Peaches Prattlings











If you have’t guessed it, today…in St Louis…we had…SNOW! in APRIL! It can happen, or so I had been told and here we are!

A personal summer is what someone once referred to, for women of a certain age, which I happen to be one, a hot flash, if you catch my drift. I love the term personal summer, instead of hot flash! That being said, apparently, Mother Nature was having one of those today, so she had to turn up the AC, to the point it snowed! Actually, when we were walking the dogs, I said to PSM, it looks like Mother Nature sneezed really hard and all the stuffing got knocked out!

When we were in Chicago this weekend, we heard it was going to snow this week and when we got back to St Louis, guess what! We live in the middle, so that can happen. It wasn’t very cold this morning, the usual 45, we went to yoga, came home, walked the dogs, it was just overcast. The snow was predicted about noon, and around 11am or so, it started to rain, it was only 39 at that point and then the rain started to become flaky. Next thing I knew, I looked outside my office window and falling were those giant fluffy snowflakes, the ones that look all pillowy and so cute when they land on my nose and eyelashes

When I texted my dad and sister, GES said ‘we had that Friday, have fun!’, gee thanks! It was pretty, but not enough to make a snowman, oh well…

It’s interesting to walk through the neighborhood and see the trees in bloom in pink laden with snow, or snow on the roof behind it. I hope our flowers don’t suffer too badly. We had snow piled in the backyard and then for our evening walk about 5p, it had already started melting, but…we’re getting a freeze tonight, wahoo.

But…with the freezing weather, we noticed smoke coming from some chimneys in our neighborhood, so guess what we did…yup…PSM built us a nice fire and eventually, everyone was sleeping by the warmth of the fire and they all looked so peaceful with lit up by the light from the fire. It’s ok if it’s freezing out there, tonight, all is right with the world!



Well…not set an alarm for one! That was easy! We got up eventually, took showers and got ourselves ready to greet the day. First…since we didn’t want to have to carry our bags around the city all day, so we arranged with the hotel to keep the room for the day, wahoo!

Eventually, we ventured out in search of breakfast. I was disappointed that the Chicago Diner ‘Meat Free since ’83’, one of my favorite places to eat in Chicago, unfortunately, it wasn’t open until 12p, maybe next time we go to Chicago, we can eat there. We decided on a place that was less than a mile away, Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe. It had a high rating, so we were excited. We put our names on the waitlist, we didn’t actually have to wait too long, it was quite busy. Chicago seems to still be waking up from quarantine.

When we finally got a seat, we waiting for quite a while before anyone came over to the table, our server was nice enough, but frazzled, according to her, it was crazy busy and they were backed up in the kitchen. Not sure if they had enough staff working. We finally got to order, PSM got his decaf coffee pretty quickly, but my chai latte, on the other hand, came just before the food, which was about 20 minutes later, and it came in a to-go cup, that was a first. I watched several drinks come out of the kitchen like that, I have a feeling they were low on kitchen staff. I was watching the people at the table next to ours, who were seated at the same time we were. Their drinks came at the same time mine did, and they still didn’t have food. Our food got there and we started eating.

We had ordered a vegetable skillet, requesting the hash browns be fully cooked, I don’t know if we’ve talked about this, but I don’t like my hash browns white, still looking like it was a just shredded potato. The veggies were good, the eggs as well. I will say the pancakes were good, we hoped they were since the restaurant was called Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe! The toast, on the other hand, was cold. Oh well.

We headed out for a stroll down Michigan Avenue, also known as The Magnificent Mile. You might be wondering why it’s called Michigan Avenue is known as The Magnificent Mile, click the link! It really is a beautiful street, the flowers are in bloom and one thing Chicago is known for, well in my opinion at least! is the artwork that is found on the streets, be it in the floral arrangements, sculpture, graffiti, even, and you know how much I love graffiti! I didn’t take any pictures of it this trip, sorry.

There were also quite a few businesses boarded up along Michigan Avenue, in preparations for the protests that happened on Friday. Many of those businesses were still open, and the foot traffic was lively, but not unreasonable and everyone was respectful of their space. We made our way to the T-Mobile Flagship Store, PSM had some questions, and if you remember my time in Chicago, I love that particular T-Mobile! After T-Mobile, we walked down Michigan Avenue, our end goal was Millennium Park, just looking in windows and watching people, and taking photos of the flowers as we went.

