Rainbow Cone, the ice cream Voltron

This adventure was one more on Sweetie’s “first time” list. The cool thing is that this was also a first time adventure for me and Wife as well. On a recent warm Chicago Sunday afternoon we were craving a sweet treat. So we loaded los abuelos into the ride and we went to Rainbow Cone for some ice cream.

Ice cream art

Ice cream art

Those of you familiar with Rainbow Cone know that “A Rainbow Cone” is not just “some” ice cream, but more like an ice cream sculpture. For those who have not yet had the pleasure, that’s 5 flavors of ice cream piled on to one cone in a particular order: chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (New York vanilla with cherries and walnuts), and pistachio topped off with orange sherbet. This cone is one of those things that sounds bizarre but tastes just right. I personally would not order most of those ice cream flavors by themselves, but together they form a powerful treat perfect for battling hot weather. It’s kind of like ice cream Voltron.

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Everyone enjoyed their cones, but of course Sweetie stole the show. Just to be clear, she does not eat ice cream with any frequency and this was a special occasion. Even without that disclaimer, I think the pictures of Sweetie slaying her cone cancel any criticism I earn for giving my daughter ice cream. I don’t care who you are, these pictures are great. And I don’t know that “enjoyment” really captures how much my daughter liked the Rainbow Cone.

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I should say a special thank you to Wife, who was nice enough to share her cone with her daughter (unlike most days of the week, I didn’t have to). Located at 92nd and Western, Rainbow Cone is close enough for an afternoon visit, but thankfully not close enough to enjoy regularly. Needless to say, los padrinos want to go for a cone so that means a return visit. Yet one more reason to love Chicago!

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Today you wish you were me

I don’t normally say this; especially on days with missed naps, poop-splosions, and toy tornadoes. And bragging is not usually my style. But today was different. And today you wish you were me. Today you were probably stuck in an office, working the day away. But today was around 75 degrees with a lake breeze, mostly sunny and beautiful. So today we went on an adventure downtown.

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Big Daddy B, Momma Z, Linda, Sweetie and I piled in the ride and headed to the heart of the city. The adventure started down at Millennium Park with a music class for the girls. It was an English version of the class they take at the Old Town School of Folk Music. There is a giant tent set up there with music classes, book readings, arts and crafts, giant checkers and giant tinker toys. Overall the activities are for older children but the girls had a blast and definitely got down.

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After music class we scoped out a spot for lunch. While we were hunting around we noticed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra warming up in the Pritzker Pavilion. They were getting ready to practice for the night’s concert. So we found a great spot on the south side of the park among some shade trees and sat to enjoy our picnic lunch. All the while the symphony played in the background.

Hello city

Hello city

Next stop was the Chicago Cultural Center, just a short walk across the street and we wandered in to explore.  The girls both fell asleep after lunch so the adults could do as we pleased. As always, the Tiffany Dome was impressive to see. We also caught two art exhibits; the first was Modernism’s Messengers: the Art of Alfonso and Margaret Iannellitone. They were a couple who worked together on various marketing and architectural projects. Many of the works were designed, built and displayed in Chicago. The second exhibit was by Stefan Sagmeister, called The Happy Show. It focused on the topic of happiness, explored through selected entries from the artist’s journal. The Happy Show was a particularly good find that we stumbled on. It was wonderfully bizarre but got you thinking.

Tiffany Dome - the photo doesn't do it justice

Tiffany Dome – the photo doesn’t do it justice

We wrapped up at a perfect time in the middle of the afternoon. For treats we hit Dunkin’ Donuts for a road coffee before hopping back in the ride. Traffic was clear heading north so we ended the day on a good note with an easy cruise home. Today was a great day in Chicago; a great day on the detour. So yeah, today you wish you were me. Now I hope you can go and have such a day so you can write the same back to me.

First Car Show

I tend to keep the automotive content on this site to a minimum. I don’t think making an automotive analogy to all things Sweetie would always work out. I know I put a disclaimer that I would not have a bunch of pictures of her in the garage or hanging on the project car, but this is different.

A couple of weekends back the weather was perfect and I decided that Wife, Sweetie and I were going to a car show. With the busy summer I have not been to a single show and Sweetie was bound to attend one eventually. The Lake Michigan Region chapter of Lambda Car Club International was hosting their national meet and part of the events included a show at their host hotel. I knew it would work out.

7-20-13 (4)I met the chapter president, Eric, shortly after moving to the shop in the Lakeview neighborhood. We worked out a deal where the club used the shop lot for their annual car show. After three successful shows we established a working relationship that now carries outside the shop setting. They just had their fourth car show at the shop in June and the connection still looks strong. The members of the LCC-LMR tend to have original and restored cars, many (but not all) from the 60’s and 70’s. Their cars also tend to have interesting stories: custom carriage work, barn finds, Detroit connections. Body shop – car club – from the start the relationship made sense to me.

And so off we went! The site was only a short drive west of the city and as I mentioned (as you can see in the pics) the weather was great. The show took up the front two parking lots of the hotel, but there were not so many cars that was overwhelming. Again, most of the cars were original or restored, but there were a couple of customs to catch my interest. Sweetie was cruising around in her stroller saying “Hi!” to everyone and Wife even spotted a couple of rides that she would like to add to the garage. Probably the most striking car (to me) was a metallic grey, 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible that had been in the owner’s family since his father bought it new in 1967. So insert picture here and kick myself for not snapping one to put in the entry. There were also two 1914 Fords that were driven from Detroit to Chicago for the invitational. That owner said it was a great, albeit slow, drive. There were about a hundred cars and I think I counted five trailers behind the hotel. In my opinion, the fact that the majority of the cars were driven to the invitational just adds cool points.

Detroit steel - big, original, driven

Detroit steel – big, original, driven

We only stayed for an hour or so as we had to make a quick 1-year-old-related exit. That was enough for me, I got my fix for the weekend. Shows are great for checking out people’s rides, but they make coming home to the project sitting in the garage bittersweet. Wife has been great about going to shows these past years, so I guess I will continue to drag her and Sweetie along until they protest. I think Wife’s only complaint is that we are driving a late-model car to the shows versus the ’55 project. With Sweetie it is a different story. There were times when I was growing up I did not  appreciate going to car shows with my Dad, so I will keep an eye on that with her. Really it’s like anything else; as a parent I am going to gently push my interests on my daughter and let her decide if she is into it or not. But I do think it would be cool if she learns to bump dents and weld and paint and such! Anyway…

Oh, a special thanks to Eric and Larry and the guys from the LCC-LMR. (That’s Eric’s 1971 Chevy Caprice in the pictures. Formerly a Detroit Factory Manager’s car, it is a factory big block, options-loaded, all original driver.)They have always been cool with me, even though some of our car tastes differ (I am more into customs than originals). They don’t bust my chops because they hear about my project but never see it. And they have always been welcoming to Wife. Of course they were great to Sweetie, who they had heard about through the blog but not yet met. If you get a chance to check out one of their shows and see some of their cars you should.