Travel offers a different window on the world. You can learn a lot when you travel:
- My sister learned that I can stay on my side of the bed these days. (They used to fight about who had to share a bed with me because I was a turbulent sleeper as a kid.)
- I learned that even though I walk nearly every day at home, it's decidedly different to wear "real" shoes instead of tennis shoes ... and I have the blisters to prove it.
- I confirmed that you invariably take more clothes than you need to ... even if you have to cram them into a carry-on bag. This quote is so true:
When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.~Susan Heller
- And I learned that it's pretty great to spend time with your siblings as adults.
(I don't know any of these people. I was just struck by the view of the cloud-dotted skyline as I turned the corner in the sea of white tents.)
The only thing I got at the art fair was a sunburn, but it was still fun to look.
With some time before our evening flight, we went across the street to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Even the outdoor courtyard was artistic, with the old Chicago Board of Trade arch nestled among a rainbow of flowers and flanked in the background with new buildings.
My favorite stop at the museum was Marc Chagall's America Windows. Chagall designed the six-panel work for the Art Institute to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial, and it details the arts of music, painting, literature, theater and dance.
Another "have-to" stop was the Gallery of American Art to see Grant Wood's American Gothic.
I guess the appeal is kind of self-explanatory for this farm wife. Based on their sour expressions, maybe this pair hadn't gotten rain for quite some time either.
We also saw paintings by Monet, van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, El Greco, Picasso and a bunch of other old masters, using the museum's handy-dandy guide, What to See in an Hour. (We did have a plane to catch, after all.)
Before gathering our suitcases for the trip home, Darci took us by The St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church near her home.
The church was founded in 1899 in the Bucktown area of Chicago as a Polish Cathedral style church. They are in the midst of a $2.5 million restoration project.
Even with netting obscuring part of the dome, the cathedral was gorgeous.
I started this with things learned while traveling, so I'll guess I'll end with a couple more:
- I wouldn't go so far as to say that I "mastered" riding the Blue Line train. But I did make my first and second excursions on it (though I must admit it would have taken me longer to figure it out without Lisa and Kent.) We rode it from O'Hare on Thursday, and then Darci dropped us off at the station closest to her house on Saturday, and we rode it back to the airport.
- I learned that I should have sat in the "A" seat in the airplane coming back. Then, I could have taken photos of the K-State campus from the air as we approached the Manhattan Airport.But I really can't complain about the view out my window either.
- There's no place like home. Chicago was a great place to visit. But I love my co-op skyscrapers. And I'm OK with the fact that my "museum" this week is the Stafford County Fair's photo display and the arts and crafts exhibits.