We were about to pass a Starbucks, what we thought was just an ordinary Starbucks, when it turns out to be quite a bit more than that! It was the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Yeah, try saying that 5 times fast! ha ha. I can’t think of a better way to describe it “If Willy Wonka had built the ultimate coffee shop instead of a chocolate factory, the result may have looked a lot like the 15,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery.” That is the description from their website about the first Reserve Roastery that opened in Seattle, of course, where it all began.

The Chicago Reserve Roastery is a five story building and each story houses something different, although, you can get coffee and tee on every floor, although, they don’t have all the same traditional drinks that you would get at your average, on every block, Starbucks. First floor: Coffee, tee, pastry, merchandise. Second floor: dedicated bakery. Third floor: the art, science, and theater of coffee: coffee creations, flights, nitrogen-infused gelato, and more. Fourth floor: Alcohol! A cocktail bar. Fifth floor: Rooftop terrace, reservation required.

It was quite the experience. After we toured each floor, and it really was something to see, and something to see at every turn, we ordered drinks. PSM got an iced decaf something and I didn’t want a hot drink, so I tried to order something similar to the Dragon Drink that I like, which is sweet mango and dragonfruit flavors, with creamy coconut milk, ice and a scoop of real diced dragonfruit. I love it! They didn’t have anything like that so I ordered something the person at the register recommended and I ordered it with oat milk. She looked at me kind of funny, I said I wanted something similar to the dragon drink, here goes. First…they made it incorrectly and while they remade it the way I ordered it, I got to keep the incorrect one. SO glad I did because the one with oat milk…yuck! it was awful! wow!

After Starbucks, we kept walking and eventually ended up in Millennium Park, across from where we had breakfast. We started with The Bean, which is technically Cloud Gate Park, it is a 10-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above. Basically, it looks like a giant bean! It was designed by Anish Kapoor. The cool thing about it is when you get under it, your reflection is inverted and sometimes it’s hard to find yourself in it. It was gated off, which makes sense, since so many people get in there and touch it. Safety first! A cool thing…as we were standing there, we saw a couple just after they got engaged, the eruption of cheers and the now fiancé’s tears were very touching!

Then we walked to the gardens, flowers were in bloom, some just coming to life, some dying. I liked that there was one patch where they left the dying flowers to feed the new growth and the insects who live in it.

After the gardens, we walked to the Crown Fountain, two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool, designed by Jaume Plensa. They project images of faces which are animated and in the summer, they are true fountains. The fun thing is to sit and watch all the kids, young and old, running and playing in the fountain/water spouts. Right now, not much water happening.

Then there was an installation by a Chicago based artist, Christine Tarkowski. “When we call the Earth by way of distinction a planet and the Moon a satellite, we should consider whether we do not, in a certain sense, mistake the matter. Perhaps- and not unlikely – the Moon is the planet and the Earth the satellite! Are we not a larger moon to the Moon, than she is to us?

This was the end of our tour of Millennium Park, thoroughly enjoyable! Now, we’re hungry! A few blocks and we are at a place I la la la loved when I was in Chicago, Native Foods. I would not have subjected PSM to an entire weekend of vegan, but I wanted at least one, maybe two meals, and this is the one I got. One of the things I have been thinking about since we planned this trip is their vegan Reuben sandwich, O M G! I lived on it when I was there, introduced so many people to it, who couldn’t believe it wasn’t real and my mouth is watering just thinking about it now! And it was the vegan Reuben I compared all other vegan Reuben’s to.

And guess what they didn’t have… O M G! NOOOOOOOoooo! I was heartbroken, what was I to do?! I ended up with a meatball sub with provolone and sweet potato fries, PSM had a brisket sandwich, remember…all vegan. For dessert, we didn’t care much for the peanut butter parfait, but my other go-to favorite…their oatmeal creme pie! It’s more like an oatmeal whoopee pie, to give you a visual. Oh wow! I was going to say OMG again, but you’re probably tired of it! It is so yummy and good, another thing I got my non-vegan friends hooked on! I still get texts from friends I was on that project with, who will go there on occasion to get just that! Wow, that’s saying something! It’s so tasty, but soo, sooooo, soooo sweet! I couldn’t eat it all in one sitting and it was a little much for PSM, he did try it though, and declared it was all mine! muwahahah. Needless to say, it is going to take me a few days to eat it! Ha ha.

