Have you ever heard the expression 'come back to work for a rest?'
Well, it's not a very oft used saying in my house but that was how I felt today after a long thanksgiving weekend of trawling around the city with family, all of whom were of the female variety. By the time they left for the airport last night I reckon we had more large shopping bags in our apartment than Selfridges order in for their January sale!
Thursday was Thanksgiving
day itself and as jet lag got our guests out of bed at a ridiculously early hour, we took a trip downtown to see the parade
(above), a copy of the bigger and more famous Macy's one
that takes place annually in New York. The rest of the day involved eating with turkey the main event and all the trimmings, similar to our traditional Christmas lunch but with a sackful of pumpkin thrown in for good measure.
Rather worryingly I got sent a 'honey baked ham' as a gift from one of my clients. This we also demolished but then yesterday I received an embarrassed email from said client saying that the manufacturer was doing a product recall on the ham as the batch could be contaminated with Listeria! (more
The day after Thanksgiving is known in America as Black Friday
. It marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and retailers open at the dead of night to give away cheap rubbish to entice people out of their beds. It didn't work on me but the girls were out battling the crowds looking for bargains, whilst I sat at home and watched news reports of 5 mile tailbacks leading to some of the out of town malls at 3am. The electrical store Sears
was giving away $10 vouchers
to the first hundred people in their store at 5am. Er, $10 or a life?
Later we gathered at the German Christkindlmarket
at Daley Plaza before refuelling at one of my favourite
city restaurants before getting up and going shopping again, this time with me in tow before crashing out in the evening with either shopitis, jet lag or listeria, I couldn't decide which.
Sunday was a day of refinement as we had tickets to see the musical Wicked
, and much later that evening after cocktails, ended up in a packed Blues club
where a lady singer called Patricia Scott kept our attention until the early hours.
The Chicago Blues scene is often on the must-list for visitors and there are many excellent clubs and bars that have live music nightly. Chicago benefited from the huge migration of poor black workers from the South into the industrial North in the 1950's, but it is especially known for how it added electr
onic instruments to the original Blues sound. Muddy Waters was generally considered the father of Chicago blues (more
) but BB King
and Buddy Guy
were all famed Blues Musicians who settled and played in Chicago during the 1950's, 60's and 70's. In fact Buddy Guy still has his club in Chicago
Earlier in the day we saw Wicked at the lovely Oriental Theater. The show has been roundly slated in London since it's premiere in September and although it's very American in production, I was struck by this colourful fairytale of the Wizard of Oz's untold story about the wicked witches of the East.
Shopping and witches. Now there's an idea for a show.