The kids and I arrived to visit my sister in record heat & humidity, the kind where standing outside for more than a few minutes makes you feel like the egg in the old "this-is-your-brain-on-drugs" ad. In fact, the first day, we didn't go out at all until the evening, when it was only 95.
Luckily, my sister lives near the lake, where the heat was tolerable, and where we saw a great fireworks show on the 4th of July. The rest of the time we moved from her air-conditioned apartment to her air-conditioned car to an air-conditioned venue. Our activities included visits to the science and natural history museums, which not only have fantastic exhibits, but are extremely well-designed for families. In fact, think all cities with museums should check out Chicago's to see how signage should be done (yeah, I'm looking at you, Paris).
We waited for my mom to arrive in town to go see "Brave" all together. In 2-D. Unfortunately, it's not quite the woman warrior story I was expecting from the ads, but the animation was great (that hair!) and it was nice to see a mother and daughter as the central duo for once.
Other highlights of the week included a visit to the indoor trampoline place (yes, even I leaped and bounded) and my first taste of frozen custard, which has ruined sorbet, frozen yogurt and ice cream for me forever. My sis and I finished off the week with a visit to the legendary Second City theater.
The comedy revue we saw, the theater's 100th, featured a talented 6-person cast, plus a Second City alum, performing a mix of political and observational humor. The format included both sketch and improv and included suggestions from the audience. At one point, they asked for examples of things we collected as children, so when my sister shouted out "pigs!" we got treated to bunch of sketches featuring literal and figurative pigs. The stand-out performer for me was Edgar Blackmond, who not only did a spot-on Obama but also killed it as an aging cheerleader. I won't be surprised to see him turn up on SNL sometime soon.
A week in Chicago just isn't enough to see - and taste - everything the city has to offer, but I guess that just leaves us plenty to do on our next visit.