There Will Be Mermaids

Mariah and I began planning the itinerary for this cross-country adventure many months ago by researching an eclectic range of topics. Unique city-based tours? Check. Presidential libraries? Check. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? Check. New and notable museums? Check. Unusual landmarks? Regional music? Heritage sites? Local theatre? Unconventional accommodations? Gorgeous art collections? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.

We followed our investigations down any number of rabbit holes. One such path led us into the world of nontraditional day classes. The last time we travelled cross-country we took an amazing Raku pottery class in Taos, so we knew that we could learn a lot about a place and its residents by attending a local class. This is the only explanation I have to offer for today’s activity.

This morning, at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s main athletic facility, Sarah and Mariah donned colorful mermaid tails known as monofins, leapt into an Olympic-size swimming pool with a number of strangers and learned how to swim like mermaids.

2 mermaids in the h20

Afterwards, we went to The Drake Hotel for afternoon high tea and continued our weeklong celebration of Mariah’s 18th birthday. Looking around the posh, storied dining room of The Drake we suspected that our well-appointed table was almost certainly graced with the only mermaids in the whole place. Though, you never really can be certain.

3 vs at the drakeIn the evening we saw the pre-Broadway opening of The Cher Show, a new musical based (obviously) on the life of Cher. The show was very good, but not great. I suspect the well-credentialed creative team will make the necessary adjustments so that when it arrives in New York it will open to positive reviews.

cher outsideCher attended our performance which thrilled the audience to no end. Here is Mariah’s video of their reaction when they realized that she would be seated among them.





Categories: Maggie


    • Nancy,
      Our writing is no match for the amazing photographs and stories that you and George share with us. We are already looking forward to being with you again. xo


    • Cathy,
      We meant to reply to you sooner since as a marine biologist you certainly understand the importance of proper underwater gear. Alas, these tails were made of a thin, stretchy bathing suit fabric. Like most things they are no doubt available on Amazon, but I doubt either of us will be buying them anytime soon. xo


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