frances in the city


Dad’s Whirlwhind Wheekend
October 16, 2009, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Chicago!, Family

Dreary fall took a break and welcomed my father with open arms. We had two full days of sunshine, full bellies, and general happiness. Sorry that this is pretty long…I told you it was eventful.

It all started on Saturday, when Dad’s bus pulled into Union Station a full ten minutes before my alarm even considered going off. I met him halfway between the station and my apartment, and after dropping of his things (and presents from my mom! fluffy pajama pants! soybeans! curry!), we went to Cafe Mediterra for breakfast. Cafe Mediterra is located conveniently across the (almost) finished park from my apartment. It’s a nice place I tend to forget about that has good coffee and hummus, and overpriced/average breakfast offerings. Dad had the “Hobo Breakfast” which seems like a bad marketing move. I don’t know any hobo that has $7.95 to drop on an order-at-the-counter breakfast. But that is neither here nor there.

Directly following breakfast, we took an express bus to Hyde Park to the Museum of Science and Industry. Last spring I won two free passes from a blog I read called BackGarage, and I’d been saving them until I could go with my dad. Earlier in the week, we looked through maps while at work and compared our interests. We decided we wanted to see everything. So we did!

Here we are outside. Hyde Park is really pretty and the museum is HUGE.

Here we are outside. Hyde Park is really pretty and the museum is HUGE.

Dad convinced me that touring the German U-boat was mandatory. I didn’t really put up a fight. There was SO much information it was a bit overwhelming.

Left: That's a model. I would have been too claustrophobic to pull something like that inside the U-boat. Middle: The U-boat was HUGE. This is the best angle. Right: My dad insisted I have my picture taken next to this plane, whose name escapes me. I'm counting on Uncle Glen to fill in the blanks.

Left: That's a model. I would have been too claustrophobic to pull something like that inside the U-boat. Middle: The U-boat was HUGE. This is the best angle. Right: My dad insisted I have my picture taken next to this plane, whose name escapes me. I'm counting on Uncle Glen to fill in the blanks.

We were at the museum til around 2 (which is a long time), and then we walked to a bakery recommended by my roommate’s boyfriend, who lives/goes to school in the area. We had a cinnamon-raisin croissant roll and foccacia with procuitto. So stinking good. Obama is from Hyde Park, and all the employees had t shirts that said “Obama Eats Here” on the back. Dad muttered a bit, but we both agreed that it was delicious and satisfying.

You've already seen this one, but now you know how it fits in the timeline!

You've already seen this one, but now you know how it fits in the timeline!

We took the bus back downtown and walked to the Cultural Center, where we looked at a few galleries and the beautiful Tiffany Domes. Afterward we walked to Trader Joe’s so Dad could see what it’s all about. He was mildly impressed. Not a total convert, but we’re on to something.

I was excited for Dad to come so I would have someone to try Lawrence’s Fisheries with. It’s a 24-hour fried seafood restaurant in kind of a sketchy part of town. Dad and I are all about fried seafood restaurants in sketchy parts of town. We saw a guy there that had a whole coyote fur on his head. Way cool. We ordered a WHOLE POUND of fried shrimp and half a pound of fried cod. And we ate it all.

We saw twins! 50+ year old twins! I don't see older twins that often, especially not eating fried seafood on a Saturday Night.

We saw twins! 50+ year old twins! I don't see older twins that often, especially not eating fried seafood on a Saturday Night.

The shrimp had a bit too much breading, but it was still tasty. I don’t know that I’ll venture out there by myself anytime soon, but it’s good to know it’s there.

Before church on Sunday, Dad and I tried Julius Meinl, a restaurant down the street from my church. They donate all the coffee for Sunday mornings, so I’d been meaning to check it out. Guys, it was soo good. Probably our most enjoyable meal of the weekend. Everything was so warm and pretty. We felt special. The restaurant is owned by a coffee roaster in Vienna, Austria, so everything was pretty European, which reminded Dad of his bike trips in Europe. It was a lot of fun, and really not that out of line as far as pricing is concerned.

We tried both the roast of the day and the french press. Dad had the "traditional Austrian breakfast", which came with a soft-boiled egg, fancy cheese, fancy ham, and fancy toast.

We tried both the roast of the day and the french press. Dad had the "traditional Austrian breakfast", which came with a soft-boiled egg, fancy cheese, fancy ham, and fancy toast.

We decided the roast of the day was best. It comes with a little pitcher of cream on the side and special sugar and a cup of water. Fancy.

I had the special, which was an egg bake with roasted potatoes, carmelized onions, sweet corn, parmesan cheese, and bacon. Um. Favorite foods ever?

I had the special, which was an egg bake with roasted potatoes, carmelized onions, sweet corn, parmesan cheese, and bacon. Um. Favorite foods ever?

We beat the stroller-moms and made it to church right on time! My church does this thing called “5 minute party” where you get to know people around you for 5 minutes about a third of the way into the service. In a crazy coincidence, the couple sitting next to us were good friends of our good family friends, the McNeil’s. Chris and Kelly knew the McNeil’s from their time in Denver, and we got to know them while they were on furlough in Wichita! Their oldest daughter Kacie went to school in Chicago. She’s since moved to Dallas (and has an awesome blog!), but she encouraged me to check out the church I now regularly attend. Through Chris and Kelly, we were able to track down Kacie’s sister Jana (who now goes to Moody in Chicago) and meet her for lunch. It was great to catch up and all that jazz. Unfortunately there are no pictures of that interaction, but you can trust us that it was an enjoyable lunch.

Our weekend just kind of wound down…we were both pretty tuckered out from LOTS of walking and eating. Sunday evening we visited Nate at his place (with smoothies! I finally tried avocado…and wished I hadn’t…), who’d been gone all weekend kicking butts and taking names at Michigan State. After a stop at the 2-level Target, Dad got himself back to Union Station to catch the midnight bus back to Kansas City.

Eventful weekend, no? Super busy, super wonderful.

Thanks for visiting Dad! Come back SOON!

My dad took this picture of the setting reflecting sun over the river. Easily one of the most beautiful views in the city. Come visit and I'll show you!

My dad took this picture of the setting reflecting sun over the river. Easily one of the most beautiful views in the city. Come visit and I'll show you!

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

WOW, with all the food you two ate it is a good thing you did a lot of walking. It sounds like you both had a fantastic weekend. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Grandma

I really love the cranky dad picture. Also I really love the cranky dad.

Comment by caromac

So one time we went to the science and industry museum and we thought it was a free day, but it wasn’t, but Isaac was dying to see the sub so he paid for us to get in anyways, and then the sub was closed for repairs! He was devastated and we still haven’t seen it.

Isn’t Meinl amazing? if you go on the weekend in the evening they always have live music, it’s fantastic.

AND I’m surprised it’s the first time you’ve met Chris and Kelly! So funny – I thought it was so bizarre when they ended up at the church, so then when you did too… it’s just full of weird connections!

Comment by Kacie

It’s always good to see a comment from Kacie. Thanks for letting us play in your city. And so good to meet Chris and Kelly.
Frances didn’t mention that our lunch with Jana was at P’nang, a good Thai restaurant and a great place to go with an expert.
We really did eat too much. When can we do it again?

Comment by Dad

[…] and Tayler into eating lunch at Julius Meinl, the Austrian coffee shop/restaurant I first visited with my dad. It worked out beautifully, and I ordered the coffee of the day in honor of Father’s Day. […]

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