY niece. Who is, as always, unbearably cute. She's a good kid.
Hap-hap-happy new year everyone! We're cooking jumbalaya, drinking Gluhwein, and baking New Year's bread (a new tradition, brought about by necessity after we forgot the 2-3 hour final rise AFTER the initial rise): you make it in the old year and eat it in the new year. I wish you all a wonderful new year, may it be better than the last.