My fellow Illinoisan The Preppy Apron tagged me for some of my favorite things that occur only in October! And so:
1. My Birthday!
My birthday was last Friday so my husband and I determined to celebrate the whole weekend! We drove up to Chicago and stayed at the lovely W LakeShore. We met my son and his girlfriend for dinner at Cafe Spiaggia and then hit the Whiskey Sky for cocktails. Saturday morning, we drove out to West Town to brunch at Jam and then shopping on North Damen. We also travelled to Lincoln Park where we checked out Jayson Home and Garden. Saturday night was champagne cocktails at Pops for Champagne and an amazing dinner at a very cozy French restaurant recommended to me by The Epic: Le Petit Paris! (You must go to Epic's blog and read his description of the restaurant and its very charming and masterful proprietor, Chef Alain. And, if you're near Pops for Champagne, stop into an adorable shop two [or so] doors down called P.O.S.H.)
We were exhausted on Sunday but we managed to make it to the Art Institute to see the new Modern Wing. What a wonderful, if whirlwind, birthday weekend!
2. York Peppermint Batties.
When I was six months old, my parents went to a convention and left me in the care of my eighteen year old sister. She's a very responsible person, but apparently she received a call from a church camp about a hour away asking her to fill in as camp nurse for the week (she was a nursing student at the time). She agreed to go to camp and my three teen-aged brothers agreed to take care of their baby sister! I always had the utmost love and affection from my big brothers and although I have no memory of this particular week, I am sure I thrived under their care. In particular, I am told, my diet was expanded to candy, and I was especially fond of the large-size Peppermint Patty my brothers fed me. "We gave her a few pieces, and she kept wanting more," they proudly told my mom when she returned home. "So finally we just gave her the whole thing!"
Fast forward to present, where my equally indulgent husband buys me bags of Peppermint Patties when he goes grocery shopping. I keep them in the fridge, with the fruit, and I eat them when I get home from work with a cold glass of milk. (Interestingly, I hate the smell of mint: toothpaste, gum, et cetera! I won't let my husband kiss me after he's brushed his teeth.)
In October, York markets Peppermint patties shaped like bats. Now how awesome is that?
3. Poe Readings on Halloween.
A local mansion-cum-conference center offers candlelight Halloween Poe readings (enjoyed with a glass or two of red wine). We've also gone to Poe readings given by grad students in the English building of the University, where it's rumoured a student drowned in the basement pool.
My favorite Poe story is "The Cask of Amontillado." I love that the victim, Fortunato, is wearing motley when he meets his end, and I love that the final sound from Fortunato is "only a jingle of the bells." In pace requiescat!