|Street where we're staying after first snowfall|
|Super colorful house where we are staying|
The next day, we took Kendra to the airport, where she met her husband, Kapil, who had taken a taxi from work. Both Kendra and Kapil were working up until the time they had to go to the airport for their one month stay in India, where Kapil's family is from. We said goodbye and then headed back to what we gladly would be settling into as home for the next month.
|Our Chicago home for a month: Thanks Kendra and Kapil!|
We rested a lot, unpacked our overpacked truck (we didn't know where we'd end up or what we would need as we originally thought we'd be gone a year), went grocery shopping, and planned out some things we wanted to do over the next month.
I had some work to get done on a project for my teaching job--a teaching portfolio. We decided we didn't want to eat our way through Chicago. I know, a strange city not to eat through, but our waistlines and our health were feeling the lack of prudence when it came to food on this trip, so we have given up flour and sugar and are eating simple healthy meals at home.
Thursday, I happened to see that an old friend, someone I'd read poetry with in Berkeley maybe ten years ago and who is now a well-established poet, Carmen Gimenez Smith, was giving a reading at the Poetry Foundation downtown. I heard four amazing Latino/Latina poets read from their work and it was amazing to have been at two literary events having been in town four days.
On Sunday, it snowed! We decided that was the perfect time to buy a Christmas tree, so we went to Home Depot and picked out a tree. They had so many more varieties of trees here than I've seen in California.
|Bringing home the tree|
Did I mention snow! Boots and hats. No high heels and stockings, no need to do my hair. Everybody has hat hair! Hooray!
We unpacked Kendra and Kapil's Christmas ornaments and decorated the Christmas tree with Christmas music. It was a joyful night, ending with a magical nighttime dog walk for Chester.
|Evening walk with Chester|
We picked up some groceries at Costco and the grocery store and came home and cooked lunch. Oh, perfect day.
|The beautiful kitchen where we get to cook|
Last night, we traveled to Uptown to hear Gypsy Jazz music at the historic Green Mill, an old speakeasy. With a cover charge of $6, we were dazzled by amazing musicians who play there every Wednesday, Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan. With guitarist, violinist, upright bass player, drummer, and cimbalom player (which I'd never seen before; it's a stringed instrument that's hit with padded hammers--it sounded like a vibraphone). The place was packed at 11 PM on a Wednesday night, but folding chairs were brought out for the overflow. The crowd was a mixture of 20-something beautiful folk and middle-aged people, including several hefty men who looked like they were members of the Chicago mob.
We didn't stay too late because we had appointments with personal trainers at our gym-for-a-month in the morning, which I'm really looking forward to. It's the little routines I've been missing.
And each of you.
Thanks for reading.