Glen spotted the "All Tchaikovsky" concert on the Ravinia schedule months ago. "1812 Overture," he said. "With live cannons. Plus an instrument petting zoo for the kids. Should we go?"
"Um... sounds good."
"Kids are free."
We told our children we were going for an adventure. With Papa and Nana and Aunt Carrie. So many guesses ensued. "Museum of Science and Industry?"
"We are packing a picnic. Dress to be outside. And wear sunscreen."
"Field Museum? Are we going on a hike? No, the Botanical Gardens!"
"It's an adventure! You'll find out."
How do you explain Ravinia to children who have never been there?
Sunday afternoon we set out on our great adventure. We staked out a claim in the shade (I'm glad we were there early!) We explored the instrument petting zoo. I thought it was neat, but the kids hardly touched a thing. We stopped at the cooling tent. That felt really good.
We ate our Subway sandwiches, chips and chocolate chip cookies. We listened to the concert. We read, we sweated, we marveled at how much we love air conditioning.
Then came the big finale: 1812 Overture. Papa started humming along. Tons of people gathered around the cannons, while others strained to see them, as if the crowds would part at the crucial moment.
Then, 'BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!'
It was worth it. It was worth the complaints, the heat, the sweat. It was amazing to hear the music as it was meant to be played, with those cannons marking the exclamation points celebrating Napoleon's defeat at the hands of the Russians. Once we were in the van, with the a/c blasting, we all agreed it was quite an adventure (except maybe Nathaniel).
He hardly looked up from his book.
On another note, I just had to snap this picture this morning of my resident team of Lewis and Clark, setting out on their exploration of... the world? Whatever they were exploring, they certainly were prepared. I think they had every map we own in their bags.