Mom is 88 today, and she’s doing phenomenally. We have no warm weather trips this year, but we did get up to Chicago in January to see Randy Rainbow,, a very funny fellow who posts many funny and well-executed videos on youtube.

We took the train up on Friday Jan. 26th. When we got to Chicago it was raining and it was a long, cold and wet walk from Union Station to our hotel. The distance was only a 15-minute walk which I’d thought would be a breeze but loaded down with a backpack and pulling a suitcase in the rain was a chore. The hotel was lovely, the Hampton Inn Majestic Theater District, which I’d wanted to stay at before but it was always sold out.

We took a quick walk over to the Berghoff restaurant for dinner. I’d been there with my parents many years ago when we saw Eddie Izzard. Mom enjoyed a fancy cocktail and I had a house-made diet root beer. I have realized that alcohol is a definite Afib trigger for me so I’m trying to find other things besides water to enjoy with a meal. The funny thing is that the best part of my dinner was creamed spinach! I don’t know why it tasted so delicious, probably because it was made with real cream, but I’d eat a big bowl of it right now if I could.

Saturday we visited the Art Institute, a very short walk, and I did a pretty good job of tamping down my instinct to take pictures of everything. But look at this gorgeous clock! I’m sure I’ve photographed it before, but it’s just so divine. It’s by Josef Hoffmann, a Viennese Secessionist, which is a style like the English Arts and Crafts movement, and also like the works of Charles Renie Mackintosh, whose work we saw in Scotland many years ago.

This is called the Rosebowl, produced by Arts and Crafts artist Archibald Knox. On the placard it says this is his finest work in silver.

One final photos from the museum, a fabulous clock by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It’s made of wood, Erinoid and metal. Erinois is an early form of plastic! Good word to know.

We had a nice lunch at the museum.. That evening was Randy Rainbow’s show and I booked us a table at the Walnut Room in Macy’s. It’s a very old restaurant on the 7th floor. A friend had said that it wasn’t as good as it used to be, so I tried to book a room at a delicious-sounding Italian place nearby but it was all booked up. I then tried to get into the Berghoff again for more creamed spinach but it was also full. On Friday night the restaurant had been fairly empty; I guess places were packed because of shows on Saturday night? Anyway, I had a sweet non-alcohol cranberry fizzy drink which was enjoyable. The restaurant was old, wood-beamed and quite nice, but the food wasn’t anything to write home about.

Randy Rainbow! This is the third time I’ve seen a show at the Chicago Theater in the past year; it’d be nice if they had punch cards for a free popcorn or something.

Randy’s show was very funny and enjoyable. I got tickets to see him way back at the beginning of the pandemic but then I think it was cancelled, and then I got ticket again to see him in St. Louis but didn’t go because of the pandemic or maybe I was sick, so the third time was a charm. He was very entertaining and sang along with many of his videos.

It was drizzling when we got out and on our short walk back to our hotel we stopped in at the beautiful and historic Palmer House where Mom enjoyed yet another fancy cocktail – maybe she got a side car? Or a Manhattan? i had some kind of fizzy water which was better than nothing.

The train ride home was just fine and I do always enjoy a train ride.

Today, Mom’s birthday, it’s crazy warm outside – right now it’s 72° and tomorrow it’s going to be 78°! I can’t remember when the weather was so warm on Mom’s special day.

In cat-related news, Lester flatly rejected the four types of Kidney care cat food I ordered for him online and now we’re awash in many cans of undesirable cat food. The good news is that I had a lengthy talk with our vet, who said that since Les is in the very earliest stage of Kidney disease, it’s OK to give him his regular wet food. We’re relieved and he’s ecstatic to eat what he loves. Whew. It’s always something, cat-wise.

I hope you get the chance to be outside on this beautiful February day.

Ok then,