Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Annual Trip to the Walnut Room

Every year I make a trip downtown to the Walnut Room with friends of the family. I met Kailey when she was 3 years old and I was getting ready for my freshman year of HS. I was a volunteer swim teacher and she was in my class. Well...scratch that. She was in the class next to mine but she was super cute and I stole her. Oh yeah, and Kailey is deaf.

So I was her swim teacher and thought sign language was so cool. I talked to her aunt a lot (who brought her to class) and learned about sign language classes at the park district. I took the classes every Thursday for years. In fact, I still get together once a month with my "sign language group". Now we just get together to chat, but it is the group that we started learning sign together 12 years ago. I also stayed close with Kailey's family.

About 11 years ago they invited me on their annual trip downtown to Field's (at the time). Robin, Kailey's aunt, had been bringing them since her older brother was little and Kailey was a baby. When I started going her younger sister was just a teeny baby and didn't come with us yet.

Now, 11 years later, we still go every year. Kailey is even going to be my junior bridesmaid.

I finally got to ask her a few months after I asked everyone else.

Here was her poem:


The day, the dress, the bride, the groom,
the joy, the tears, will all come so soon.

Professing true love to my husband-to-be,
With family and friends all watching me.

Because to me you mean so much,
I have one thing which I will phrase as such:
Nothing would give me more joy and pride,
Than to have you with me right by my side.

I have known you since those days
when we used to swim
And I want you to be there when I marry him.
Many great memories I have shared with your smile,
So I want you to meet me at the end of the aisle.

My life would not be the same without you,
Including my job, my friends, and Adam too.

There are many pieces to planning this day
And that is why I have this to say:
“Put together this puzzle
And you will see
The question I am asking thee!”

Love, Stephanie

Oh yeah....this was supposed to be a Walnut Room post.
Back to that.

So anyway, we take the El down to Chicago, remember we are supposed to get off at Washington, but can never remember which way we are supposed to take up. So we go up one way and then find ourselves in the freezing cold outdoors and walk to Macy's (formally known as Marshall Fields). We go get in line for a pager for the Walnut Room. This year we only waited about 45 minutes (there was a year we waited 2 hours for the pager). Then we had to wait an hour and a half to get paged (that same other year we waited 5 hours to get paged). Then a wait of about 30 minutes once we were paged (that same other year we waited an hour). So the total waiting was about 2 hours and 45 minutes. One year it was 8 hours! While we were waiting we shopped and I found super cute black and white ornaments for a future Christmas tree.

This is the view of the Walnut Room tree from the floor above.

It is a beautiful silver tree with words hanging on it.

This is the tree from our table right next to the tree.

My amazing Frango Mint pie. It is a tradition that Kailey and I split it every year and it is freaking amazing. Really. Yum.

Then we went outside to check out the windows. They were cute this year. They were a story about how letters get to Santa when kids write them.

After that we walked to the Christkindl Market we saw the big tree. This year they didn't have a bunch of trees put together; instead they had one huge tree. At first it looks wimpy compared to past year, but then I decided that it was even cooler that it was only one tree.

Our annual picture in front of the tree.
So that was my trip downtown on Monday. It was cold. But fun!