Every few weeks, my mother, sister and I meet up in either Indianapolis or Chicago for a girl’s day. It’s become something of a tradition ever since my sister moved away from Chicago and so we are always looking for a good excuse to get together. Back in 2004, I read Shakespeare’s King Lear and fell in love with the passionate tragedy. Ever since it’s been my favorite story of the famous bard’s and I have always longed to see it performed live. When I heard the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre was finally offering King Lear this past October, I begged my mother and sister to go with me so I could check it off my bucket list at last.Luckily they were enthusiastic about the performance and agreed to see a Saturday matinée with me. We opted to see an earlier show so we could start our day with the most important of meals… brunch! Old Town is home to a wonderful little French restaurant called Bistrot Margot and we’ve made a bit of a tradition of having brunch there ever since I moved to the city a few years ago. They serve the crustiest sliced baguette bread to start. And it’s practically blasphemy to not order their ‘French Coffee’, a divine marriage of strong coffee (much-needed on Saturday mornings), Kahlúa and Cointreau. The combination lends the perfect chocolate-orange perk to morning java. My sister, Emily, claims that it’s good even without whipped cream… #skeptical. If you want to make your own at home, check out my own French Coffee recipe too! Hubby loved their burger with brie cheese and I’m always happy when he orders it because I just happen to be madly in love with their skinny fries (skinny in size, certainly not in calories).In general, my sister and I have very similar tastes — so similar that we are often mistaken for twins. So naturally we both ordered the same meal: the omelette du jour which comes with swoon-worthy French breakfast potatoes!
After our meal we headed over to Navy Pier, where the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre is located, and walked around to work off some of our brunch. Visiting Navy Pier always warrants a stop in the Crystal Gardens, especially on a cold, windy October day. It’s just like walking into a tropical paradise with beautiful fountains, palm trees and lush, tropical flowers. It’s the perfect place to warm-up and you can almost convince yourself that you’re in a tropical oasis as opposed to the Windy City. Mom and I posing pretty and goofing off in the Crystal Gardens. My dress is a classic a-line silk merlot dress from Orla Kiely (old, similar in cream here).Isn’t my sister just gorgeous? Back when I was 16 and trying to build my photography portfolio, I asked (begged) her to model for me to help me practice working with subjects. Few people have the incredible natural talent to be so photogenic (I certainly didn’t get those genes!) — especially while shivering in the wind by the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel — but my sister has it! I can count the bad photos I’ve taken of her on one hand!My sister is wearing a vintage skirt my grandmother made, a black turtleneck, silver jewelry and her own Modalu Pippa Bag in Black (available here. We both own the same one — I told you we had similar taste! You can see mine here). She topped it all off with my own faux-fur stole (seen previously here) to stay warm.
Autumn in the midwest is a truly magical experience and no where is that more evident than at Navy Pier. The gardens along the boardwalk overflow with the most beautiful and colorful arrangements! As well as some cute Halloween decorations near the carnival rides. I have to admit, I do love girl time with my family. We always have so much fun together, though others may see us as the world’s biggest dorks. This photo is #caseinpoint. Emmie modelling in front of the famous Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. Walking along the boardwalk.
We watched the skyline and ships sailing around Lake Michigan until we couldn’t stand the chill any longer. So naturally we went inside and promptly ordered some ice cream. Once we arrived at the Shakespeare Theatre, I was absolutely bouncing from excitement. Seeing a live performance of King Lear had been on my bucket list for almost exactly ten years and I was so anxious to finally check it off! The inside architecture of the theatre is gorgeous while the interior of the theatre is actually modelled closely off of the original Globe Theatre in London. Sadly they do not allow photos inside the theatre itself but it’s very impressive and certainly worth a visit!
The three-hour-long performance of King Lear, with Larry Yando in the lead role of Lear, was nothing short of spectacular. His heart-breakingly tragic performance reduced a majority of the audience to tears and I can honestly say I have never been more moved by a live performance. King Lear runs through this weekend but is unfortunately completely sold out at the time of the this post.
After the performance, we left the theatre with that eerie feeling that any Shakespearean audience can understand — almost as if you feel like the divine secrets of life and human nature have been revealed to you. Once we were back out on the boardwalk of Navy Pier, we were greeted with one of the most splendid sunsets we’ve ever witnessed. The skyline was drenched in blues, oranges and pinks. Wasn’t the lighting and colorful array just spectacular? It provided the most magical finale to the astounding performance. We couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful girl’s date!