A couple of weeks ago, Peach joined me on my annual Chicago Christmas trip (there's usually a St. Patrick's Day, birthday, and sometimes a "just for the heck of it" trip, as well). We flew up on a Friday evening, and Peach got to take her first ride on a train to Lincoln Park, where we were met by my friend, Mitch, who spared us walking the 4 blocks to his house in the rain (thanks Mitch - you rock!).
Went to a late dinner at a favorite neighborhood place, then downed a few beers around Mitch's "kitchen table", before deciding it was time to call it a night.
Saturday was the Christmas party for the kids at the Valentine Boys & Girls Club, one of 9 (or is it more now?) such parties Mitch throws each December. We spent a couple of hours there - the kids play games, make arts & crafts, have lunch, and get a visit from Santa, who brings them each 3 gifts to open there and another to take home and open on Christmas day. Despite the fact I was missing the IU/Kentucky game (but knew TiVo was home and hard at work), and that Peach isn't what one would call kid-friendly, we had a good time and it was great to see the kids enjoying themselves.
It was also great to head out and explore the city. After Peach's first cab ride, we went for a drink and a snack at Tavern on Rush, and strolled along Michigan Avenue, stopping at Water Tower Place for a quick reminder why none of us enjoys shopping.
Decided to head back to the neighborhood for another drink before dinner at River Shannon, where I ended up walking out sporting a plastic lei, and a purseful of candy. Guess it's an Irish Christmas tradition - who knows!?
Headed to a favorite Chicago pizza place and introduced Peach some of the best pizza you can get (although I'm an aficionado of the crispy New York style pie, as well - you just can't get either in Nashville!), and once again back to Mitch's for nightcaps before calling it a day.
Back to John's for brunch Sunday before heading downtown for a visit to the Art Institute and a walk through Millennium Park. The Kapoor Sculpture is really cool, and I think I'll have to make it to the pavilion this coming summer for a concert.
Said goodbye to Mitch and had a couple last beers before our train ride to the airport, getting home in time for a few beers at E before calling it a weekend.