Anniversary Part 1: Art Institute of Chicago

Today marks our ten year wedding anniversary! I feel so old!

Ten years ago today!
Ten years ago today!

We started our day with a fabulous breakfast at Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe off of Michigan Avenue. The restaurant features fresh and locally-sourced ingredients and homemade breads. Rupak chose a Corned Beef and Hash Skillet with fried eggs and buttermilk pancakes, and I chose the Garden Skillet (hash browns, cheddar and jack cheese, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, and onions, with added goat cheese, yum!) with scrambled eggs and cinnamon roll pancakes. The food was delicious, and we were completely, totally, and utterly stuffed.

Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe, Chicago
Corned Beef Hash and Fried Egg Skillet
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, Wildberry Cafe, Chicago
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, Wildberry Cafe, Chicago
Garden Skillet

We decided not to eat again until dinner.

Next up, a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, currently named the best museum in the world by TripAdvisor.com. Rupak found some reviews online that said to set aside two hours for the museum, which turned out to be very poor advice. This place is huge – we spent over three hours there, and the museum closed before we could see everything. It was still an amazing visit, though. The museum had the largest collection of Impressionist art I’ve ever seen, and a great deal of modern art as well. Some of my favorite artists (Seurat, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Dali) were represented, and it is always a thrill to see works in real life that you’ve only previously seen in textbooks.

Some of our favorites:

This little dragon reminds me so much of Buster when he's in trouble!
This little dragon reminds me so much of Buster when he’s in trouble!
Rupak as the three-eyed warrior!
Rupak as the three-eyed warrior!
Greedo's girlfriend from Star Wars (not really)
Greedo’s girlfriend from Star Wars (not really)
Tabitha as an Indian goddess, of course.  If only I had that many arms; I could get so much more done!
Tabitha as an Indian goddess, of course. If only I had that many arms; I could get so much more done!
A whole room filled with paperweights is much more interesting than it sounds!
A whole room filled with paperweights is much more interesting than it sounds!
Bees inside a paperweight
Bees inside a paperweight
Georgia peach!
Georgia peach!
This room is actually the size of a shoebox! The chair is no bigger than my thumb!
The museum had dozens of tiny rooms on display. This room is actually the size of a shoebox! The chair is no bigger than my thumb!
A new artist for you to hate on, Mom! Cy Twombly.
A new artist for you to hate on, Mom! (Cy Twombly)
American (and Indian) Gothic
American (and Indian) Gothic
So. Much. Monet.
So. Much. Monet.
The Bathers (except Rupak, he only takes showers)
The Bathers (except Rupak, he only takes showers)

And, finally, the main piece that I’d wanted to see: Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. This artwork was my very first desktop background on my computer way back in college. I nearly cried when I finally got to see it. (Okay, I cried. Just a little, though.)

My "I can't believe I'm seeing this in real life" face
My “I can’t believe I’m seeing this in real life” face

There were so many pieces of art that it would take me a thousand hours to put them all up online… so here’s a little slide show of some of the more famous works (Dali, Cezanne, Renoir, Monet, Hopper, Degas, Picasso, Pollock, Toulouse-Lautrec, Magritte, and more) at the museum:

After the museum, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. When we entered our room, we had a lovely surprise waiting for us from the hotel staff:

Strawberries & Champagne, courtesy of Marriott
Strawberries & Champagne, courtesy of Marriott

Of course, we couldn’t eat the strawberries or drink the champagne until we got a picture (or two!) with our cell phones!

Say "Strawberries!"
Say “Strawberries!”

Next up: Alinea! This three-star Michelin restaurant deserves its own post!

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