Kingsburg to Chicago and back

You can’t go wrong with a Scarecrow Festival, that’s what I always say. Or maybe I don’t say it, but I should. Because Mahone Bay puts on a mean Scarecrow Festival.

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Marilyn in the Pumpkin Patch

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Part of the ladies’ curling team.

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Well-behaved Children of the Corn? Actually, I’m not sure about this one … they look a little too sprightly to be children of the corn.

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Me and my new buds. The wine was even real … and it was still there when I left.

In any case, the Scarecrow Festival must have scared me, because I hopped on the next plane to Chicago, forgot my camera, took some dubious pictures with the iPhone, gave a talk at SAIC (which  went really well and led to a great conversation with faculty and students the next day), met some interesting MFA candidates, toured the Frank Lloyd Wright house, went to the Field Museum, stayed in an art gallery and altogether had a fabulous time. I also ate one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten in my entire life (thanks Shannon!).

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I do wish I’d brought the camera, because Chicago is a pretty amazing city, architecturally-speaking. You walk into any old building and there’s a Tiffany mosaic on the ceiling.

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Also great book stores (this is Mystic Books in Wicker Park). I was actually looking for a new pair of glasses and got totally distracted by the book store. I never got the glasses.

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Frank Lloyd Wright house and studio

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This may be of interest only to me, but I love seeing how historical properties and museums put up with the demands of whiny guests and thousands of people going through their buildings, while trying at the same time not to ruin the original intentions of the architect. The thin silver bands in the middle of the wood slats are air conditioners hidden in the decorative panels on the ceiling.

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I was pretty underwhelmed by the Field Museum. I like smaller and weirder museums. They do have an impressive collection though. This was my favourite exhibition – it was about how museum collections have real impact. In this case, the museum’s ornithology expert collected birds that had died flying in to skyscrapers in Chicago. Ultimately, they were able to use the collection to persuade building owners in the city to make changes (i.e. putting decals on the windows) to save the lives of at least some birds.

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Back in Kingsburg and we’re in our final week in Nova Scotia. So bittersweet. I think we’re both excited about the upcoming road trip, but neither of us wants to leave.

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Kingsburg has the best skies.

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And some pretty good walks as well.

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And fortunately only a couple of pirates. Armed with deadly spatulas.

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