I hardly know where to begin. Christmas came early for everyone. Yesterday my mother-in-law took the girls for the day so Ryan and I could go downtown. It was wonderful!!
The girls had a great time with their grandparents, making glitter crafts (and a glitter dog too...poor Lacey sparkles like a vampire). They ate all their favorite foods, made cookies with their aunt Jessie, and avoided napping at all costs. Emily fell asleep during dinner and slept straight through the night. They woke up to strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast by the way. Yum.
Ryan and I went to Chicago for the day. We took the train in so we didn't need to fight traffic. The walk to the Art Insitute was actually pleasant, something I wasn't expecting on a 28 degree day. The sun was shining, and we were bundled up so there wasn't anything not to enjoy. It was the first time we used my AIC membership, and we took the opportunity to go into the areas of the museum I usually don't see. We stopped in the reading room and peeked around, and spent a good deal of time in the new south Asian corridor. We also visited the Arts and Crafts temporary exhibit. It was fantasic, but of course it made us want to redecorate our 80 year old house.
Ryan had never been to the Christkindlmart in front of the Daily Center, so that was our next stop. It was really getting cold by that time, but we had so much fun it didn't matter. There were little booths set up just like in a market in Germany or Austria, with vendors from Eastern Europe selling Christmas ornaments and other decorations. The air smelled of pretzles and roasted nuts...delicious. We had a few boots of gluwein in the beer tent to help warm our fingers, and we listened to a lone guy on the street corner play Christmas tunes on his sax. (Oompha music would have been more appropriate but that's ok).
We ended the evening at the Berghof, one of those places Ryan and I have always wanted to visit but just haven't yet. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Chicago; it is known for its delicious Berghof beer. The Berghof brewery closed a while back, so we didn't know if the beer was going to be as good as it used to be. We didn't have ANYTHING to worry about! The seasonal was very fine, but after the gluwein I could only have one because I still had to get home on the train. We did make it home on the last express, and spent an enjoyable evening with the in-laws chit chatting over cups of tea.