Stephanie on the Ferris WheelMy sister, Stephanie—not to be confused with my child bride of the same name—arrived in Chicago on Friday evening as I was flying back from Pittsburgh. (Yes, I passed the exams, thank you for asking. Aced them, in fact.) She stayed with us for the weekend and flew back out to Colorado this afternoon. It was just her; she did not bring her daughters with her.

Saturday morning we went to breakfast at Orange and then we went to Grant Park. We walked along the lake to Navy Pier. We toured the stained glass exhibit at the end of the pier, rode the Ferris Wheel and took in the Cirque Shanghai Bai Xi performance. Whirl left us for a bit to run back home and do some things about the house. So I took my sister up to American Girl Place at Water Tower. — Stephanie and all her daughters have American Girl dolls I learned this weekend. I’d never been to the store, but I knew where it was. Now I’ve been. And I know more about American Girl than I ever wanted to know. This week has been rather educational for me with regards to “what children want”. Still, we had a good time. Stephanie picked out some things for her girls and I played amateur sociologist.

Saturday night we went to Buddy Guy’s for dinner and some live blues. Between sets Whirl and Stephanie transformed themselves into epic pool players. Just ask them. They’ll tell you how epic they were at the tables. Go on. Ask.

Sunday we went to Chinatown for Dim Sum and hung around at the little festival they had going in Chinatown Square. Then we headed to the movies to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. There were a number of people who were reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while waiting for the movie to start—or their friends to meet them, or just because they had thirty seconds of free time and figured they could get another page read in the interim. After the movie we came back home and relaxed playing some Burnout: Revenge.

Stephanie(s), Scientist(s)I took today off as a personal day. Whirl had to work. So Stephanie and I trundled along with her to the Field Museum. Whirl gave us a quick backstage tour before heading off to the office. So Stephanie and I toured the Ancient Americas exhibit and the Darwin exhibit. I’d wanted to see both exhibits for some time. We had gotten to the museum early—earlier than it opens, so for the first couple hours we had the main floor almost entirely to ourselves. That was an eerie feeling to be in that museum without anyone else around.

We got some lunch and afterwards I took her out to the airport to see her off. As I think about all of the things we did this weekend, it really was a rather touristy itinerary, but somehow it did not necessarily feel bad. We weren’t on a tour bus. We were on our own schedule. And the truth is, we walked to every one of these places with the exception of Chinatown. And Chinatown was just two stops on the Red Line.

I’m not sure what that means, but it was great to spend the weekend with my sister. Happy Birthday!