So, after the Art Institute closed, the Pony Parents wanted a place to sit down for a cup of tea. Dad Pony was thinking Starbucks, but I countered that a) Starbucks Is Evil, and b) Starbucks specializes in coffee. There are actual tea shops in Chicago, and we went to one. We had a nice leisurely tea, sitting on the second floor/balcony area of the tea shop. When Dad Pony went down to get the token for the men's room, Mom Pony and I watched as he got into a chat with the barista (getting into chats with random strangers is one of Dad Pony's talents), and then he pointed up at me and waved for me to come down.
It turned out that the barista had noticed the University of Chicago sweatshirt that Dad Pony was wearing and had asked him about it. When Dad Pony replied that he was the proud parent of a U of C graduate student in ethnomusicology, the barista got excited. It seems that the barista is about to graduate from college and wants to take a year off before going to grad school for ethnomusicology! He and I chatted for a bit about the U of C program, and I gave him the e-mail of one of the professors so he could get further guidance.
The Pony Parents and I made our way to the symphony, where we picked up our tickets and then went to the little refreshment bar in the rotunda. The nice thing about this refreshment bar is that you don't actually have to buy anything to eat there; I've brought in bagged lunches a couple of times before, and you can just sit at a table and eat your lunch there. We'd brought the leftover halves of the enormous Manny's Deli sandwiches, and they were going to be our dinner. Dad Pony and I had corned beef, and Mom Pony had chopped liver. At the next table were a nicely dressed couple eating something fancy and certainly overpriced from the refreshment bar, and Mom Pony reported that she had a lovely little sting of ever-so-slightly-mean joy when she unwrapped our sandwiches and added that special Jewish deli scent to the air.
The concert was excellent, as one would expect, seeing as how the CSO is one of the best symphony orchestras in the country. We heard a piece from the 1950s by a guy named Bohuslav Martinu, inspired by Renaissance art, as well as Debussy's La Mer and Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. So we'd spent the afternoon looking at Renaissance and Impressionist paintings, and we finished up listening to Renaissance-inspired and Impressionist music! We are just so clever, we Ponies.
The next day, Sunday, was Mother's Day, and I had my mother right there with me! Dad Pony and I made a special breakfast celebration for her. He bought her a package of her favorite hazelnut wafers, and I got flowers for the table and made fluffy pancakes on my griddle. Little Sister Pony called in the middle of breakfast, and we all got to chat until Mom Pony's cell phone died. Mom Pony declared that it was an excellent way to celebrate Mother's Day. They left around mid-morning to get to O'Hare to catch their early afternoon flight.
So it was a really nifty weekend all around. They'll be back in Chicago in July, too!