After lunch, back to the hotel to chill for a bit, then head to the airport, we have puppies to see! I can’t wait to find out what they got up to this weekend. First class home, then puppies! What a weekend! What’s our next adventure?!



Just your typical Saturday for us, right?!

We woke up before the alarm, that was nice, definitely don’t want to miss this! Got dressed in our yoga gear, put our clothes over it, no changing rooms at the event, yoga mat and yoga towels in the beach bag I brought to carry everything. There was some planning that went into this! Headed out, Dunkin’ Donuts was across the street, let’s wake up! There aren’t any DD’s close to us here, so we stick to Starbucks, which isn’t bad, PSM’s the choosy one when it comes to his morning cup o’ joe! Same in Hawai’i, the DD was not so good there! They got their first DD only a few years ago, they’ll get there. Uber ordered, just waiting.

Uber arrives, takes up the 2.5 miles to the Lighthouse ArtSpace where the Immersive Van Gogh Chicago is being held and where we were taking a yoga class offered by Core Power Yoga IN the Immersive Van Gogh Chicago Exhibit! We actually participated in a yoga class while the exhibit was happening.

The way the exhibit works, from their site: Be immersed in 500,000 cubic feet of stunning projection animating the master’s oeuvre and illuminating the mind of the genius. Wander through giant projections that highlight brushstroke, detail, and colour as you have never experienced them. Visitors will be immersed in Van Gogh’s works from his sunny landscapes and night scenes, to his portraits and still life. All of that, while set to music.

Originally, we were going spend a weekend in Chicago and go to the exhibit, and depending on the weather, we were going to take the bikes. I bought the tickets and we were set. Well…about two or three weeks ago, I got an email, telling me about the yoga classes in the exhibit! How could I resist!? I immediately emailed and asked if I could exchange our tickets so we could do this yoga class. As soon as they said yes, I checked with PSM which weekend would work best. This weekend it was, so exchanged happened, and…included with our tickets…we could spend time in the exhibit, win-win!

We got there early, got our temperatures checked, and waited, there was a class ahead of ours. The music we heard was nothing like any music any of our regular yoga instructors play! The room was dim, there were rings of light on the floor, spaced out. This is where they want people to sit, socially distant to experience the exhibit, but worked out for yoga, everyone just took a circle and put down their mats. There were three triangle or obelisk mirrors in the room, turns out they were for the event, but looked cool! The instructor came in and we got started about 8am.

As we are getting into child’s pose to get started, the exhibit began. That meant the music queued up, the video projectors started going, and we were immersed in the experience. It was a normal yoga class, well, not normal for us, we now know why it’s called Core Yoga! Wow! There were only two negatives to the entire experience…a few times, the instructor’s mic didn’t work, it was a big room, acoustics, and just technical difficulties and because it was moving all around us, sometimes the floor seemed to be moving, not good! Oh, and when you do a tree pose and the instructor tells you to look at something that’s not moving, to work on balance, and the entire place is moving…ha ha ha. Other than that…we moved, we stretched, we balanced, we downward faced our dogs! we sweat! So much fun!

After class, we got into street clothes and hung out in the next room, sitting in one of the circles on the floor, we missed an opportunity for a loveseat, all good. The exhibit began. Every space in the room was filled with images and movement. There wasn’t a nook or cranny the images did not catch. Look up, over, down, you name it, there was movement. The paintings were swaying, moving, morphing into the next painting, breaking down or deconstructing the strokes of the paintings, getting a feel for how he created them, the colors, the sights, the movements, all made sense in this amazing feet of beauty.

We sat through it once on the ground level, then moved up for the second time to watch it from the balcony, a different experience, you catch things from that angle that you didn’t see from the ground. You really paid attention, well, I did. “Oh, look over there!” “Now, look here!” and it went on from there. We essentially participated three times, nothing like it.

When we left, we headed to the gift shop, we picked up a few things, PSM bought me a mask with one of my new favorite paintings, after seeing it in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette. I love so much of his work, but his sunflowers series, sigh…you know how I feel about sunflowers! I love this mask!

