A Day Off, A Day Out: Plein Air Cafe and City Escape Garden Center

With the crazy long work day we had yesterday, Liz and I were both pretty wiped out today.

For my part, I popped awake again super early. And decided to drive back to Menard’s to return all the extra concrete we had.

Fun fact? We ended up using only about 2+ bags per post hole, and had 5 bags leftover. 5 bags: the exact number of bags I picked up yesterday, and the exact number I loaded into my car to return this morning.

To add insult to injury, the woman at the Return Desk was the same woman who checked me in/out of the Lumber Yard (where I picked up the concrete). She literally said to me “I remember you.”

So Liz was spot-on with her estimates, and I was way off. And spent two round-trip journeys for my overestimations.

After our hard working day, we opted to go out to eat. Both of us are still wary of being out and about, but we’ve had our second shots and have waited our two weeks. We ventured out to Plein Air Cafe, which had outdoor seating.

The challenge for me: Plein Air is delicious, but the portions are (in my opinion) small. If we’re going out to splurge, I wanted some place extravagent: Lula’s or Bongo Room.

When we got our coffees, I had a little chuckle. Liz ordered a medium (left) and I ordered a small. Which was pretty small.

Our breakfasts were delicious, and honestly… I didn’t need a super size portion. What I had was perfectly fine, and I needed to remind myself about portion control.

A funny thing: while eating breakfast, I couldn’t help but notice the posts and concrete collars in the outdoor seating area. A few posts were off-center, like ours. A bit of confirmation that, despite planning and good intentions, sometimes those post holes just don’t quite line up to where you intended them to be.

After breakfast we drove over to City Escape Garden Center, to check out some plants and trees.

I spotted this Yin/Yang fountain, and immediately got thrown off because there was just one side that had a spigot for water. Which felt wrong, given the design.

A really lovely outdoor space.


I spotted one plant that and this small hose/plug embedded in the soil.

Nearby, a few other trees that had the same thing.

All of them seem to be part of a larger system. On asking one of the workers, they mentioned they were “watering spikes,” which seemed like a novel way to ensure plants got the moisture they needed passively.

A nice juxtaposition of green plants and rusty urns.

Liz in the distance.

An owl that caught Liz’s eye.

In the back, full of plants.

Not sure what this guy was, but he caught my eye.

A nice shot of the Green Line, passing in the distance.

A New Tree for the Front Yard
Liz’s Birthday Day (2015)
Hyde Park Garden Fair Preview, 2015

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