24 January 2011

Polar Expedition

This weekend we went to the Polar Adventure Day at the Northerly Island hosted by the Chicago Park District. They promised hot cocoa, sled dogs, and ice sculpture and they delivered. One of the nicest things about the event was that they weren't selling anything. There were no booths, crafts, vendors, food, etc. Just a nice outdoor experience. The Northerly Island is just south of Adler Planetarium. To my surprise, it's a relatively unused public park area right on the lake. Most folks probably get to the museums and figure there isn't much more to see. I'm glad we had an excuse to go a bit further.

Peanut had a great time. He got his first taste of hot cocoa, which he loved. There's nothing funnier than a toddler nursing a coffee cup. He refused to let anyone else hold it as long as there might be liquid at the bottom. Getting a picture without chocolate mug in front of his face took some work. It wasn't only food, though. We also saw some animals, including a barn owl that he's still talking about. I've been making up animal stories for him at nap time and night and one is about an owl family. His eyes are even bigger now when he listens. The other animal that made a big impression was the hedgehog, also related to a story we've been reading, The Happy Hedgehog Band. The adults were a little more taken with the ant eater, but that's not particularly polar, is it?

My favorite discovery was a set of three beautiful metal sculptures dancing out on the snow covered peninsula. We were bundled up in layers and thermals, but these ladies by Dessa Kirk made me think of spring. The Chicago winter isn't as bad as I expected, but thoughts of trees budding and green shoots of grass are starting to invade my imagination, nevertheless.

My hat is one I made (quickly) for myself after losing one earlier this winter. It's made from Malabrigo worsted, a yarn I would live in if possible. Details here. Judging from the pictures, it should be called the Conehead Hat!

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