Snow days. Abby and Tom were off work today after our winter storm, all Chicago schools closed. The weather people were very cool...the warnings came on Friday with great hour by hour updates. By midday Saturday, we knew what to expect and when. I love this shot...Tom snoozing, Abby grading papers, and Milo managing to sleep on not one, but two pieces of furniture. A balancing act.
For my birthday celebration we headed downtown on Saturday morning at about 10:00 a.m. This is a picture of our room. I took it, it's not from the website. I love the pink plaid chair, kind of funky, and the headboard. The opposite side of the room held a dresser/cabinet with a big TV, and most importantly, the little mini fridge. You know, the one with the little bag of cashews for $12.00, and a bag of M&M's for $6.50. My must-have can of Diet Pepsi Sunday morning set us back $5.50. Grrrrr....
Off we went to lunch shortly after checking in. Look way up...this is the John Hancock building, 100 floors and 1,506 feet high. The Skybar on the top floor is absolutely a must if you visit the city.
I was so thrilled when Bloomingdales came to Chicago. I've been to New York just once, I was 19 years old. Going to Bloomingdales was a dream of mine and I distinctly remember only being able to afford a pair of knit winter gloves. Then one came to Chicago...yay! The store is so endearing to me!
This is where I planned for us to have lunch. It is right around the corner from our hotel close to all of the great shops on and near Michigan Avenue. And that is the place to be for anything and everything. I've always loved Ralph Lauren for his American style...classic, a bit preppy, but not pretentious. His restaurant didn't disappoint.
I absolutely loved the restaurant...gorgeous gilt framed portraits (of whom, I'm not sure, nor did our waiter), and various pieces of fine furniture, like this large cabinet and filled with old books and and antiques.
I had to sneak in an appetizer or else The Husband and I debate and hem and haw forever. He's not crazy about trying new foods or ways of preparing them. Thankfully, he really enjoyed this Beef Carpaccio with Lemon Oil, Capers and shaved Parmesan. So good. And that's arugula...I'm really becoming a fan of it.
The Husband had a spinach salad with a piece of seared salmon served atop. I had the Eggs Benedict, it was before noon and brunch items were available. We were both in heaven. Mimosas made everything extra special. :)
The Husband...my personal Secret Service Man. We went to Water Tower Place. For my birthday gift I simply wanted two things; a saute pan and a stock pot. Laugh, I know. I like to buy my pots and pans "al a carte". Off we went to Sur la Table.
This is a cooks paradise. Not as showy or commercial as Williams Sonoma, and I really do love that shop. But I was seriously looking for a great saute pan and I had a criteria that I won't bore you with. Yikes...the one I had my eye on was well over $200,00. Back to the drawing board. I finally found one within my budget and am totally thrilled with it. Also, a stock pot, as I brought my only one up to the lakehouse since I'm always making pasta and potato salad in huge quantities in the summer when we have guests. I also added a few wooden spoons and some cute red and pink sprinkles for Valentine's Day baking. And these were my wonderful birthday gifts from The Husband! And take note...those little crocks you see above are NOTHING like the dollar bins at Target, if you know what I mean!!!
Yes! We did four 'o clock tea at The Drake Hotel. I couldn't include all the pics but it was just a beautiful setting with flowers and pretty tables, silver and china. We were seated right next to a fountain with cherubs spewing water from their mouths (is there another way to put that elegantly?) We each had a different sort of tea (can't remember now), and a three tier stand was brought with small savory bites, and sweets such a macarons, biscuits and pastries. Lemon curd, Devon-shire cream and jam made everything perfect. We really loved every bit of our experience.
We had a little down time in our room, just resting and watching a little TV. I had a great bit of advice from Suzanne from Privet and Holly. She suggested if we did the tea, that we simply enjoy a bit of night life and get appetizers to nibble on rather than dinner. And this was our plan...hence, the super nice lunch at RL. At about 8:30 p.m.. we dressed a bit more formally and went downstairs to the bar area. It was alive with a good many friendly people. and with The Husbands dry but fun personality, conversation flowed with those around us. We had a few "small plates" as they are called; fried calamari and delicious chicken fajita egg rolls. Beautifully presented, too.
All the while, I was looking out the windows at the snow falling. Okay...time for a walk, it was so beautiful. The Husband wasn't so keen but we agreed to walk across the street to The Drake Hotel (once again) and we spent an hour in Coq D' Or, listening to a wonderful singer reminiscent of Frank Sinatra. We loved it. :)
Of course we knew the forecast and the weather people were right on target. A lot of snow fell Saturday night...more so south of downtown where we live. A 25 minute drive took over an hour but The Husband drives so carefully and knows this route to and from work. This is our neighborhood after we got off the treacherous expressways. Pretty, but we had to be so careful.
I had to share some snow pictures...as if you haven't been "pictured out" already! That's my picnic table and the big old pot that held my four tomato plants last summer.
And my hedges around the patio. Snow sculptures. I think I see a few animals! And these will be here awhile as we are getting down to as low as 16 degrees this week. Total snowfall in inches in my area...22 1/2 inches. Ouch. The Husband used the snow blower to not only clear our driveway and sidewalks, but also a few elderly neighbors and some families not home. Even with the plows...many people have gotten stuck in snowbanks along our streets, including Abby just tonight. So much snow...piles reaching six feet high on each side of the street. I will get more pictures tomorrow. It's not going anywhere with the cold temps this week. Brrrrrr...
Finally, if all of you are not exhausted by my pictures...here is my Layla content in peering out the window at the people shoveling, snow blowing and chatting as neighbors do when they are drawn together in a common crisis. And the plows, which she is afraid of...so bark bark bark!!!
Thank you for all of your birthday wishes. Tomorrow is the actual day and I'm celebrating with a visit to the eye doctor. Still praying for the safe arrival of Kevin and Mary Clare's baby girl!
Joining Jennifer at Chronicles Of Home
Brenda at Cozy Little House Tweak It Tuesday