Everything they did in the space was so clever, they stairs and walls were painted with Van Gogh’s work, the elevator, stairwell, even the signs were clever “Gogh this way” “No Gogh – Do Not Enter” “Goghing Up Elevators”. For one who so loves a funny pup, bad dad joke, I was Goghing Ga Ga over all of it!

After yoga and the experience, it was time for brunch! I was hoping to get to a few of my favorite places in Chicago to eat, but, just like the rest of the country, it was opening back up and things were limited. We ended up going to Kanela’s in Old Town for brunch, it was less than a mile away and had a good rating. We got lucky and didn’t have to wait for a table, wahoo. Our waiter was funny, the place a little kitschy, I absolutely love the signs on the way, berry punny!

I had avocado toast with a fried egg, kale salad, and some seriously crispy potatoes, it was seriously yummy! PSM had an açaí bowl and we shared a plate of challah French toast. Mimosa, decaf coffee, and a masala chai tea for me with oat milk.

Time to walk of brunch! We decide to walk the 3+ miles back to the hotel, it warmed up nicely as we were walking, then got downright toasty! ha ha, go figure! As we came upon Wabash Avenue and State Street, the lights were red and the bell was clanging, there were some sailboats coming and the drawbridge was going up! This is one of my favorite things about Chicago! And they still work!

We watched the drawbridge go up, we loved it, even though we really didn’t have a choice, since we had to cross the bridge when we came to it. Oh, sorry! ha ha. We enjoyed Spring in Chicago, flowers in bloom, all the way back to the hotel. At the hotel, hang up the wet yoga stuff, take our shoes off and relax! Executive decision from someone who is dairy sensitive to someone who’s allergic. Pizza and beer for dinner. How could I say no? We were in Chicago and they have bathrooms! HA HA

We were a few blocks from a Giordano’s, one of the two more famous places for deep dish or Chicago-style pizza in Chicago. There are many fine establishments, but PSM hadn’t been to this one and it was close. We got there, put our names in, ordered our pizza, and waited for a table, ended up walking towards the back of the restaurant and there were two seats available at the bar, sold!

We put in drink and appetizer orders and waited for things to magically appear! We went for the motherland! PSM had an Classic Chicago deep dish pizza and I went for the spinach and added pineapple, and for an appetizer, we ordered the combo, so not right! ha ha. Cheese bread, chicken nugget things, and mozzarella triangles. Hey, if you’re in, you’re all in!

Needless to say, there was more than enough food, for a few people, and we both ordered small pizzas! Normally we would share, but we were in Chicago, home of the deep dish pizza, have to get what you really want! NO, we did not eat it all! Let’s just say, there is a very grateful homeless man in Chicago eating really well tonight!

We didn’t feel like going back to the hotel just yet, so we stopped at Plymouth Pub, Restaurant, and Rooftop Bar. I had been there a few times, with work outings, and friends from work. We weren’t staying, just one beer and we were out. It’s got a nice atmosphere, and a decent view.

We left there, went around the block, because the entrance across the street, really wasn’t an entrance, go figure, to Brando’s Speakeasy! No secret knock, pook! We did have to show our IDs to the guy at the door, I held mine up, he said, “you showed me the back”, but all good. I said “You did say you just wanted to see that we had IDs…” Made him laugh. There was karaoke going on in the front, but no available seating, so we were lead to the back, ended up at the bar, and there was one other person in the room, how exciting…and the music wasn’t our taste.

I went up to the front and asked if there was anything in the front, no dice, I leaned over and said, there’s no one back there, it’s kind of dead, and the music sucks. I can’t believe I said that! So rude! Back to PSM I went. All of a sudden the music changed, it was like 70s and 80s, we were loving it! Then…all of a sudden, the room was filling up and everyone was having a great time, apparently, we made our own karaoke bar! Ha ha! When the guy who sat us came back around, I apologized for saying the music sucked, but thanks for sending folks our way!

The lighting was dim, the front room was washed in red, our room was cozy, with tv’s showing old black and white movies and tv shows. There were classic cartoons, black and white, of course, and old movies with ladies stripping, it was a speakeasy.

