Last Friday when I wrote my blog post, I said that it looked like a day trip would be in order for Saturday. That morning, woke to unusual weather for this time of year - in the 40'sF and raining - so we weren't sure about the day trip. My aunt, who was going with us, basically said we should "seize the day" and not let weather stop us. The more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right. An acquaintance of mine passed away just a few days ago and it was another one of those reminders that life is too short to sit at home just because of some bad weather. Get out there and do stuff and have fun! But, I digress.
Off we went. First stop was the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes). Brian and I had been there in April 2014, but Auntie had never been. We got out of the car in the parking lot and the cold lake-driven wind and rain hit us like bullets. We pulled our hoods up over our heads as we were squealing and
ran (ha! who am I kidding?!) walked quickly into the building. I had forgotten my camera, so all these photos were taken with my phone, but I think they turned out pretty decently.
The lobby area of The Domes had a Japanese Floral Display going on. The next three photos are my favorite arrangements. From afar, I didn't think I liked this type of flower art, but then once I started taking the time to really look at each one, I found the beauty in the design, color, and different textures.
We then went into the desert dome...
Like last time, I found the desert dome the most fascinating one...I guess because the plants are so different from anything you see in the Midwest. The desert dome features plants from the American Southwest, Africa, South America, Magagascar and Mexico.
Now you know.
I was especially drawn to the desert plants that had bright flowers. They don't even look real!
It looks like someone took tissue paper flowers and glued them on the stark desert plants to give them more pizzazz.
Heading into the tropical dome...
and sharing some of the beauty. This dome, which is like a rainforest, houses over 1200 species of tropical plants.
After spending a couple of hours in the Domes, it was then 2:00 and we were more than ready for lunch. We went to Cempazuchi - our favorite mexican restaurant. Brian and I first heard of this restaurant on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. They serve authentic mexican food; not "tex-mex". Same with the drinks...no mixes at this place. Their margarita of the day was Blood Orange. Yes, please! Even though I was still cold and my hair was flat from the rain, one sip of this most-delicious-margarita-I've-ever-had put a smile on my face.
This was the dish my aunt ordered: Arracheras en Chile - which is grilled skirt steak in chile sauce, potatoes, and grilled cebollitas (scallions). It was served with steamed julienned vegetables. Auntie said it was some of the best food she's ever eaten.
After lunch, we walked to an Italian market (we bought olives, fresh bruschetta and crostini), ventured into a little vintage shop called Dragonfly, and then happened upon a coffee shop called Brewed Cafe. I love independent, charming coffee shops. And my latte was delicious.
Local art for sale lined the coffee shop walls...
and a mural graced the ceiling.
Brian found a spot to relax on the cool, vintage sofa...
while auntie found a handmade pottery mug.
We capped off the evening by watching our beloved Chicago Blackhawks win game seven of the Western Conference against the Anaheim Ducks. Which means...the Blackhawks are going to the Stanley Cup playoffs! Exciting stuff for us hockey fans. Game one of the playoffs starts Wednesday night.
If you stuck with me for this long post - thank you.
Hope your week is off to a great start!