I was kidnapped last night, and oddly my captors forced me at knife point to tour two 19th century historical homes in the South Loop. Very strange behavior for criminals. Since I've officially given up on Grey's Anatomy, it wasn't that big of a deal to miss Thursday night t.v.
The Glessner and Clarke Houses, decked out for the holidays, turned out to be a nice way to spend a couple of hours. They did a great job restoring the houses, however it was a little disconcerting to see my Target floor lamp in one.
Thankfully it wasn't a walking tour (it's like Artic circle cold here) and our tour guide was a pretty smart gal. A given on any guided tour, you always have at least one annoying person who asks stupid questions or expects the tour guide to like travel back in time or something to get ridiculously accurate information.
Example. The Clarke House is Greek Revival, which the guide said emphasizes symmetry. On one side of the house, there are three windows. The other also has three windows, with one actually being a "fake" but they put shutters on the outside, for you guessed it, symmetry. Here's a little taste of the exchange.
Annoying Dude: Why did they put the window there if it's not real?
She had all ready gone through the above explanation.
Guide: Because the other side has it.
Annoying Dude: Why?
Guide: For symmetry. There are three windows on either side.
Annoying Dude: But why?
In the second house the guide talked about a holiday gift giving tradition the Glessner family had, and they weren't sure if it was something family came up with themselves or if it was an established practice of the time.
Annoying Dude: Why did they hide the presents like that?
Guide: We don't know.
Annoying Dude: Did they come up with it themselves?
Guide: We. Don't. Know.
At this point, we just threw him into the fire and made a solemn pact to never speak of it again. But no one said I couldn't blog about it.
The Clarke House had the sweetest middle aged security guard who told those of us in the back of the tour that the house was haunted and she was scared of the place. She said she sees and hears things there all the time (old man Clarke died of cholera in the home) and even heard things while we were upstairs with the guide last night. We thought that was awesome and wanted to hear her stories instead.
"I'm a terrible security guard," the fraidy cat said, wide-eyed. "I don't like to be here alone."
"That's ok, we got your back." I told her.