Friday, October 20, 2006

Hangin' With the Stars

Remember how I said I was going to Chicago with my students? Well, we went last Thursday, the day that we had SNOW flurries here on the prairie. The kids were great- they were all there in the parking lot, tapping their watches when I rolled in at 6:45am. They had blankets and snacks and movies- who doesn't love a road trip?
We let them have some shopping time in the Water Tower area before we went on our tour of the Mexican Fine Arts Center and Museum in the Pilsen neighborhood. It's such a great experience for them to be in downtown Chicago. We made them buddy up and told them to grab lunch and meet back at 2:15. My friend and colleague, Carlos'Mom (Mrs. P) was my partner in crime and we hit the bricks. We went to Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and whatever else caught our eye on Michigan Ave. We were also lucky enough to be there to see
these people. Click on the photo gallery- photo number 9- we were there! I am a sucker for celebrity sightings- and this was a doozy. I watched Oprah the next day and got to see the inside scoop. Fabulous. Our kids got some great photos, too.
After all that excitement, we made a quick pass through the American Girl store- because, ya gotta. I bought the girls each a pair of "Ugg-ish" boots for their dolls- for Christmas. It's quite a racket-did you know that you can get your doll's hair done? You can have brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner with your doll at the cafe? You can see a show? And you can buy all kinds of American Girl dolls, books, clothes for the doll, clothes for the girl, accessories? You can also get your picture taken and a massage with your doll. Ok, I made up the part about the massage. We saw a couple of moms there with their toddlers. Um, why? I mean, who is this for?
After all that retail, we had to have lunch, which Mrs P and I enjoyed sans students, at
this place. It was lovely.

As I mentioned,we were to meet back at the bus at 2:15, and once again, our kids were there right on the dot- some of them even got there early and were able to browse the gift shop at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I bought a set of these, which are great fun, especially for those who can't get the hang of the real deal.
We then boarded the bus and went south for many blocks and got a guided tour of the Day of the Dead exhibit at the Mexican Fine Arts Center and Museum. It was a great exhibit, and I think our kids got a lot out of it.
Our trip home was quick and uneventful- someone had bought Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and since we were on a chartered bus, equipped with DVD player, we got to watch it. We stopped in the very chilly DeKalb and had some fast food, and then on home. I thought our students were wonderful travelling companions and did a great job of cleaning up after themselves. Our bus driver, did not. He was un-necessarily harsh and rude to the kids- in fact, he even kind of scared me a little. Mrs. P and I noticed that he had freakishly long hair all over his arms, wrists and fingers. I said to her in Spanish that we were lucky ist wasn't a full moon, which of course prompted us to get a raging case of the giggles.
It's so great to have the opportunity to travel with students- you get to know them on a completely different level, and they you.


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