Our first big adventure in Chicago was to visit Chinatown.
I first visited a Chinatown (in San Francisco) when I was 5 years old. I have very vivid memories of that experience and have loved Chinatowns ever since. Now that I have actually been to China, the crowds and noise and smells bring back a million memories and make me homesick...
Chicago's Chinatown is especially interesting because there are a number of fabulous Chinese-style Art Deco buildings.
Katherine (and well, most of us, really) was excited about going shopping in Chinatown. The stores are much like we remember from China - crammed floor to ceiling with stuff and so many bright colors that it hurts your eyes. Such a fascinating way to shop!
Rachel was delighted to find Chinese Barbies.
Katherine wanted bubble drinks. These are actually Taiwanese concoctions of ice, fruit, sugar syrup, and giant tapioca bead "bubbles". They are for sale everywhere in Chinatown and are delicious (and fun to eat/drink).
We ate lunch at a restaurant with giant lazy susans on the tables - so Chinese. Rachel got bored waiting for her food...
Some of the group ordered dim sum "little snacks", which is always an adventure because even with a picture menu you're never sure what you're going to get. Katherine described one dish as "fried jello" and that was pretty acurate! Tasty, though. Rae, of course, had noodles.
After lunch, we visited some more shops. Katherine spotted the local fire truck, which sported dragons on the front and Chinese writing on the sides! Rachel kept begging for a purse "So I can be big like, you." I bought her one and she was SO pleased!
The girls were so happy to be in a place where everyone looked like them. Where they could hear Chinese being spoken again (they don't understand the language, but it is a comforting sound). Where they could eat dumplings and noodles, their comfort foods. We all left with full bellies and restored spirits.