15 March 2015

Sibling Weekend: Chicago

Me-Nancy-Patty-Judy-Gloria; brother Paul and his wife,
Tracie in white. At Le Pain Quotidien.

Oldest sister, Judy, turned 70 years in January, so her daughter LG and son TL put together and hosted this rare sibling get-together. We DO get together, but mainly in very large groups. There's the occasional lunch, but we're scattered over 3 states (including Washington State), so having all 6 of us together for a weekend is very special.

Lou Malnati's pizza at LG's condo, and then The Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater. We loved the musical about Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. I overnighted at Hotel Lincoln (due to some nagging auto-immune issues), but EVERYONE else stayed with LG's family in their 3-bedroom condo.

LG and her husband had to work; the effervescent Sophie (9-1/2) and the indomitable Rhys (4-1/2) had school. But, LG left us homemade granola (excellent!), Greek yogurt, and fruit. And, did I mention coffee?!!
We hung around some; a few went for a walk in a nearby small enclave of very large and beautiful Chicago-style homes.

Buena Park-Lakeview neighborhoods. Specifically,
Cullom and Hutchinson Streets' lovely homes.

I did the research for a luncheon location and happened on a listing for Le Pain Quotidien. Success! Perfect menu, as there was an early dinner planned by LG for 5:30pm.

Everyone totally enjoyed Le Pain Quotidien. Some had pot pies, salads or soup. We shared a charcuterie board. JL and I had eaten in one LPQ twice in NYC a number of years ago: CA and I have eaten in the LPQ closeby the Place Vendôme in Paris; and, I've eaten in one in another European city--possibly London.??

We spent the afternoon at the shops on North Avenue, and then drove to West Randolph Street for dinner at Little Goat Diner. Excellent!

The big surprise was that JL's son flew in from Austin, TX and surprised her at Little Goat Diner. We were all surprised she was surprised as there were multiple verbal slip-ups. The end result is that TL was with us for dinner and the remainder of the weekend. His happiness was magnified when his friend managed to procur for him a last minute ticket to the Michigan State playoff game at the United Center. (They won!)

Little Goat Diner, Chicago.

LG and EG shared this monster.

My excellent gluten-free option. Moco Loco Burger
on Jasmine rice with vegetables; topped with a
Fried Egg. Havarti Cheese added.

Just a normal cheeseburger.

TL's shocking Mahi entree.

After dinner we did cake and presents at LG's condo, and talked (a lot) until late. I drove home, arriving @1:00am, not realizing I'd forgotten to tell CA that I was coming. (I'd originally reserved 2 nights at the Lincoln Hotel). Scared him when the garage door opened and woke him up.

By 8:30am I was in my car headed back to Chicago for brunch at LG's condo. After lots more talking and laughing, some took walks, some headed to Bar on Buena to watch the broadcast of the Michigan State game (they won!). My Seattle sister and I walked a long way down Broadway to Pastoral to buy some Vermont Creamery cheeses. We each had a small bite in the cafe and a refreshing beverage, then opting for a short cab ride north to the condo.

The Peoria, IL group of 4 left a bit after 4:00pm, and the after some quiet moments we talked over dinner plans. EG secured an 8:00pm reservation at one of my favorites--Mixteco Grill, on the corner of Ashland and Montrose. Wonderful Mexican food! Great guacamole, with chips, Jicama, and cucumber slices.

Pork chops.

Pulled pork.

Rack of baby lamb in mole.

Another late night for me--arrived home just after midnight. No worries.

We had a memorable weekend, JL was well celebrated, and we got a chance to spend time with our new sister-in-law. Lovely.

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