This weekend, Darby and I went up to Chicago to visit my dad (who was there on business) and Darby's brother and sister-in-law (who, coincidentally, were vacationing there at the same time). My dad treated us to dinner on Friday night. (Giordano's pizza—yum! Our favorite Chicago pizza yet.) After we dropped him off at the airport Saturday morning, we had some time to kill before meeting Jeremy and Janice for dinner.
We didn't want to spend much money, so I looked around for free stuff and found out about the Chicago Botanic Garden. Admission is free, but parking is $20 per car! We decided we'd try to find somewhere else to park and walk in. We drove around Glencoe for a while until we saw a sign pointing in the direction of the entrance. We turned onto that street and decided to park at a school and walk from there. We walked and walked and walked, seeing no sign of the gardens. We then reached a street that I thought I remembered seeing online. So, we turned and walked and walked some more. Finally, we found the entrance. We had parked a little over a mile away! :)
The gardens were absolutely beautiful—lots of tulips and crabapple trees in bloom. After several hours of walking around, we were pretty tired, and we knew we still had the walk back to the car. (Did I mention I wasn't wearing tennis shoes?) We made it, though. We were planning to go to Evanston to walk around the Northwestern campus afterward. But my feet were hurting so much from the walk that we just ate lunch and then sat in a coffee shop and read the rest of the afternoon. I think it was worth it to save $20, but next time we plan something like that, I'll definitely wear tennis shoes.
After resting, we met Jeremy and Janice at Katerina's, a jazz club/restaurant, for dinner. Both the food and music were only so-so, but the ambience was good, and it was nice to get to spend a little time with J & J. We drove home late Saturday night. It was a tiring weekend, but a lot of fun. We are lucky to live near a fun city that people want to visit! I'm not sure we'd get near as many visitors (except our parents, of course!) if we lived in Idaho.