Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Day 10…

Posted by mandyhuckins on April 13, 2009

(Apologies to everyone who has been waiting for updates on the German teenagers American tour – it was difficult to post while traveling.)  On Monday morning (April 6th), we found a Garrett’s popcorn shop.  I bought a large buttered popcorn for everyone to share before going into Macy’s on State street.  We thought that it would be fun to wander around a department store the size of a city block with 7 floors munching on our delicious snack.  And, it was fun, but it also turned out to be a fatal error.  By the time we were 2/3rds of the way through the bag, we were all (with the exception of Elena, who was smart and chose not to partake) sick to our stomachs.  What a disappointment – it is going to be a long time before I crave Garrett’s again.

The girls enjoyed Macy’s.  It is amazing.  We also happened to hit it right when things were being marked down – and I mean really marked down!  So, they could actually afford to shop and they purchased some DKNY t-shirts for $7 or $8.  The store was also hosting a flower show and the first floor was chock full of gorgeous spring blooms in the aisles, on top of the makeup and jewelry counters, decorating manekins – everywhere.  It was beautiful and smelled wonderful too.  We had a late lunch in the basement – they have some nice, healthy choices.  I had chicken noodle soup and a roll to help settle my stomach.  The girls had make-your-own salads.

On our way back to Michigan Ave., I made them walk through the Cultural Center (the old library).  It is a beautiful building and free and I thought they should do something besides shop!  But, they shopped inside!  The souvenir shop had all of the Chicago t-shirts marked 50% off.  Who could resist that deal?  They each bought one for themselves and another as a gift for someone on their respective lists.

Then, it was back to Michigan Ave.  Julia and Svenja had decided to buy some of the things they had only eye-shopped for the previous day.  They also discovered Payless Shoes.  We spent an hour in there while they tried on and considered every pair of shoes in their size.  We also tried going up to the top of the John Hancock building.  I knew they wouldn’t want to go to the observation deck (it costs $15), but my sister had taken me up to the restaurant level on one of my trips to Chicago and I remembered it being free or very low cost.   We asked an employee in the lobby if the girls could go up to the bar area since they were only 18 and we were told that yes, they could, as long as an adult was with them.  She also winked and told us to use the bathroom while we were up there.  (This is also something I remember from a previous trip – the view from the wall of windows in the women’s room is unparalleled.)  So, up we went.  Unfortunately, it did not work out as planned – the bouncer first told us that we had to sit at a table and there was a one drink minimum, so I was prepared to take one for the team :-).  Then, he chased us down the hall and asked for our IDs.  I explained that the girls were only 18, but that I was well over that and was their guardian since they were visiting me from Germany.  No dice.  He said they would have to have a parent there.  What?  And, the grouch wouldn’t even let us into the bathroom (which, by that point, we actually did have to use.)  So, it was a bit disappointing, but they did get to see the views, if only for a short moment.

They had asked me if we could order Chinese food for dinner and have it delivered to the apartment as they had seen this played out in many American television shows/movies.  I thought it could be fun, but I was worried about ordering without a menu from a restaurant where I had never eaten before.  Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon your perspective, we were unable to do it because as we got off the train at my sister’s stop, it was already 8:30 pm.  So, instead, we went to an American restaurant around the corner from my sister’s house and just got some take out: burgers & fries for some, soup and salad for others.


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