Christmastime in Chicago

Christmas Eve I got up super super early to catch that 6am flight home to Chicago. I made it in plenty of time for our annual-ish trip to the Rockefeller Chapel Christmas program at the University of Chicago. I think my family would agree I was pretty well-behaved this time. Before that we ate cemitas and went to the bookstore, after it we ate roast and read our traditional Christmas Eve stories.

Christmas morning was good and chill and grown up and we opened our stockings before church. I think Mom got a good deal on Cubs shirts. Did you forget that the Cubs won the World Series? Seems so long ago now, right?

Home from church the real present opening begins.

Ordered Mom some A+ papercut prints from Cindy. But she also got her old original Little Red Riding Hood papercut framed.

Then the big thing of Christmas: I made everyone my new carnitas recipe. Third time was the charm. But so was the second time. And the first time. This recipe is perfect.

I'll admit that I now lose track a little of the days. I know there was a day I went to the dentist. I know there was a day I ate Johnnies. Then one night we had Las Fuentes and after it I think that's when we went and saw the Nutcracker...unless we saw the Nutcracker on a totally different night? It was a version of the Nutcracker set in Chicago during the Colombian Exhibition. It was great. Just like Las Fuentes nachos, which we may have eaten that night.

Then one night we went and ate at this modern Korean restaurant called Parachute (it's famous in Chicago and New York but I'm still saying things like "called Parachute"). It was clear the family was doing me a big favor by humoring my curiosity with this restaurant but GUESS WHAT. Parachute was a gigantic hit, we all loved it! I mean I expected it to be good but I was over the moon about it and Mom liked it so much that she gave me a fist bump at the end. That's how good it was! Pictures didn't turn out perfectly, but here's a sampling of our dinner. So so good. You gotta go.

The next day I went with Owen to Au Cheval for lunch. Of course we had the burger, but we also had their Chinese chicken wings (and a side of their incomparable mashed potatoes and gravy). And while we waited for our table at Au Cheval we picked up a Tlayuda (this is half of it) from Cruz Blanca, Rick Bayless's new beer hall/tlayuda eatery. What's a tlayuda? A pizza-sized tostada. They're going to be big (not a pun) in 2017. We also drove by our neighbor's toy company. Look at that silly gigantic door! Fun, right?

Don't have any pictures of it, but the next night we saw Rogue One (I liked it so much better the second time) and went to an apartment-warming, grandchild-welcoming party thrown by some old neighbors at their new place and it really was nice to catch up with people I used to babysit for now that I'm the age they probably were when they paid me to watch their kids. Then we came home and I made cheeseburgers.

And then early early Thursday morning we went to Midway for our flight to California because it was time to have adventures in California. Of course, our first adventure would be the plane being held hostage (in a way! Don't freak out) for an hour and a half by a woman pretending to have bought a seat for her child when she hadn't. Long story. Maybe you my Facebook statuses about it?

Ok, come back soon for a real fun three part California post!