Ever since I was old enough to drive, I've loved events. I remember going to see bands with my friends, I remember getting together with them at coffee shops or bookstores, and I remember being fascinated by offbeat events like Diner en Blanc pop-up picnic and Royal de Luxe street theater (which is rumored to be coming to Chicago in summer of 2016!). I think I've always been drawn to events because they bring people together, much like my other loves: learning foreign languages, food and wine, and even writing and photographing (which can connect people when they are not together). Of course, holidays are like that as well.
I love this time of year because it brings families and friends together. Just this week, we've been to an elegant fundraising event for Greyhound Alliance. It was a cocktail reception that took place in The Walnut Room, a restaurant inside of Macy's in downtown Chicago. The building used to be a department store called Marshall Field's (he is the one that donated to funds to build The Field Museum's current building - cheers!). It was a lovely setting. I had just come from work and although I was running late, when my Uber dropped me off outside of the building, there was a stark chill in the area and yet, I had to stop to admire the Macy's trumpets on the side of the building. For a brief moment, I felt like I was in Manhattan, which feels like home. I shook off my nostalgia and when I entered the restaurant, in the middle of the room was a Christmas tree, already decorated, raising up multiple stories. After the event, our new friends invited along to dinner in downtown Chicago. It was a meal of shared plates and great food (I'm talking goat cheese, grilled octopus, smoked salmon, and even morcilla).
A few days later, we met up with the Greyhound Alliance for a play date! They use a space in the suburbs and a bunch of greyhounds come. We've been once before, and this time, it was snowing! Many of the dogs stayed inside for most of the morning, but there were definitely a few romps in the snow.
Edited to add: It occurred to me that some of you may not know why they are all muzzled. When greyhounds race, though they aren't vicious, they could get excited and give a playful nip at their neighbor. For most dogs this is fine, but with greyhounds, they have really thin skin, and at 45 miles per hour, a tooth against skin could open up a huge gash. So during these play dates, to be safe, they request that all greyhounds were their muzzles.
After that, we took Mort to get a bath. We normally wash him in our bath tub, but two other greyhound groups, 4 Greyhounds and Leaving Tracks, were benefiting from the proceeds that day at a nearby dog store. After a cold play in the snow, he got a nice warm scrub, all clean for our Thanksgiving visitors. When he's all wrapped up in a blanket, I call him "Abuella Mort" because he's as sweet as an old Spanish grandma.
We knew Mort would be extra sleepy from his play date and a warm bath, so we played a movie on TV for him, and went outside to catch the rest of the snowfall. There's this diner about a 10 minutes walk away. It's right under the train station and it has booths next to the windows that overlook the bustling streets. S and I always said that it would be the perfect place for brunch on a rainy or snowy day. I put on my new snow boots from the Orlando outlet mall and we made the trek. It was so peaceful hearing the intermittent hum of the train above, seeing the snow fall outside, and enjoying the glistening lights from the wreaths and other holiday decorations.
On our way home from the diner, we walked through Wicker Park. S started the bottom of a snowman. Maybe someone finished him after we left.
Now, we're enjoying the snow on the ground and prepping for Thanksgiving ahead.