Mom’s Visit

Mom Chicago

Last week, my mom visited us for the first time. Even though she had visited the Windy City when she was a child, she hadn’t seen Chicago as the modern, world-class city it is today.

Since she was arriving at night, I knew I had the perfect opportunity to show off one of the best views of the city at the Museum Campus. If I had a wide angle lens and the ability to use a long exposure, this photo would look quite impressive:
city at night

Afterward, we had a nice meal in our neighborhood at Feast, where I forewarned her that tomorrow we would be doing a lot of walking. I wouldn’t be kidding.

The next morning, we fueled up before our big day at our favorite breakfast spot, Toast. My mom went with my recommendation, the pancakes with mascarpone and toasted pine nuts. Here she is about to enjoy them:

pancakes toast

So good. And since Toast is so filling, we were good until dinner time. We proceeded to walk off our meal, first checking out a garage sale near the Damen Blue Line, and then getting on the train to venture downtown.

The next few hours were spent shopping on State Street. Apryl had some ideas, including the massive Filene’s Basement and the beautiful interior of the once Marshall Field’s:

Marshall Field

One of the biggest hit, though, might have been my mom’s finding, Loehmann’s. My mom has a strong devotion towards this department store. When its branch closed in Memphis, she was one of the last to leave before they locked up the doors for good. She told me it had been seven years since she had stepped foot in one. So, she was a bit excited when she looked up and saw the Loehmann’s signs beckoning her in from the cold (did I mention there was a chill in the air?):


Inside Loehmanns

However, as much as my mom loved rediscovering an old favorite, she might have been the most impressed with Apryl’s favorite downtown spot, the Chicago Cultural Center. It is here where one can see the awe-inspiring, world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome:

Tiffany Dome

There was also an interesting Louis Sullivan exhibit:

Louis Sullivan

After hours of shopping and sight-seeing, we finally regained our appetite. And, you know that we couldn’t show off Chicago to my mom without a little pizza from a certain place:


After stuffing ourselves, we walked down Michigan Ave and to the John Hancock Observatory:

John Hancock

And here are some views:

View 1

View 2

View 3

View 4

The last image captures the fireworks going off at one of the nation’s most visited tourist attractions, Navy Pier.


On Sunday, my mom and I went to breakfast by ourselves at France’s Deli, which I believe serves the best pancakes in the city. My mom thought they were quite tasty.

Since it was cold, we decided to skip out on a boat tour, and instead checked out the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest conservatories in the United States. It is quite impressive. I would love to check it out again in the summer as well as in the winter, especially when there is snow on the ground. I took a lot of photos so here are just a few:

Mom at Garfield

Hayden and Apryl at Garfield

Mom at Garfield 2

On the way back home, I took a detour to show my mom Harpo Studios:


That evening, my Mom and I went out by ourselves to dinner at Buona Terra in Logan Square. Great food. Great company. We had a nice conversation about our family history over some tasty Italian food.

The next day, I took my mom on a driving tour of Chicago. We started on the South Side in Hyde Park neighborhood, home of the Museum of Science and Industry. I found a rare parking spot on the University of Chicago campus, and we walked around checking such places as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel:

Robie House


Leaving Hyde Park, we drove out to the far North Side to Evanston, where one can find Northwestern University and many, many beautiful homes.

On our way back to the city, we stopped in at the Chicago History Museum. Here my mom is in the Chicago Jazz and Blues exhibit:


That evening, we rejoined Apryl and took in the sights of Millennium Park:




Afterward, we walked across the street and had a wonderful meal at The Gage.

downtown night

As we retired for the evening, my mom got a kick out of seeing the street workers watering all the downtown plants. I didn’t get a shot of their watering trucks, but here is a freshly watered pot:


The next morning, we had some Dunkin’ Donuts before heading out to Midway. It was a bit sad seeing my mom go, but we had a nice visit. I’m glad that she got to see where I live and work. Perhaps next time, she will visit during the summer, and won’t have to worry about layering up. We could even go to the beach.

mom and i

For photos from my mom’s trip, click here.

3 Responses to “Mom’s Visit”

  1. Dad says:

    Looked like a fun trip-Love Dad

  2. Marmee says:

    Looks like ya’ll had a great time.

  3. Aaron says:

    Very entertaining post. You make me wish I lived in Chicago.

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