Spontaneous Weekends Are the Best

Jackson Park LagoonI had a great weekend, squeezing as much spontaneous fun as I could around a couple of planned activities.

Started out with an early morning birding walk with friends through Jackson Park, specifically, the Wooded Island just south of the Museum of Science and Industry. The lagoons were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as part of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

We didn’t see too many birds, but we did see a dead body.


Dead Body?It took me a long slow turning of the brain to realize that this was a prop for an outdoor theater performance that’s going on right now. It’s probably a good thing that just five minutes before I found this, Karen and Megan had mentioned Redmoon Theater’s newest outdoor spectacle, which takes place on the lagoon.

Take it from me, up close, this was pretty damn realistic looking.

We took a detour on the way home, and stopped by the Illinois Institute of Technology campus to check out a couple of architectural additions that have livened up what was once dubbed one of the ugliest college campuses in the country. Now it’s one of many architectural destinations in Chicago.

Green Line El Stop

That night, we ate dinner at my new favorite Mexican restaurant, Riques on Sheridan. Lucky for us, Saturday’s they feature a special regional menu, a different state in Mexico each week. Last Saturday was Jalisco, and the food was fantastic. Everything at Riques is delicious, kicking off with their black bean dip served with fresh warm tortilla chips.

Ordering from everything off the special menu, we had a tasty salad with greens, roasted corn and a lime dressing, two amazing starters that were devoured before I could tell you what they were, and entries of grilled chicken smothered in a spicy tomatillo sauce and a sort-of pork soup, with a sauce seasoned with red pepper, and garnished with lime, fresh oregano and cabbage. Dessert was caramelized bananas and crisp cinnamon tortillas with warm oranges, cooked down like a compote. Dang, I’m getting hungry just writing this all down. Riques this Saturday anyone?

Sunday I dragged myself to yoga, and in a pattern I’m sure will repeat itself more often than not, I really didn’t want to go, but once I was there, and afterward, I was really glad I did.

Raced downtown to the Film Center to catch Douce, one in the series they’re doing this month on French Cinema of the Occupation. Then we were off once again, back down to the Jackson Park lagoon to see Loves Me, Loves Me Not, the Redmoon outdoor production (more on that later.) Sitting on the lagoon steps of the museum, as the sun set and the moon rose and then treated to a completely different bit of theater was a terrific way to cap a thoroughly enjoyable weekend that just sort of unfolded without feeling hectic or exhausting.


One thought on “Spontaneous Weekends Are the Best

  1. Awww–I’m so jealous–especially for the food, (not the yoga–the only thing I can match here).
    And to think I knew you when you were happy with a big mac and fries–I’n no longer concerned about your eating habits.

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