Thursday, January 28, 2010

But If You Try Sometimes

you just might get what you had been hoping for all along.

This past weekend I took my husband away for a night in Chicago. It's not something we've ever done before and (for economic reasons) we're not likely to do it again real soon. It started a few months ago when I spotted a really good rate at a hotel on Michigan Avenue. With a little planning, it turned into a great night on the town.

First off - the hotel. Can I tell you how convenient it was to have a room at a hotel right next door to the John Hancock building and within walking distance of theatres and shops and restaurants? I lost count of the number of times we went out to one place and then returned to the hotel for something and then headed back out again. It was that easy and honestly, that fun. Before dinner we went out to the theatre to pick up tickets (which weren't in yet, but oh well). Then we went back briefly to the hotel before wandering around the shops in Water Tower Place. Then it was off to dinner and a stop in at the hotel before going to the play (Icarus at Lookingglass Theatre - a very somber show, but well done by a very versatile and creative group).

My favorite part of our evening out was stopping at The Cheesecake Factory in the bottom floor of the Hancock building. Neither of us had been to The Cheesecake Factory before, anywhere. What an amazing place. With all the curved walls, copper moldings, and flower-shaped furnishings, it felt like we'd stepped into something from Alice in Wonderland. And yet it had a very cosmopolitan feel to it too. Perfect for dessert out during a night on the town.

Other items of note: our table at dinner had a tablecloth and china and wine glasses. Oh, and linen napkins. The bald waiter managed to be appropriately attentive and funny. The noise level in the dining area was suitably low (except for the older couple in the booth behind me, who were delightfully interesting in their choice of loud dinner conversation topics). And contrary to my usual tendency of choosing something bland and uninteresting off the menu (while AmusingDad gets the spicy dish), I selected a New Zealand seafood stew that absolutely did not disappoint. Then again, I think that the initial choice in restaurants had more to do with the quality of food than in the particular choice of dish itself. I'm guessing almost anything off the menu would have been superb.

So finally (FINALLY!) I got to have the night out I'd been wanting. I think AmusingDad enjoyed it too. Although earlier that day he'd been pining for a buck-fifty Polish sausage at Costco. His reaction to the steak at dinner was only lukewarm in comparison. But he assures me he could have gotten just as excited about the steak if it had been a buck-fifty.

5 musings:

Sarah said...

I love The Cheesecake Factory. We're going tomorrow for my birthday!

A Musing Mom said...

Good choice, Sarah. Enjoy!

everydayMOM said...

sounds wonderful! soooooo happy you got your dinner with tablecloths!!

love the cheesecake factory, too! but I've never been to the one downtown.

Sarah Williams said...

Glad you got a night out!! I like the Cheesecake Factory also.

A Musing Mom said...

Wow! Cheesecake Factory is popular. We never knew what the fuss was about. But now that we've tried it...