Dawn and I had an afternoon out yesterday. We went to McCormick Place to check out the climbing wall at Mayor Daley's Holiday Sports Fest, or whatever they call the two exhibit halls' worth of athletic extravaganza. The only problem was we left so late that by the time we arrived, they had closed the line for the climbing wall. We got there after 3 and it was closing at 4, so they stopped taking in people an hour early to let the line finish. Too bad.
At least Dawn got to see it. They had pulleys at the top so you didn't have to have another person belay you, which was different from how I learned it when I went in San Francisco with my sister. I'm not sure if this is the exact place we went, but it has cool pictures:
She thought the rope helped pull you up, so it was a revelation to her that no, you get yourself up. The rope just breaks your fall if you lose your footing.
After watching the climbers on the wall, we went over to watch gymnastics. Dawn was fascinated at the girls doing the vault. Later we watched them do the uneven parallel bars, something I love to watch and wish I could do.
One older blonde girl was chalking her hands. She got on and had a lot of power, flipping between the upper and lower bar.
"Go, Britney!" her teammates called. "Brit, come on, Brit!" She did a flip coming off and only staggered slightly as she landed.
Later, we saw another girl, fully stretched out mid-air, miss grabbing the bar. She fell flat on her chest--thank God her head was still lifted up so she didn't hit her head on the ground. My heart was in my mouth watching her. You don't see stuff like that happen very often when you watch the Olympics.
Once we'd had enough, we walked over to Chinatown and had dinner at Joy Yee's. They have the best smoothies. I had mango with tapioca balls. Dawn had passion fruit with jelly--hers was more like a drink than a smoothie. She tried mine and it took a minute to get used to the tapioca.
The line out the door was much shorter than usual, maybe due to the holiday, and we got a table in record time. We split the appetizer platter: spring rolls, egg rolls, shrimp, chicken, and some slices of an unrecognizable white substance that tasted like mortadella. Dawn discovered she likes hoisin sauce. She wants to take her dad over there some time.
Afterwards we went window shopping in old Chinatown. We poked through Giftland, where I can get all the house slippers I want if I can just remember to bring money next time. Dawn liked checking out the anime posters and the lucky bamboo. We stopped to look in windows full of shiny jewelry and tiny knickknacks. "It's so small!" she marveled.
At the very end I stopped at the grocery store and the dry cleaners. "Sorry to make you wait through that," I said.
"It's OK," she said. "It's always an adventure to go out with you." I'm glad she thinks so.