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Archive for August 13th, 2004

The Final Chicago Experience

Friday, August 13th, 2004

We had to wake up far too early on Thursday to be happy about it, but we got checked out by 9:30 as planned. Sara got a bagel from the Hostel for the first time, and I ate a soy protein bar so we wouldn’t have to go to a restaurant for breakfast.

We went to a coffeehouse Sara had spotted the day before, named Three Professors. It was a place I could hook up my computer and we both could get a special drink. We spent about a half hour there. A couple of you wonderful blog readers wrote me with places I could go. We first tried Arcadia Knitting but they were closed. Then we went to Knitters Niche and they were open, and I found three balls of yarn to take home. One is Aria by Lang, a fine acrylic/wool tube construction in subtle multi-turquoise shades, and two were Karabella Aurora 8 solid berry merino, which seems like a DK weight yarn (98 yards in 50gm) but somehow is recommended at 4.5st/inch. It looks like sportweight, actually… it’s very dense and shaped a bit like a tube, very smooth. I’m already playing with a sock pattern for this merino, it will be wonderful on the foot.

Although Sara is not a knitter, she knows how to knit and does well with it when she gives it her focus. She really liked a few of the yarns there, especially those handpaints which looked like rainbows. I told her I would make her a poncho for Christmas (she has already requested footie socks for her birthday in November) so she started noticing which styles of poncho she likes best.

After the yarn experience we headed back to Devon Avenue, where the Indian and Pakistani shops are. We had lunch at Udupi Palace again… a sweet concession from Sara, who does not like spicy food. What they call mild on Devon Ave., is still more spicy than she likes. I loved my meal, and she ate enough to not be hungry for a while.

We stopped at a pastry shop to get me a cup of tea, and there we asked for the name of a place for Sara to get Henna designs on her hands. We were directed to the Dilshad Hair Salon another block or two West, and we headed over there. I figured it would take a while, so I had my tea and my new yarn to knit while waiting.

We did have some confusion… they price the henna by “site.” In other words, it is $10 “each” which means each hand… total of $20 plus tip. So Sara had pulled out $12 for the woman before she had the work done and then was short and had henna all over her hands and couldn’t get out her wallet. Good old Godmother Lynnie paid for the second hand… glad she’s not the mom but OK with the little splurge of the moment.

The woman who did the work, Sonya, suggested we take a picture outside next to the poster that shows the hands and feet with a lot of henna designs on them. It’s hard to see here in the small photo but you can see the legs behind her on the right. The final photo I took of her hands when we got home and the henna had dried and come off, so that just the brown stain remained. It is a beautiful design, isn’t it? I can’t help but wish it didn’t come in just brown… that just is not my color, but I really do appreciate the designs themselves.

After the henna, we were ready to get back home. Sara slept most of the way home. Traffic was really bad on the highway 90/94 going south through downtown and getting on the Skyway. The Skyway, although under construction, was really clear and fine. But it seemed to me that much of the trip I was going about 20 miles an hour through more construction than not. It was frustrating, and took a lot longer than expected.

We got home late, it was twilight when we got home and we had expected to get there at dinnertime. Sara’s mom made her some good comfort food for her first dinner back home. Brian took me to Gourmet Village for Chinese food (they have great garlic sauce). My feet were very happy to be resting finally!!!

I had a wonderful time. Sara is great company, and I will miss her when she goes to college in just a few weeks. It turns out she will be living in the same smallish dorm I lived in, from August 1976 to December 1977. I really liked the dorm… it is on the quieter older side of campus and I found it very friendly. I’ll have to go visit her soon after she gets settled in. Meanwhile, we have memories we can never forget. I’m thankful we had a chance for another summer trip.

(If you haven’t read it and are interested, Sara and I went on a trip to Vermont and Montreal in August of 2001, a trip I called Marvelous Montreal which I chronicled in its own travelogue.)

By the way, the hostel where we stayed was so unique and so interesting, that I took a lot of photos there. I don’t have time to detail it well enough now, so I will delay that story for another day.