Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Summer Adventure

This past winter maybe you'll recall (or not) that we read the book The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone--the adventure/mystery set in the Art Institute of Chicago's Thorne Rooms. I was recommending it left and right to people, and our friends Alysa & Maddie and Jamie & Marybeth decided to read it, too.

Here you can find Alysa and Maddie's trip to the rooms (note: Alysa = professional photographer).

Last Friday, Jamie and Marybeth and my girls and I took our trip to the Thorne Rooms.

"Mom, will we find the magic key there?" Elaine asked before we left.

We got there right before the museum opened. Here are Marybeth, Lucy, and Elaine out front, holding their copy of the book (note: Alice = extremely amateur photographer).

We entered the museum and went to the basement where the Thorne Rooms are located. Before we walked in, I overheard Marybeth say, "I'm going to remember this day forever."

The very first room (E1) is where Christina of Milan's magic book is located as well as the suit of armor Jack tried on. You can see the book on the table. This room is on the cover art of the book.

The suits of armor are alongside the fireplace.

Here is a French drawing room where Jack and Ruthie met Sophie, and you can see Sophie's diary on this desk.

The most fun part of this day for me was watching the girls run from room to room, squealing to us and each other, "Here's the balcony where Jack and Ruthie went down into Paris!" or "Come and see where they met Thomas and dodged the arrows!" "Look, here's the ship in the bottle!"etc.

In fact, they had such a great time that other museum visitors noticed what they were doing and wanted to know about the book, so Jamie did her part in passing the word. We met one family there who also had read The Sixty-Eight Rooms.

Sometimes we had to consult the text to find out where a certain scene was located.

Here is the French bedroom Ruthie got to sleep in.

I also took a couple shots of my personal favorite rooms.

A French bathroom:

A 1930s London drawing room:

Jamie's favorite was a German sitting room overlooking a lake, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that one.

The final room we looked at (though we went through them all twice) was the Japanese room where Jack and Ruthie hid the note in the bento box.

We had a fabuous visit, and Lucy told me, "When the sequel comes out [Stealing Magic, which will be released next January and takes Jack and Ruthie from 1937 Paris to antebellum South Carolina], we'll just have to come back!"