Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Season by Margot Justes

I've been absent for two weeks, Thanksgiving weekend was fantastic, had enough turkey on Thursday and again on Saturday to last me a year. Very convenient.

Last Saturday, Dina and I went downtown. The falling snow and relative warmth and little wind made it a perfect winter wonderland in which to soak up the holiday cheer.

We ate breakfast in a restaurant that faced the Chicago River, a young and very talented jazz guitarist, made our meal a sensation.

Breakfast was followed by a walk down to the Art Institute to welcome back the Chagall Windows, and I visited an old friend, the new wing now houses the Old Guitarist by Picasso.

From there we walked down Michigan Avenue to Nordstrom's, Dina needed new shoes. Pretty soon they will be knocking out walls in her bedroom to accommodate said shoe collection. She didn't buy any that day, but we had an invitation from Nordstrom's for a special event on Sunday, of course we went, and yes, she bought shoes, more than a pair. But I digress.

After Nordstrom we went to Navy Pier for dinner at Bubba Gump, my granddaughter's choice, and the Navy Pier Winter Wonderland. In the process we received a gracious tour of the Coast Guard Icebreaker, Mackinaw.

That tour was an incredible experience, the massive ship's utilitarian appearance had a few holiday trinkets strewn along, and actually felt homey. But you never forgot this was a working ship, the people on board faced extreme and severe conditions to save lives, they had limited comfort and most likely would not be home for the holidays. It was a sobering experience.

We finished the evening with Navy Pier festivities, and it was fantastic, the decorations were stunning, with many rides for the kiddies, it was truly a Winter Wonderland.

And I might add by the time I got home, I did not want to move, in fact i was so tired I couldn't.

Now, I'm going to visit my kitchen and make some rum balls, simple, delicious, and fun to make.

2 1/2 cups of ground Vanilla Wafers (About 1 box)
5 1/2 cups of gound walnuts
1 cup of honey
1 cup of dark rum (I use Myers's)
1 cup of powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for a couple of hours. Form into small balls and roll in powdered sugar.

I recommend frequent tasting.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris


Morgan Mandel said...

I forget how many attractions are Downtown. That's because I work there and am just glad to get out of there on Friday evenings and spend the weekend at home or nearby.

glad you had a good time.

Morgan Mandel

Debra St. John said...


This sounds like the perfect holiday outing!

We never take the advantage we should of downtown either. I forget about all of the fabulous things down there to see and do.

Deb Larson said...

My girls and I went downtown the weekend before Thanksgiving - had a great time staying at the old Blues Hotel - Sax, seeing the lights on the Mag mile. We also went to the Horse museum to see Nutcracker performed on horseback. What a hoot!
Glad you had a chance to enjoy the city.

DL Larson