Saturday, April 21, 2012

High highs and low lows

This week felt like it lasted a month. I won a Silver Effie and wore fantastic sky high satin heels and a sequin mini skirt to the awards dinner. Which, thanks to mediocre food and the fact that I was neither allowed to accept the award on stage (it's a political thing) nor included in the group photo with the statuette on the step and repeat was about as un-fun as events can get.

I went to a poorly attended but interesting NARAL/Pro-Choice America event and killed myself at work, revising a video case study in one day and churning out idea deck after idea deck. Creatively I was on fire, but that didn't stop me from red-eyed bawling at my desk one afternoon over a misunderstanding.

photo by Paul Goyette
Thanks to the Effie Awards and a preschool event, I missed both Tuesday and Thursday's Derby Lite practices and since work was so crazy, I didn't get to work out at all. Which made me feel infinitely less deserving of the fantastic (and likely final) One Sister dinner we attended with 10 friends until very late last night.

And as it that wasn't enough of an emotional roller coaster ride, I spent my few precious moments of free time this week planning a surprise trip to Walt Disney World for the family this fall. So naturally the girls act like ungrateful brats this morning (Zoe was adamant we adopt one of the animal shelter dogs being promoted at Oak Park's Earth Fest and would not take no for an answer and Ada repeated smacked her sister because she was frustrated over losing the free wildflower seeds she's snagged at the fest.)

Monday, April 09, 2012

A Passover potluck

Sunday was pretty much perfect. I joined some Derby Lite ladies for a sunny 9am skate along the lakefront (the first 3.5 miles were a cakewalk, but skating back against the wind was much more challenging).

I got home, showered and had lunch with the girls, but shortly thereafter a neighborhood sitter came over and kept them happily occupied playing "family" and "school" while Josh and I picked up a few last minute items for that evening's party. Then, while Josh read and dosed (he'd been up until 2am at a show Saturday night) I got busy in the kitchen.

When the sitter left, I put Zoe and Ada to work, having them clean and set the tables for our party, a meat-free Passover potluck. We had four families over for dinner, which meant a total of 10 adults and 11 kids (the 7 little girls greatly outnumbered the boys). The company (all of whom are new friends this year) was delightful and the food was delicious. I made tsimmes, apple kugel, a fruit salad and toffee-chocolate matzo. Others brought lemon soup, a green salad, chocolate-almond matzo, homemade gefilte fish (a revelation) and homemade cheese. Naturally, the (older) kids turned their noses up at  the spread and ate peanut butter straight from the jar. As I was putting leftovers away, I realized I'd also made and neglected to serve egg salad. Guess who is going to be eating that all week?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Spring in Louisville

Red penguins at 21c Museum Hotel
We took a four day mini-vacation to Louisville at the tail end of the girls' Spring Break last week(end). Although it's an easy 5 hour drive away (and Indianapolis offers a nice midway lunch stop), our trip started off semi-disasterously.

Ada, you see, was in a foul mood (for no apparent reason). Add the usual hotel room round of musical beds, and Josh woke up the loser, beginning a day of sightseeing in a sleeping bag on the floor of the plush 21c Museum Hotel

Fortunately, things got better from there. Every single person in Louisville was pumped for the Final Four matchup between University of Louisville and University of Kentucky, and blue and red tee shirts and banners were everywhere. 

On Friday, we visited the Mohammed Ali Center (so great) Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory (worth it), the Louisville Science Center (eh, but the kids liked it) and Kentucky Show! (the exclamation point is for the "Wow! You must have a thoroughbred's balls to charge $7 for 30 minutes of slick tourist propaganda!").
World's Biggest Baseball Bat

All of the above are located within a 5 minute walk of the 21c, which is a very cool boutique hotel that is also home to 2 floors of contemporary art and Proof on Main, a well-known restaurant and bar. We stayed for just one night, as it is as expensive as it is memorable (just under $300, which included a $25 credit at Proof).

Friday night we began left the downtown area, eating dinner at Hillbilly Tea (a hipster hangout where everything on the limited menu is made with tea). We then checked in at a well-equipped Residence Inn on the far east side of Louisville. It wasn't even off the highway, but buried in a nest of gated communities and strip malls.

Saturday we spent driving around the countryside, visiting two bourbon distilleries and Abraham Lincoln's birthplace.
Lincoln's Birthplace
Although the weather had been glorious up to that point, on Sunday morning we awoke to a crazy thunderstorm. Josh and the girls were afraid the horseback riding lesson I'd booked for them would be canceled, but it was at an indoor arena. Suffice it to said I had two very happy campers for the ride back to Chicago.