the windy one.
as a child, the windows at Marshall Field's along State Street were magical to me. all glittery and nutcracker-y, ballerinas twirling, giant pretend candy. the city all dressed up in it's finest. michigan avenue all strung up with twinkling lights.
we brought the kids down there right before Christmas along with our neighbor friends (Lucy's little best friend, the most adorable little 4-year-old boy who lives across the street), my parents who took the train in from the suburbs to meet us, and two German exchange students from my husband's high school and soccer team (he's a teacher/coach, fyi). we wanted the German boys to experience the big city and the German Christmas market. they headed straight for the curried sausage, a taste of home for them, but steered clear of the sauerkraut which they both despise, by the way. :) our boys love hanging around Daddy's soccer player boys. teenagers are cool, ya' know.
my parents bought me a little cuckoo clock for Christmas. eeeek! ever since i was little in my adopted grandparents' den with their cuckoo clock that was magical to me, where i'd sit patiently waiting for that little bird to pop his head out and sing his song, i've wanted a cuckoo clock. thanks, Mom and Dad! wait 'til you see pictures of it's colorful adorableness! (note: it's NOT one of these below...they're just pretty, aren't they?)
what would be our one purchase of the day, my husband bought me two ornaments from the little German glass ornament cottage at the market. i chose a sleeping fawn and a tiny white chicken but forgot to take pictures of them! there were tons of pretty ones......so many gorgeous birds!
of course, we had to stop and refuel at the Magnolia Bakery that just opened up. you know how I'm a bit bakery-obsessed, right? but, you know what? shock of all shocks, i actually didn't get anything....nothing struck my fancy. everyone else enjoyed what they chose, though.
the city all lit up at night is a breathtaking....
but it can't hold a candle to this, can it?
*night sky photo found here
was it kind of a pain driving 3 hours to get there after we had just driven the same distance the day before? a bit.
were the pre-Christmas crowds crazy-craze-crazy (did i say crazy)? you better believe it.
were we exhausted on the way home? you betcha.
did i have a long list of things to get done at home to get ready for the big day? ohhhh, yes.
was it worth it for our kids, for the memories made, for the looks on their faces, for the German boys to experience a city like that (we chuckled when we heard them exclaim, "Jakob, it reminds me of Munich!"), for their gratitude, for the wonder of it all?