Lexi’s “World’s Most Awesome”* Aunti blew into town direct from the land of the northern frozen tundra-nugget, St. Paul, Minnesota, for another quick weekend of revelry. A Pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration; an opportunity to visit with her niece and her siblings; above all a chance to witness the annual Kelly-greening of the Chicago river. Is this done anywhere else in the world?! Doubtful, right? It must be seen to be believed.
Never mind that in our 40 plus years of growing up and living in and near Chicago none of us had ever seen this extraordinary life-changing event, other than on television. But much like Bozo’s Circus, we had to see it. We had to see it now, and more importantly, had to expose Lexi to all this so that she could experience this uniquely Chicago party, at least for once, in her life.
Battling the hot stinky crowds (on this chilly, chilly day) on the express-to-downtown 147 bus, and slipping through masses of leprechauns and assorted others in green tights, green make-up, green sweaters, t-shirts, and glass beads, we made our way to the river.
We’re told it takes 40 pounds of orange-colored (what?) vegetable dye to color the river its green, and several motorboats to swirl around in circles to stir the brew up. And for one time during the year, the river takes on this eerie shade of flourescent limey-green. It came from the deep. Radioactive looking bright green goo. All before the celebratory color dissipates and returns the river to its usual murky looking brown.
“It looks like Jello”, Lexi shouted, totally impressed with the whole thing.
Yes it does, it looks like green Jello. Which got me to thinking – had Lexi even had Jello before, and if not, how did she know what Jello is or looks like? A Clifford, the Big Red Dog story?! A Jello making experiment would be next for us.
She laughed again, repeating that it looks like Jello! “Now let’s go and get a Shamrock Shake – hooray!”
Skipping the Shamrock Shake, we opted for a hot cocoa at the Shop at 900, before exploring the Sanrio Store – you know the one.
“Let’s go, let’s go!”
*We know she’s the “World’s Most Awesome Aunti” for many, many reasons, one of which is that she comes to spend time with us, which is in itself, pretty awesome. Also, we found and gave to her an “Awesome Aunt” ribbon for her birthday, and she proudly wears it.
- In Pictures: Dyeing the Chicago River Green (chicagoist.com)