Surprise! Chicago Weekend

Colleen and I planned a birthday surprise for our Mom last weekend.  I secretly flew to Chicago on Friday, while Mom drove down from Fondy ostensibly to spend a nice weekend with her youngest daughter… only to find BOTH girls waiting to shock her.

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Needless to say, she was surprised. Although I almost gave the game away at the last minute…long story short, there was a waving incident that made Mom think her son in law Adam needed a serious haircut.

Friday night Colleen made dinner for everyone and we hung out at the condo. Eventually we told Mom about part two of the surprise…tickets the following afternoon to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! Colleen and I were both in the show at various points in our musical careers and it’s always been a favorite of Mom’s.

A lionhead in the Old Watertower

A lionhead in the Old Watertower

Saturday morning we headed downtown for some shopping.  After checking out the Old Chicago Watertower (the only building still standing from before the great Chicago fire), we met up with Adam at Eataly.  It is a large  emporium of all things Italy.  You can buy fresh products to cook a meal at home, or go to one of the many stands and order food there.  The place was packed and we had to rush to get our pizza lunch finished in time before the show; the food was well worth the rush though.  Wood-fire pizzas and fresh foccacia!


Then Mom, Colleen, and I hightailed it over to the theater and slid into our seats just in time.  The show was fantastic.  All of the music was the familiar, but the staging was unique and unlike any version of Joseph I’ve seen.  No children’s chorus, but lots of cool visual effects, like flashing all the various colors of the coat as they were sung, or using visuals to help depict the dream sequences.  All three of us were singing along under our breaths – I can’t believe that I remember all the words so many years later!

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After the show we made our way back to Colleen and Adam’s place.  There were important NCAA basketball games to watch that evening – the UW Badgers were playing Baylor (they won!).  We got dinner from a yummy restaurant near the condo, called Handlebar.  Mom and I shared fish tacos.  Everyone capped off their dinner early birthday cake for Colleen.  It was vegan chocolate mousse; since it was vegan, I assume that means it was healthy and calorie-free 😉

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Sunday morning we went out for brunch at Chicago Diner, a favorite spot for C and A.  We decided to skip the vegan cinnamon rolls there, and save space for a new donut place that was within walking distance.  Mom and I both stocked up on treats for our trips home, and puggle Lucy got to come along when we walked to the donut shop.

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The weather even cooperated on Sunday and gave us sunshine and nearly 60 degree temps!  The whole weekend was a great little trip and I think Mom enjoyed her birthday celebration… but she warned us no more surprises for a while!  Her “old” heart can’t take it!

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