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We spent our long weekend in Chicago while, if the traffic both coming and going is any clue, it seems most people from the Chicago area spent their long weekend somewhere in Michigan.

I could go on and on about the sunny, albeit unseasonably warm, weather, or the fantastic company, activities, and food, but I won't. I'll just tell the story, or most of it anyway, in pictures.

On Friday night we stayed in for fantastic shrimp chowder, salad, bread, wine, and general goofiness.

On Saturday, Curtis and Jon went for a "bro's day out", shopping, chowing, and the like, while Julie, Calvin, and I went to the Field Museum, and then to a sushi dinner.

On Sunday we were off to the races!

It was 96 degrees, but at least it was windy, and Calvin found a little shade for a rest with his book.

I think this is the universal face of enjoyment.

For the last race of the day, Calvin decided that horse number one should win. Curtis placed a $2 bet on him just for fun. They were some pretty long odds, but Calvin just really thought number one should win that race.

Here comes number one, long odds or not.

Just look at him go.

It was very exciting to be standing right at the rail, chearing on our very own horse. Or at least the horse we wanted to win. And long odds meant that Calvin won $10 on that bet.

After freshening up we were off to the Publican for dinner, a fresh and local foods experience restaurant. We were closed up in a booth where we spent almost three hours being catered to with eight different dishes, including, but not limited to, oysters, rabbit, duck, pork, perch, and a variety of exquisite side dishes. We also sampled beer and wine. To make the extended period of confinement easier for Calvin we brought along coloring, a mini puzzle, a mini Lego set, his book, and even the iPad (although we wouldn't normally condone that at any dinner table), and we all had a great time. Of course, he tried and loved every dish right along with us.


And on Monday we took the el downtown and enjoyed Lurie Gardens in Milennium Park before walking Michigan Avenue, doing a little shopping, and enjoying one last delectable meal before hitting the road.

It was still in the mid-nineties so dipping our toes in the freezing cold water of the gardens was very enjoyable.

And I accidentally put the camera on some odd setting, over-exposing all the rest of the pictures from the afternoon, so the remaining shots are an experiment in Photoshop tricks.

And now we are home.

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