Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pseudo Spring Break, Chicago Style

We wanted to take a real break for once and leave town, but that just seemed like too much work, so we have been taking a few days this week to do some fun things we normally don't fit in during the schoolyear. Monday, we welcomed Spring by heading up to Gethsemane Garden Center to buy some seeds to start our garden, about 3 months ahead of last year! We bought flowers, snap peas, kale and spinach, to begin with. We headed home, picked up the rake and shovel, and headed to our little plot in the community garden. Mike and I broke up the soil, while Nourit picked up as many worms as possible with her bare hands. Perhaps we have a future biologist on our hands?

I went to the office Tuesday and Wednesday, but we still worked in a trip to Bixler Playlot, a trip to Huckleberry Playlot, a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry, followed by gelato (thanks, Melissa!), and some almost-nude body painting (the girls, not Mike and me.)

We also fit in our first trip together to our local library. I'm a little sheepish that it's taken me so long to borrow children's books from the library that's only 3 blocks away, but it's more complicated than it sounds. First of all, I tried to check out books a year ago from Blackstone, but left the library empty-handed. (Well, not actually empty-handed. I had an infant and a 2 year old, which are very hard to handle at the same time.) See, I didn't have the cash to pay my 60 cent overdue fine so I wasn't allowed to take out all the children's books I had carefully chosen. And Blackstone is a drive away (read, buckling-two- children-into-their-carseats-twice drive away), so it's not my first choice of things to do. Since then, I've been buying all their books, which isn't so sustainable.

We have a library 3 blocks away (Bessie Coleman), but those are the same three blocks that contain some of the worst housing projects in Chicago, have broken glass on the sidewalks, often have people smoking pot, crack, what have you, in little groups as we walk by, and frequently have random shootings. This is the same reason why we don't take the Green Line as often as we might. Two of my neighbors regularly walk that way so I finally decided to. It's not that I'm scared - I just don't want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That, and Mike doesn't want me to go. I'm not sure whether it's a good idea or not, but it was so nice getting out some new books and a free museum pass, and being home within 10 minutes. It's my neighborhood, but not the side that makes me most comfortable.

Today, we played tourists at Navy Pier, and let the girls run around at the Chicago Children's Museum for a couple hours. Talk about ADD land! Nourit barely stayed on one exhibit/task for longer than 30 seconds. They had fun, though, and I love that there are so many hands-on activities for them there. If only it were under Grant Park...

We had some lunch, and got on the Ferris Wheel, where, to my utter amazement, I quietly freaked out and had to stop myself from imagining the worst for the 7 minutes we were up in the air. I did nurse Avi the entire time, so add that to my list of interesting places to breastfeed.

Coffee at Fox & Obel, a brisk walk down Michigan Avenue, and we got in our car and drove home. Tomorrow, we are off to the Art Museum, and Saturday, a dance workshop with the Hubbard Street dancers. Ah, we're doing our best to take advantage of this great city!

1 comment:

Sherwin said...

wow.. you guys are busy, but it sure sounds fun. feel free to plant in the church garden if you run out of space... it's all yours!!

i got my chicago public library card last month. in fact it's probably the first library card i've had in 20 years, if you don't count school. starting to rediscover the joy of reading :)