Last week, I visited the Baha’i Temple in Wilmette, Illinois.
Wilmette is a suburb just to the north of Evanston with gigantic, statuesque houses, beautiful tree-lined streets, and one of the most architecturally stunning buildings I have ever seen. The Baha’i Temple is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood, and it’s hard to believe that people pass by it while walking their dogs, or see it when they open their curtains every morning.
There aren’t many Baha’i Temples in the world…only seven. I visited one in Israel when I was on my Birthright Trip, and now there’s one in my proverbial backyard. When my friend and I were walking around the temple and its gardens, I noticed the same element of peace, symmetry and tranquility that I saw in the temple in Israel. The exterior had intricate carvings, and the windows looked out into Lake Michigan.
I love the way the blue sky accented the temple’s white exterior. It reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of Santorini, Greece. I felt lucky that we got to experience the temple on such a beautiful day…There was hardly a cloud in the sky.
I also loved the bright blue Mosaic tiles in the fountain at the front of the temple. I have never seen such a vibrant blue; it glittered when the sun reflected off it.
Saturday, I met my cousin for brunch at a restaurant in Chicago called “Yolk.” I first read Yolk on a food blog that I follow, and one look at the menu was enough to inspire an hour-long train ride into the city. There are specialties like “Caprese Benedict,” with tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella, all piled on a toasted English muffin and topped with a poached egg and homemade hollandaise sauce. But if you’re feeling in the mood for sweets (which, let’s be honest, I always am), you can order over twenty different variations of waffles, pancakes, french toast, or crepes.
I ordered a menu special, the “Very Berry Challah French Toast.” Piles of fresh, juicy berries surrounded five slices of sweet, eggy challah bread. The toast was topped with tangy Greek yogurt, honey, and a slightly sweet granola. The small maple syrup pitcher on the side was a nice decorative touch, but not altogether necessary…Between the honey, berries, and the cinnamon-sugary bread, I had all the sugar I needed.
The Baha’i Temple is beautiful! It’s hard to believe that it’s in the U.S.–it looks like it belongs nestled in an ancient, cobblestoned-corner of Europe. I’ve never heard of this religion before. The symmetry of their architecture is graceful and so aesthetic.
I know! It seemed strange that it was in the middle of a suburban neighborhood in Illinois…but I’m happy that it’s so close-by! I only heard about the Baha’i Faith when I was in Israel. I love their buildings and gardens. So peaceful.