Today was the last of the surprise Cameras and Coffee days for Susan and me. We realize that it is going to be a challenge to take each other to places neither of us has been, so I was hoping this final "surprise" outing was indeed a surprise for Susan.
When you're living in a new place, everything is novel and exciting. I've only lived in the suburbs of Chicago for two and a half years, and I am constantly making new discoveries. My challenge this week was to come up with a surprise Cameras and Coffee adventure for my friend Susan who has lived in this part of Illinois ALL. HER. LIFE.
First of all, I knew where I wanted to take Susan for the photography portion of our morning; thanks to a tip from a friend. Once I knew where that was located, I Googled the locale for coffee shops, and found Bubo's Coffee, which has very high reviews on Yelp.
We were not disappointed. It is a drive-through coffee shop that serves Intelligentsia coffee. There was no posted menu, but that posed no problem for us. We nearly always order the same thing: light roast coffee with cream. We are not heavy-weight coffee drinkers.
Luckily, I had an "in" with a friend who works at a company that has a beautiful garden in West Chicago. Not many people know about their gardens, and it isn't always open for public use, but by calling ahead, I was able to make sure we could take a tour of the place with our cameras. Susan knew about the company, but had never been to the gardens. Score one for the Illinois transplant; I was able to show the native something new!
Everyone we met who worked there was so cheerful and welcoming. From the people in the main office building to the groundskeepers, all of the people seemed happy to be there. What a great place to work. The gardens cover seven acres, I believe they said. We were there for a couple of hours, and there is no way we saw all of the plants.
There was everything from grasses to flowers to veggies in the gardens. Tomatoes and peppers were growing in cages. There were hanging baskets of flowers, and raised flower beds, and containers of plants placed on various levels of shelves. Ornamental grasses were interspersed with the flowers and vegetables. It was a photographer's paradise!
Kate, thank you for telling me about this West Chicago gem. We'll be back. We still have nooks and crannies to explore.