Last night, I had dinner with a friend at Fooq’s, an intimate spot downtown. Restaurant founder David Foulquier’s Franco-Persian roots are evident in the offerings and my friend and I tried our best to put together an eclectic spread of dishes with our choices: crispy honey-glazed brussel sprouts and fish stew, octopus a la plancha, bucatini amatriciana, and a delicious date cake.
I try to stay away from “Top 10 Tourist Attractions” lists when I research a travel destination (and The Art Institute of Chicago lands on practically every list for The Windy City). But there’s a reason it’s on there. I love going to museums as it is because I love places that make me feel insignificant. Places that remind me that I’m such a tiny part of something bigger. The Art Institute is one of those places. It was, in a word, overwhelming (wonderfully so) and I decided not to snap so many pictures because I came to the conclusion that it’s something that you need to be experienced in the flesh. Among all of the incredible exhibits, including the Thorne Miniature Rooms and the fantastic collection of Asian, African, and American Indian Art to name a few, is the Greco-Roman and Byzantine Art exhibit. I have such a soft spot for classic, ancient art. And, my gosh, theres something about perfectly-chiseled marble and stone that turns my head.
I mean, really. Look at the details on these sculptures–the blind girl’s tresses and Marcus Aurelius’ locks, the flow of the fabric, the intricate patterns on the Roman armor…
If you’re in Chicago, the admission fee is most definitely worth it. Plan to spend an enormous part of the day there. There are three floors harboring the history of the world through art and you’ll want to take your time walking through it all. When you’re finished, there’s a lovely courtyard outside where you can sit quietly to draw, read a book, or engage in a bit of reflection near the edge of the shallow pool (see what I did there? bad joke). Quick tip: if you buy the tickets online, it saves you the line to get in. Take a peek at the museum website for more information on the exhibits and planning your visit.
There’s a beautiful collection of Japanese gardens in the heart of South Florida suburbia. Morikami is beautiful and peaceful–a haven for the contemplative soul, a retreat for the tranquil-hungry looking for a place to get away from the noise of the everyday for an afternoon.
The walk through the gardens is a winding path. Every so often, you’ll spot a stone lantern by the wayside. Solitary benches dot the whole area, somewhere you can sit, pray, think, read, admire the view in front of you. Across wooden bridges, over still waters, you’ll eventually come to the Ancient Gate. Made of Japanese cypress, it stands guard before the bamboo grove. Here, even before you cross the threshold, you can hear the sound of the bamboo stalks knocking against each other in the breeze. A walk under a canopy of trees and around a bend will lead you to the rock and sand gardens, where the raked patterns mimic water ripples. A lovely bonsai collection and waterfall wait for you at the end of it all.
I’ve been hanging around the Ocho Placas Tattoo Company lately. Chris is getting his sleeve finished by the incredible Javier Betancourt (who tattooed either Tegan or Sara from the singing duo, by the way) and I’ve been tagging along with him on his appointments. When I’m not on my phone while sitting in on these two-to-three-hour-long sessions, I get a chance to snap some photos, read Javier’s tattoo books (which are pretty much just picture books with beautiful traditional American-style sketches), and look around at all the cool little decorations he’s put up in his work room.
I’ve been practically living in this outfit for the past few days. Nisolo’s Ecuador Huarache Sandal in Burnt Sienna is my footwear of choice for the summer. They’re beautiful, handmade, and easy to break in. The Everlane linen tee dress in heather grey keeps me cool and is effortless (dresses are an easy pick–throw one on, and you’re done).
I consider my trip to Portland, Oregon this past summer to be my first “real” adventure away from home. My trip-mates and I went out to the frequently-photographed Multnomah Falls, to Oregon wine country, even making the drive out to the coast. I particularly loved hiking through streams and bumbling brooks, wandering in forests, seeing waterfalls along the trails…
…I miss it. Looking at the pictures from last summer reminds me that it’s time to plan another trip. Portland, you were wonderful.
Until the next big adventure.