Aunt Linda called the night before Dale’s Grandma and mom arrived to warn us that Grandma has “slowed down” so we just have to walk a little slower and make sure we let her rest if she “gets a little tired.” What Linda did not do was tell us that what grandma lacks in speed she makes up for in stamina–the woman wore us out. At 84 1/2 I think we were the ones slowing her down.

Here they are at the train station when Dale picked them up. This is Dale’s mom on the right and his grandmother (his dad’s mom) on the left–an unlikely combination of visitors but honestly they could not have been better.

Dale really wanted Grandma to see where we live without having to be stuck in a car on a sunny day. He also wanted to show her that we live in a nice neighborhood–a lot like hers at home–so he hired Rick’s Rickshaw to drive them around and tell them about the area.

This is Rick of Rick’s Rickshaw peddling them in front of a Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Apparently, Oak Park was formed by some folks looking to escape the cesspool of sin that is/was Chicago. They came and built a bunch of churches.

Hey! Look over there! It’s another Frank Lloyd Wright house!

After the rickshaw ride, we got manicures and pedicures–it was a first pedicure for both Dale’s mom and grandma!

Nails drying…

Our fancy toes…

Later that night we made dinner and relaxed at our apartment in Oak Park. We heard some Hawaiian music and discovered that the retirement complex that is our backyard was putting on a summer Luau right outside. We went out and enjoyed the show, of course–how often do you open your back door to find a Luau?

On Sunday we went to the Art Institute of Chicago and saw the Thorne Miniature Rooms. You can check out some of the miniatures by clicking here. There are nearly 70 rooms that capture the spirit of interiors of Europe and America from the 13th century to the 1940s. In fact, they are so detailed you can’t entirely tell they are miniatures in photos.

Rebecca took this one…
The detail in the tiny rooms was like nothing we’ve ever seen. That’s a real embroidery project all right! It might have put the Fairy Castle to shame if the Fairy Castle wasn’t so entirely awesome.

The rooms are set in the wall, as above.

It may look like we are resting here but actually Dale was resting and also shooting photos. We were just nice enough to sit still.

Another shot of us relaxing at the museum.

Turns out we took a couple of art critics to the museum. They were more than happy to share their opinions of the masters. They quickly dismissed Van Gogh’s as looking like a “paint-by-numbers”, Monet looks blurry and Picasso is just “stupid”–many of the greats were dismissed with, “who would want that?” followed with an eye roll!

Inspecting a naughty painting!

Our in-house critics seemed to favor realism. Dale waited to catch a photo of them studying this painting–in fact, for being such harsh critics of the classics, they studiously read all the plaques and considered many paintings carefully before making their pronouncements. While standing in front of the one above, they discussed posing for such a painting sometime in the future. I think they were serious.

Dale insisted we stop by his favorite garden spot outside the art museum. We’ve been there before. Seriously. It’s a beautiful and quiet spot that seems to not be over-run with tourists no matter how busy the day. Boy did his Aunt Linda lie to him! Grandma was going on like the Energizer bunny and Dale was longing for quiet nooks to relax in.

A lovely photo of Dale’s mom!

A very funny photo of Dale’s grandma waving at the camera.

We also took them over to Millennium Park and, of course, Could Gate, better known locally as the Bean. You can see the skyline reflected on the bean itself.

With the Chrysler Building behind us–you might know it as the Adventures in Babysitting Building, assuming you were 12 in 1984.

On the train on the way home for the day… and another chance to play some highly competitive Scrabble. Not to toot my own horn but I won the two games I played! Quite the accomplish when this time last year I couldn’t even figure out how to get double points.

It was a great visit! We were so happy to have them stay. Dale probably doesn’t like to admit it because he doesn’t want anyone to worry but he’s been homesick this summer and this visit was just what he needed.