I love spending time with my children, but every once in awhile, a mama needs a day off. Today was that day. The Dad took the day off from work, giving me a vacation day of my own. Rather than spend it shopping*, I took advantage of the silence in my head to enjoy experiential pursuits by myself. It was bliss. I guess I really am an introvert.
I took the Blue Line down to Kendall College to have lunch at The Dining Room. I ordered from the prix fixe menu. It was delicious. The waitstaff were all very attentive, but some dishes were slow coming out of the kitchen and left me a bit anxious that I would be late for the matinee at the Oriental Theater. Still, at $18 for three courses, it was a fantastic deal. I ordered everything from the specials menu: spring pea soup with creme fraiche and mint; grass-fed beef tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese, spinach, and mushrooms, served with fresh beets and a cream sauce; and a trio of orange: orange-vanilla panna cotta, chocolate-dipped mandarin orange slices, candied kumquats, and an orange sorbet. I greatly enjoyed the food, service, and the time to leisurely read my book.
After lunch, I walked to Halsted and Grand Avenues to flag down a cab -- a rare indulgence for me these days -- and got to the Oriental Theater for Wicked just as the entrance tones were ringing. Sarah had told me about a deal for reduced-price tickets, so I got a great seat -- Row X, seat 109, which was smack in the middle of the row, on orchestra-level -- for less than $40. Several rows in front of me were empty, so I moved down to Row T (same seat) after Intermission. I have not read the book, but I really enjoyed the musical. The story was basically the classic unrequited love/love triangle/high school popularity contest, played out against the backdrop of Oz. I liked the way they tied things into the Wizard of Oz so that the original story/musical would still make sense. It made me laugh, and the ending even made me cry.
I clapped loudly with the rest of the audience, and then beat feet to catch the L. I just missed a train at Clark and Lake, but managed to snag a seat when the next train showed up. The blue line is back (mostly) to its rapid transit time, so I got home within 20 minutes. The Dad and kids were playing in the front yard with the neighbors as I rounded the corner; they all ran for hugs as soon as they saw me. The Baby was particularly glad to see me, but I wasn't as exciting as La Villa's pizza man, who arrived 10 seconds later (this is what happens when The Dad is in charge of dinner).
* Although I did go to the Treasure Store this morning for an hour by myself.