After about two hours, there was a two hour limit per table, and we were getting there, we sang our way out of the speakeasy and headed back to the hotel. Shoes off, jammies on, lay down, zzzzzzzz.

More adventure awaits tomorrow…but no alarm!



Having a moment…can’t remeber if I told you…semi surprise for PSM. And it worked! Wah to the hoo! I’m hoping you know that PSM reads this so I can’t tell you stuff like this!

It ‘s Friday, so a regular work day, to start…one big thing that happened…we got a doggie door! Soooo excited! More about that another time. About 430p, just after the installer left, the Uber arrived and we were off to the airport!

We got there just in time to get on the flight, there was traffic on the highway, so our 20 minute drive turned into closer to 40. Don’t get me started on our driver! If he didn’t drive the way he did… we may have actually missed our flight! I do miss flying… and first class no less, gotta love it! Settled in, headphones in, movie on, let’s go!

Less than an hour flying time, we’re there! It reminded me of inter-island travel when we lived in Hawai’i, there were never any flights longer than 45 minutes, can’t beat it! We headed for CTA, the train into the city, it was a heck of a lot cheaper than $72 for an Uber! Then a 10 minute walk to the hotel. If we had driven from St Louis, we would still be on the road!

We checked in, dropped our stuff and headed back downstairs, there was a Thai restaurant, Thai Spoon, I remember ordering from there when I was here on my project a few years ago, you may remember some of our conversations about my time on a project in Illinois, maybe! The food was good. We had tofu satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad, fried tofu with sweet and sour sauce with peanuts. I had vegetable soup, then Cashew Nut with tofu and PSM had Tom Kha soup, then Massaman Curry. I haven’t had Cashew Nut anything from a Thai restaurant before and I love Cashews and I didn’t want my typical go-to Pad See Ew, when I don’t know what I want. The cashews were tasty and I liked the tofu and veggies, all cooked well, but the sauce was waaaay too salty for me. Thank goodness for rice! Everything else was fabulous, I would go there again!

While we’re at dinner, we’re talking about everything and nothing, per our norm, ha ha, just the way we like it! Up until tonight, I asked PSM if he wanted to know what we were doing in Chicago, he kept saying no. He sort of knew what we were doing because the original plan was to do it in July, when I could get tickets! The Immersive Van Gogh Experience, which I will tell you all about it tomorrow, because that’s when we’re doing it, and there’s so much more! So that was the only surprise for this weekend. He took care of booking the flights and hotel…points baby! I got us to the airport and took care of getting the surprise set up.

So…while we’re eating, and we’re enjoying it, he looks at me and says…”I’m not doing yoga tomorrow” “What?” and he looks at me and I say “you are” and he gives me another look and I say…do you want to know? “ok, tell me…” We are doing yoga IN the Immersive Van Gogh Experience! Yes, I said IN!!! Again, I’ll tell you all about it after we do it, but…we are going to be doing yoga while immersed in the exhibit! And then we get to check out the exhibit.

He looks at me and you can see the lightbulb going off over his head! But I don’t have any of my yoga stuff with me. And then he looks at my Cheshire Cat grin…why do you think my bag is so heavy…for a 3 day weekend? If we weren’t doing this, I would have brought a much smaller bag! ha ha. “Oh, that’s why you insisted on getting our yoga stuff washed last night!” Yupper! I am so sneaky like that! ha ha. Then I fessed up why I needed to go to Walmart after yoga on Thursday! I bought a travel yoga mat! It’s hysterical! I’ll show you tomorrow! It has the primary poses on it! So…I got a travel yoga mat, it folds up nicely, I snuck into the closet in his office, after he went to bed, of course, and grabbed his travel yoga mat and yoga towel. I also grabbed a pair of shorts and a t-shirt so he wouldn’t have to wear what he brought to do yoga! I then packed all that, my yoga mat, my yoga towel, and my yoga clothes! ha ha! Surprise! The look on his face…absolutely the best! so worth it! He said it was a good surprise!

That’s about it folks, it’s been a long day, up early to take care of the pups, work, flight to Chicago, dinner, surprise! and now, talking to you! I’m beat, how about you?! I cannot wait for our experience tomorrow and to tell you all about it!

‘Night!



et cetera