So my wife and I hit the Chicago Flower and Garden Show after seeing our tax-prep man on Saturday and, me being me, thoughts other than just flowers and gardens came.
I think it has been a decade since we have had an outdoors show of 10 days, yet the Flower Show runs for nine days at Navy Pier.
Explain to me how the Flower & Garden public can support a big-name, big nine-day show in a big-city venue, but outdoors sorts don't send enough people through to make a big, big-name outdoors show viable.
Tickets were $15. We lucked out on that. One of my wife's editors had a pair of tickets for us. The show will give a $10 discount for parking, but even so parking still cost $14.
If I had known the details of the parking, I would have thrown the perch rod in and made a few casts while my wife wandered around looking at some shop or the stained glass after the show.
Back to the Flower Show.
The incidental costs were the usual high ones for a night out.
I bought my wife a glass of white wine. A glass or Barefoot moscato cost $8? You got to be kidding.
Now I grant you, the server filled the plastic cup with about a 1/3 of the bottle. However, I sometimes buy Barefoot (yes, I know that shows a lack of discernment on my part) and there are those sales times when it is $4.99 or $5.99 a bottle.
We are not talking a rare vintage.
Did we enjoy the show? Yes, absolutely, especially the designed gardens. As somebody who put himself through the early years of college working in landscaping, I enjoyed the work and finished designs.
In particular, we were looking at some of the water designs to borrow or steal some smaller-scaled ideas. I think as the kids are getting older I might be able to try to do something small with water in our garden. That's in a few years, after they stop booting soccer balls all over.
Back to the show.
Yet, I noticed, and I do notice these things when I hit shows of any sort, quite a few of the junk booths in the booth area. You know what I mean, massage booths, facial remedies, etc.
I am beginning to think those booths keep shows afloat.
The Flower Show runs through Sunday. For those guys newly married or newly into a long-term relationship, let me give you a tip, there's real value in going with your significant other to things like the Flower Show.
One, it makes it easier to buy some time outside in a couple weeks when the weather breaks. And on those good nights, there are other added values.
Oh, and throw your perch rod in the back.