Monday, November 16, 2015

Chicago Pilgrimage

It was another lovely weekend, at least for this time of year. Friday evening Travalon and I went to the Crystal Lake resort for their fish fry, which was passable but nothing great. My advice: stick with their burgers. They are juicy and delicious.

Saturday was our big pilgrimage to Chicago, led by Cecil Markovitch and attended by Mr. N’Awlins, the Single B-Boy, Trinidad Cap, the Dairyman’s Daughter, Travalon, and me. (Travalon and I were going to join the group partway through the trip, not wanting to leave Madtown at 6:30 am, but then we woke up before 5:30 so we said, “Let’s do it!”) Our first stop was St. George’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cicero, which is known for having a weeping icon of Mary. We got there around 9, but they weren’t open until 11 on Saturdays. However, Cecil called someone, and a guy came right over and opened the church up for us. The icon was indeed weeping – you could see two streaks of water running down the plate of glass covering it. This miracle began in 1994.

Our next stop was the Loyola University Art Museum, a small museum with pieces mostly from the 16th and 17th century upstairs, and a charming seasonal display of crèche scenes from all over the world on the main floor. Across the street was an old water tower which was open to tourists, so we explored the inside of it. We also visited competing chocolate shops across the street from each other: Ghirardelli’s and Hershey’s. Then we walked about a block to Loyola’s beautiful St. James chapel, with amazing stained glass windows. They were having a free concert, and I was stoked when I saw a guy tuning a theorbo, thinking, “This is going to be my kind of music!” And it was! It was all Baroque music associated with Rome. Our last stop downtown was a few blocks away, a quick visit to Holy Name Cathedral, which is a weird amalgamation of old and modern inside – not ugly, just very strange.

Then we drove to a part of town with two Ukrainian Catholic churches a block away from each other. Cecil could never remember which one had Vespers, so we went to one, but it was locked. Across the street was a Ukrainian Cultural Museum which appeared to be open, so we went over there to inquire. They said they were closed but had a special event going on, and they called someone and told us there would be no Vespers. We walked down to the other church, and they had Vespers, which consisted of the priest and another guy chanting back and forth in Ukrainian. We all watched an old nun in the front row to know when to stand and when to sit. After that, we went to our final destination, Agostino’s Ristorante. The Dairyman’s Daughter and I were very impressed that the B-Boy could parallel park on the left, since we have trouble doing it on the right. We had a fancy Italian dinner, and Cecil dragged it out by having dessert and espresso, so we didn’t get home until well after midnight.

Yesterday Travalon and I somehow got up in time for Mass, then we went to a Packers pizza party at the East Side Club. What has happened to our Pack?? I can understand them losing on the road to two undefeated foes, but losing at home to the worst team in the league?? The Lions didn’t have great defense, but they didn’t even need it, because our offense couldn’t get anything going. Rodgers has just not been himself lately. Then Travalon and I took Rodney for a hike at Governor Nelson State Park, and then we had a quiet evening at home, watching some episodes from Season One of Downton Abbey. Perhaps I will be caught up by the time the new season begins.

Tomorrow: photos from Chicago! I have plenty of them!

Famous Hat

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