Most days I feel comfortable saying that I’ve seen pretty much everything my home city has to offer. I’ve been to the tourist traps and the holes-in-the-walls. I’ve ventured to all corners of the city, and after 15 years in Chicago I thought I’d pretty much nailed down what to do and what not to do here.
It was a stupid cold and sleeting winter day in spring (read: late March in Chicago) and the weather threw a monkey-wrench in a scheduled pre-wedding “Meeting of the Moms.” In searching for indoor, get to know you activities, the conservatory seemed like a great alternative to window shopping in Andersonville, because moms like flowers, right?
There’s the mad dash from the gate. The in-fighting over the shaded spots close to the Pavilion. The pop up tables, real crystal, and vases of flowers. Everything you’ve heard about Ravinia is true. It’s at times chaotic and dripping with wealth, but the North Shore folks in khaki pants and claustrophobic lawn quickly fade away once the music kicks in. You settle into your bottle of wine, gaze up at the trees, and all your worries melt away.
For just ten bucks, you can sit in the most beautiful back yard in the tri-county area and hear some of the best musicians in the world. This particular Sunday it happened to be Idina Menzel with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Admittedly sniffly, and suprisingly crass, that bitch can sing.