Chicago 2019

Noting this trip down so I can remember it, because I’m bad at remembering, and worse at remembering specific instances of something I’ve done multiple times.

This year for the Thanksgiving weekend we repeated our recent pattern, and really I think each visit we have a better time than the last one. We started the Tuesday before Thanksgiving by prepping our pies for Pie Night, then went to the kids school Feast on Wednesday. They work for a week to prepare the dishes and table settings, and it’s neat to see what they’ve been up to. Then immediately after the Feast we get in the car and high-tail it to the Pie Night mothership, the original gathering of my family in St. Louis. We hang out, eat ham, catch up with the Kirklands, and stuff ourselves with pie. This year we brought a Banana Mallow, Chocolate Mint, my new/old Carrot Pudding recipe - I added a graham cracker crust - and Erika brought a BRISKET pie with a beautiful bacon lattice top.

Pies (Not pictured: a whole ‘nother FIVE pies off-camera!)

The next morning up early to drive to Chicago. They made a turkey and pretty much the whole Thanksgiving dinner! It’s so incredible, and I never feel like we’ve contributed enough. But it’s always so good to see them. I try to have a sort-of-out-of-the-way tourist mission to accomplish when I visit a city, if only to give us a reason to explore a new corner.

This year I dragged us out to the Bohemian National Cemetery. I’ve been following this stonecarver on instagram for a while (he’s got great SEO: and @IG_sculptor) as he worked on a large double treestump tombstone. Those are apparently a thing: this carver has worked on several, and there were dozens around the cemetery. The one I followed just got installed here a few weeks ago, and so I wanted to see it in real life. It was weird! But interesting to walk around the place a bit and see the work; there’s a lot of interesting sculpture even if (like all tree trunk tombstones) I find them kind of ugly. Actually the whole place was pretty muddy and grim, but what else does suburban Chicago look like in December?

Bohemian National Cemetery

We also at a delicious fancy dinner at Parachute to celebrate our birthdays, and hung out at the Art Institute. Some neat things I’d never noticed before were the really cool asian sculptures in the gallery that crosses the railroad tracks, and the Daumier caricature busts.


I knew Daumier mostly from art history class (twenty years ago!) as a printmaker, but this kind of collection of small studies is like, 110% my jam.

The Sea Hates a Coward