Priscilla's World | A Whirlwind Weekend in Chicago
A Whirlwind Weekend in Chicago

OceaniqueHow much can I pack into one weekend? I decide to see how many memories of Chicago I will recreate so I invite myself to join Mary, Nora and Warren for their road trip north.

They had two intents…eat at their favorite restaurants and see Warren off on the bus to Deerhorn Camp (Rhinelander, WI). Renaissance Hotel in Northbrook supplied all we needed for comings and goings. Enterprise Rental Car even had a location in the hotel so I rent a car on Saturday to go do my own thing.

First favorite restaurant is Friday evening…Ron of Japan in Northbrook. The best Japanese food ever and only a couple of blocks from our hotel.

Saturday morning the drive to Lawrence and Sheridan in the city is full of familiar spots. I avoid the freeways and drive down Green Bay Road most of the way. Memories gurgle up constantly. I had forgotten how long it takes to go anywhere in that city. I experience gratitude for living in the Kansas City area now.

I arrive at the Institute of Cultural Affairs and am greeted by Donna and Dallas Ziegenhorn and Marge Philbrook. Donna and Dallas drove to Chicago on Friday also to celebrate Marge’s 85th birthday. I add birthday hugs to the mix and peruse the ICA archives with them.

A walk through the 6th floor hall bubbles with more memories ­– then a conversation with Terry Bergdall and lunch with Ann and John Epps (in town from Denver for a meeting).

Everywhere I’m greeted with freshness and activity. One of the most startling sights – the rose bush in the ICA’s parking lot – a lovely touch of Uptown beauty.

I didn’t plan a walk along Lake Michigan, but it beckons so I park half way between Lawrence and the Foster Ave. beach. The walk overflows with peace, activity and beauty, even a little birding when the ring-bill gull lands near.

The Edgewater Beach Hotel opens another door in my swirling memories — a wonderful New Years Eve dinner many years ago…the Moffets, Peseks and Wilsons. That afternoon Don Moffett took Rodney Wilson to a clothing place where actors picked up stuff cheap. Rodney paid $10 for a tux – or maybe it was $7. He would remember.

The drive north on Lake Shore Drive and Sheridan Road provides more beauty. All the rain this spring has produced lush foliage everywhere.

Saturday evening I rejoin my family for dinner at Oceanique in Evanston. That has been Mary’s favorite restaurant since it opened on Main a few blocks from her condo before she was married. The owner greets her like a long-lost friend; our food and service is superb.

Sunday morning – the point of the trip. We deliver Warren to the bus for his journey to Deerhorn Camp. As it is his seventh summer there, warm enthusiasm is the greeting he receives.