Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicago -- Big Buildings, Beautiful Art

Chicago. The Windy City. It could have been terrible in mid-November.

It was stunning! Even the billboards were artistic!

Brilliant blue sky. Warm temperatures. Walking weather.

And color everywhere. That was part of what was so surprising -- the brilliant reds and golds on the streets and in the parks.

On our first day, we shopped a bit. And of course, for me that meant a must-visit to Paper Source, a wonderful store with abundant papers, stationery and clever gifts.

Loved the wreath in the window...

...and this was just one small part of the upstairs.

There was shopping in the Museum of Contemporary Art shop, Crate and Barrel, and the next day, at Garret's, the must-stop popcorn shop.

I have always loved Chicago architecture. This time, the white buildings stood out against the blue sky...

...framed by berried branches...

...and gently waving flags.

I was shocked there was still so much color and such greenery.

Then there was The Bean. I know it has an official name, something fancy. But everyone calls it The Bean.

Located in Millennium Park, it is the ultimate mirror ball trophy!

Kate, Cindy and I couldn't resist a self-portrait -- but neither could anyone else!

The park also had this lovely sculpture -- looking all the more striking against the red branches.

We headed for the Art Institute and this staircase that greeted us. All the steps from the main lobby had these illuminated words.

We took off to the Thorne Miniature Rooms immediately.

These were designed by the wife of the Montgomery Ward heir, and the fact that she had unlimited resources and probably a good amount of time on her hands is evident in the detailed miniature rooms, all half-inch/foot scale.

These are so exquisite, so detailed, it makes one gasp. No expense was spared.

A few were decorated for the holidays.

They represented both American and European homes (some very grand homes -- let's call them castles.)

This English modern room looked like a set for "Private Lives."

Of course I had to visit the children's book exhibit...

...and the textiles.

And no visit to the Art Institute is right without a visit to the extensive Impressionist exhibits.

There were Monets and Renoirs...

...and of course this most famous Seurat. Everoyone took photographs. So did I!

We saw landmarks, like the Route 66 Begins Here sign.

Our walk back to the hotel to catch the bus home was quick. After all, we saw the time -- and the bus left at two.

Past the river, back to the hotel. We all wished we had more time...

But what a wonderful day!

Thanks so much for helping me relive a couple of fun days. Don't forget, all comments through Thanksgiving are entered into my drawing for the book "Simple Abundance" -- and something else, too!


Janet said...

Those miniature rooms are fantastic! And I love-love-love the ballet billboard.

You must have found the most perfect autumn day to visit the city. Everything looks beautiful.

~*~Patty S said...

ooo what fun and fab photos Jeanie! you got some great shots!

Paper Source IS a great store, isn't it!

anno said...

sigh. I love Chicago. And I think November might be the best time in the world to visit. Looks like a wonderful trip, Jeanie

Sugar Bear said...

Looks great! You know honestly I've never been that interested in Chicago but your post shows me there is a lot more to it than I realize!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What an awesome trip! I am also very surprised by the amount of color. Things are looking pretty drab around here since we got snow this weekedn and it has decided to stick around....

I have been to Chicago multiple times but have yet to see 'the bean'. I've got to check it out on my next trip!

Bella Rum said...

You are so pretty in that last photo.

I love all of these images. You did Chicago proud. I have a photo of my grandchildren reflected in The Bean.

Barb said...

You look as happy and colorful as your photographs of Chicago! You capture the ambiance of fall in the city very well. I love the architecture shots!

Jeanie said...

Your pictures are wonderful and show what a wonderful time you had. I love Chicago though I haven't been there in a long time. I have great memories of visiting my aunt who lived right by the Drake Hotel.

Marilyn said...

What a lovely visit to a city I have not been to, except the airport. Love the miniature house, the details are amazing. It was difficult to believe it wasn't a regular size. Love also the pictures of you, especially the self portrait in the mirror. Great smile.

Oh said...

Hello, Jeanie! what a grand tour, including street art and "real" art and Millennium Park (loved the "orb" picture of you and friends) and Paper Source!!!!!! (ha, you sneaked some pictures in there! they wouldn't let us take any in the Georgetown store this summer - yours is much friendlier!)How I wish we had that store here in STL!

And such glorious weather you had there in the Windy City.

Any snow yet in your town? We're blustery with dry dry dry leaves that crush to dust when you rake them! I'm going out on the front porch now to plug in some Christmas topiaries. 'Tis the season!

Happy Thanksgiving (tho' I'll likely write again before the holiday)

hugs, Oh

Kristine Campbell said...

Hi Jeannie-
Thank you for the wonderful, vicarious, visit to Chicago. I always ask myself why don't I go there more often!?! You find the best stores too.
Hope your sale was a great success.

Beth said...

I Love Chicago! It's a awesome city! Looks like you had a great time too! Still hope you get to Nashville soon. Opryland Hotel is back up and running.
Have a Awesome Thanksgiving week!

Christine said...

love how happy you look in your mirror ball portrait!

Wrightboysmum said...

More fab photos. You had a ball and the paper shop and museum looked great. This month has passed in a blur and I'm really far behind in my reading as well. Hope your feeling better and have a Happy New year when it comes.

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