Saturday, April 04, 2009

My Pretend Life

Tonight the Pu family is staying at a hotel in downtown Chicago just for the hell of it.
Actually, we're staying so I can review the place for a family travel Web site. I'm not getting paid, but I thought what the heck, it'll be fun to spend the weekend downtown right near Milennium Park and all.
Naturally, it's supposed to be raining with a high of 39 and 30 mph winds. Can you think of a WORSE day to be downtown?
So what indoor activity should we do tomorrow morning? Gospel brunch at House of Blues, or a museum? Epu sounded less than enthused about taking the kids to gospel brunch. Well, the House of Blues would be pricey -- nearly $80 for two paying adults and two free kids.
Maybe the Adler Planetarium? They have a Sesame Street show but the first one isn't until noon. Still, I've never been there.
Oh, maybe I'll try to talk them into Gospel brunch. I hate to pay full price for a museum when most of them have free days or we can get passes to. Yes, I'm cheap. I have a whole blog about it!
And speaking of that, let me tell you about my other downtown adventure today. I got my hair professionally colored for the first time. I usually don't even like to set foot in a chemical-smelling place like a salon while pregnant, but I had a good reason: I'm going to be on tv to talk about saving money, probably next week. I'll tell you all when and where to watch when I confirm with the producer that it's not being delayed.
I think the color and cut looks pretty nice. I went to the Red 7 Salon near the Merchandise Mart, and the women working there were all pretty nice, too. I always feel awkward and out of place at salons; the other customers always seem to know their stylists and know just what they want, and they're coming in for their 6-week update, and I'm like, yes, it's true: I let that drugstore color grow out until it's only the bottom half of my hair and I'm sprouting some kind of gray whale spout in front.
But I felt a little more comfortable at this place. I told the colorist why I was in, and she showed a lot of interest in the saving money topic, so I was able to give her a bunch of tips on saving money on groceries while buying organic. And the girl who cut my hair asked me a lot of questions but was also ready to offer advice since as usual I didn't have much clue about what I wanted.
Here I am with my blown-straight hair (it will never look like this again, since I am not about to invest another 30 minutes with a blow dryer and roller brush, ever), in the robe provided by the hotel:

A little blurry because I had to turn off flash, because you can't take a flash photo in a mirror, can you?

At any rate, I'm in this amazing window seat at the hotel with Epu, looking down on the river and across at the Trump Toware and at taxis moving through the intersection like toy cars. A week ago, I was sitting in my friends' Bernal Heights apartment in SF, watching a very different city scene of couples (some of which involved at least one Y chromosome) walking their kids down to the pet store to get some organic chicken feed and people sitting in the cozy restaurant across the street having coffee and nitrate-free bacon.

The scale here is about 1,000 times grander, and it's fun to watch. But I would way, way rather live on the other street, or our own street, for that matter.

We need a window seat like this in our house, though. Except for the fact that it would put us on display to the whole neighborhood. And also we'd have to get the leopard and zebra print robes to go with it, I guess.


kafein said...

The Gospel brunch is VERY VERY loud. It might be a bit much for the youngest. Do you have your car? I'd say pile in and head down to Chinatown for dim sum before heading home. That's our favorite thing on a Sunday morning these days.

My other choice would be the Art Institute. Go see the Degas (BALLERINAS) and the Seurat. Admission is "suggested" - you can pay less than the posted price.

Bert said...

Oh my goodness, you get to stay in a fun hotel! And I LOVE the robes! I'm excited to read about your adventures in Chicago. Can't wait to hear what activity you chose.

Carrie said...

Kafein, Good to know about the gospel brunch. Would be fun sometimes when we have out of town guests and a sitter maybe. I LOVE having dim sum in Chinatown, but we didn't have our car.
Alas, we ended up doing nothing downtown today, because Pebbles didn't fall asleep until 10 p.m. and was up again many times during the night and for the day at 8 a.m. Needless to say, she was VERY crabby in the morning, so all we could manage is to have some pastries from the Corner Bakery in the room, pack up and take the El home. We got home 20 minutes ago and she's already sound asleep in her crib.

Sara said...

LOVE the hair!!! i'm going to the salon for a cut this week, and i am excited to look fab for like 12 hours, before i wash my hair again and am never able to get it to look like it looked when i left the salon.

Notta Wallflower said...

Your hair looks great. Besides, isn't it nice to be pampered once in a while? Epu told us you'd be on tv. I'll check back for your video clip. :-)

Abby said...

I love it, Carrie! You look great!