Friday, October 14, 2016

Downtown Chicago Treasures

With only a few months left of having a child living downtown Chicago, I was so happy to get to spend some time there today.

And not only that, but with some of my favorite people in the world!

Hayley, on the left, grew up in Czech as her parents served (and still serve!) with Josiah Venture. She and Claire have been best friends since they were 3 years old! She is now studying at Moody Bible Institute so it was altogether delightful to have lunch downtown with both she and Claire.

After a few hours with Hayley, she headed back to Moody to study, and Claire and I headed further downtown for some mom and daughter time.

Last Christmas I gave Claire a student membership to the Art Institute of Chicago. It's the gift that keeps on giving! She has spent many hours here this past year, enjoying the exhibits and using it as a place to study.

Since I'd never been before (I know, hard to believe after all these years of going in and out of Chicago), today was a special day where it was finally possible for Claire to use her pass and bring me as her guest.

How absolutely thrilling to see paintings with my own eyes that I've only seen in books, postcards and on calendars!

Renoir - Two Sisters (On the Terrace) 1881

Don't worry, I won't post every painting I saw! But I do have to include one of the Chagall windows. It is absolutely breathtaking. Don't miss it if you're ever there!

Walking around with Claire, taking in so many beautiful artistic creations, was soothing for our souls. I can see why the museum has been a haven for her in the city.

One of the benefits of being a member is that she can use the cafe for members only. This is where she mostly comes to study.

We went in to sit, enjoy the quiet and have our free tea!

A couple hours is just a tiny step towards discovering and soaking in all there is to see at the Art Institute. But I'm so glad I've now been there with Claire, to a place that's become so dear to her during these years in Chicago.

Art museums are an interesting phenomenon to me. Not only do I enjoy them in the moment, but they honestly become better as I think about them in retrospect. I don't know when I'll ever return here, but the memory of all I've seen will linger for years.

And all the more happily so because I was there with Claire during her last semester of college!

I'm thankful for the years our kids have spent in Chicago, and for the impact it's made on their lives in a myriad of ways!

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