Shara and I went to the Windy City today. We didn't have a plan for what we would do when we got there. We mostly just drove around until we found a place to park, and wandered.
We ended up at Navy Pier. Worked our way slowly thru the Stained Glass Museum. Learned a few things about stained glass, symbolism, and Chicago history. Did you know that Chicago is the only city in America named after a food? (I can't remember whether we learned this before or after I mistook part of a particular stained glass window for a corndog...)
We waited in line for over 1/2 an hour for $10 hot dogs that were almost worth it. Then we wandered toward the Magnificent Mile. I'm not sure we ever actually found it. We got distracted by the Chicago Tribune building, which is decorated by pieces of stone from all over the world. It was really cool. We also wandered slowly thru an art gallery and fell in love with $9000 acrylic on aluminum paintings. Spent some time in Millennium Park, taking pictures, talking with tourists, and respecting the art by not climbing on it. (There was a sign that said we couldn't. We did, however, hug it.)
We both came home with new challenges. I'm going to learn how to paint on aluminum. Shara's going to figure out how to deep fry mashed potatoes. And I think we both came home inspired. I know I was. We encountered so much beauty and creativity today - from aluminum paintings to stained glass to architecture to creation itself. The clouds were incredible on this odd October-like day in July. And good conversation, good food, great company, and time spent creating or enjoying creation are essential elements to a really great Sabbath. I'm inspired to get back into the habit of planning ahead a little more - even if it's as unplanned as saying, "let's get in the car and go and see where we end up" - so that more of my Sabbath days are packed with moments of unexpected delight.