24 December, 2009

Celebrating...Merry Christmas Eve!

I can't believe that it's Christmas Eve already! Christmas is the best time of the year and I love all of the planning and anticipation that leads up to it. But I don't understand this year---where did that time go? I don't know what happened that time got away from me, but here it is Christmas Eve and I haven't accomplished one-fourth of what I'd hoped.

But I did want to post some pictures from a recent adventure that I had touring around as a tourist in my own city.

A week or so ago, my friends Kara and Stephanie and I decided to take our first ride on the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) Holiday Train. This train is no normal train by any stretch of the imagination, but instead looks like something straight out of the North Pole. The train is decorated inside and out. The outside is covered with lights and seasonal decorations and has Christmas music playing. The inside of each car has specifically upholstered seats, candy cane wrapped poles, red and green lights, and the ads are custom tailored to the theme too. And inside each car is a Santa Helper passing out candy canes to all who board. But the thing that makes this train the most special, is that right in the middle is a flatbed type car where the big guy, (yes, Santa himself) rides and waves as he passes by. After we rode the train, we decided to stop at a few of the attractions downtown to check out the festivities and decorations. Our first stop was an unplanned stop. As we were passing by one of the buildings, we spied the lovely lobby display and went in to check it out. There was a very nice display that reminded you of Christmas in Miami. There were dolphins, palm trees and even pink flamingos. Very cute! Next we stopped at the Daley Plaza to see the City of Chicago Christmas Tree and the ChristkindlMarket. This was the first time in several years that the city used one tree instead of building the enormous tree from hundreds of smaller trees. The reviews were mixed, but I think it's beautiful! The ChristkindlMarket is the largest traditional German holiday market outside of Germany in downtown Chicago on Daley Plaza. There were several outdoor booths set up. Some had gifts from other countries and others had food from other countries. It was a great place to find cute little unique gifts and the prices weren't bad either.
Our next stop was Macy's to see the infamous Christmas Windows. The theme was The Journey of Letters to Santa and the windows were very colorful and mostly rather futuristic. As you walked from window to window you saw how the letter you write gets processed and delivered to Santa. The Windy Pixel has better pix than mine if you'd like to check it out. After a brief stop in Filene's Basement for a quiick warm up, we went to our final stop, the Lions at the Art Institute. Each year there is a wreathing ceremony where the two lions receive each receive a wreath so that are "dressed" for the season. This year the Art Institute opened it's new Modern Wing so they decided to kick off the season with modern wreaths and then midway through change to the traditional wreaths. We were lucky? enough to see the modern wreaths. Here's a link to the tradition wreaths. I'm usually a modern girl, but prefered the traditional wreaths for these landmarks. Well, I hope that you enjoyed my brief (ha ha!) re-cap of a cold, pre-Christmas evening in Chicago.

Now...time to get those cookies and glass of milk in place. Santa is on his way!!

Celebrate...pre-Christmas festivities!

Luv Ya!!


Pixxa said...

PS - Thanks to Kara for some of the pix used in this post!!

Anonymous said...

Totally laughed at being "lucky?" enough to see the modern wreaths on the Art Institute lions. I'm sure they were appreciated, but I encountered a group of locals happy to see the traditional wreaths in place. Either way, it is wonderful to have access to so many public holiday displays.
Happy Christmas Eve!