Sunday, July 29, 2007

Encore With Elin

Once again, we headed off to Millennium Park, this time with Elin (a visiting Swede and former roommate of Anne's at SVF) and John. Anne and Jed were unable to be with us as they were attending a wedding. Of course, we had to take Elin on a tour of the park! She enjoyed the squirting faces at the Crown Fountain, and the Bean. The concert we attended at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion was amazing, to say the least. The Gerardo Nunez Quintet, along with Flamenco dancer Carmen Cortez were performers extraordinaire - Melissa, I thought of you! On the way over to the lakefront, we were greeted by a policeman perched on a horse. I thought it would be really really cool to have Elin and John pose by a horse in this blog, but unfortunately the lighting is poor, so you'll just have to take my word for it that there is a horse in the background...and a rather cranky officer in the saddle. Wes found us quite a good location for viewing the Venetian night festivities. Waiting for the Venetian Night parade of boats is quite entertaining, especially when Elin and John got their glow sticks! (here they are acting as St. Lucia!) Fireworks and hordes of people...oh my! Taking the train back to our hometown after a big night in the city...worn out but well worth it!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

And We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun....

...'cause our daughter let us borrow her convertible for the day! (Think Beach Boys tune here, the one about borrowing her Daddy's car because he took her T Bird away, except in our case we took our daughter's car away for the day - a zippy convertible!!!) Check out our adventures, but note: there is no hamburger stand here. Our first destination is the Chicago Botanic Garden. Incredible views and colors every direction you turn. Next, we drove to the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House in Hyde Park. Taking the house tour was informative and interesting. We found it hard to believe this house is 100 years old. Back in the convertible to drive north to Chicago... ...where we, once again, visited Millennium Park for a fabulous concert. Ravel's Bolero totally blew us away with the over-the-top percussion at the end of the piece! Below: our last stop, Buckingham Fountain. Finally, we were on our way home with a day of fun behind us. A summer evening driving home via Lake Shore Drive with the convertible top down, Lake Michigan to our right, stars up above and next to each other was the perfect end to a perfect day! Too bad we couldn't fit in surfing, and I could refer to another Beach Boys tune.

Monday, July 23, 2007

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

Where is the best place to go in the city of Chicago on a summer day/night? Here's a map of Millennium Park, just to give you an idea of the layout. However, seeing this park in person is the best way to experience this unique, incredible place, and we did just that a couple of days ago. This past weekend, we had a family adventure going to a concert at Millennium Park in Chicago. Gotta just say it outright: I love this park! The free concerts are presented about three times weekly in the summer, and the GRANT PARK ORCHESTRA plays with guest musicians and soloists. Works by Beethoven, Gershwin, Ravel, Bernstein, Copland, Tchaikovsky, Sousa...just to name a few..are presented to the public in a state-of-the-art outdoor pavillion. While Wes and Anne saved our seats and chatted, John and I took off to explore the park surrounding the concert pavillion (Jay Pritzker Pavillion). The Bean is so much fun to check out with seeing your own image as well as the Chicago skyline. Here we are...and we missed Jed this evening (on a mission trip to Mexico). The perfect evening with a concert featuring Bernstein's Broadway hits. If you ever want to go with us, give us a call and we'll be there! We'll be sitting in the red seats in the right section as you look towards the stage, munching on our picnic supper, with our happy faces aglow in anticipation of yet another wonderful night of music!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I have a confession to make: I only experienced my first manicure/pedicure after the age of 50! And it was for a big occasion: the wedding of Anne and Jed last summer. My sister and I were never raised to be girlie girls...our mother only started wearing nail polish once she was in a skilled nursing care facility and having her nails done was an offered activity! When Anne was growing up, I had some nail polish in the cabinet, but she was mostly interested in using it to put on the toenails of her little brother. However, once she got engaged and had a beautiful, sparkling diamond on her finger, the manicures (for her) occured more frequently. So, it was such a treat this year (for Mother's Day) when she gave me the gift of a pedicure. We were able to go together to the salon yesterday and it was wonderful. Here we are back at home with our freshly polished toenails. Can you guess which feet belong to the mother and which to the daughter? What a fun way to spend some time with Anne! Thanks for the Mother's Day treat!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Adventures of Calvin the Great: Georgia Deb

(This is a sweet post I pasted from my wonderful niece-in-law, Cherith, about my visit with Cal- the most adorable 18 month old boy ever. Click on the brownish heading here to see the post...Enjoy!) The Adventures of Calvin the Great: Georgia Deb

Friday, July 13, 2007

Birthday Finale

This is the family birthday finale...4 down in three weeks! We celebrated Wes' last night at Ravinia with Diann and Larry (Thanks, Diann, for the camera batteries expired just at this point!) We enjoyed savoring our delicious foods and spirits. The concert fare was perfect - Rachmaninoff's Piano Concert No. 2 in C Minor, Op.18 and Rimsky - Korsakov's Sheherazade, Op. 35. Happy Birthday to my honey! I hope you had a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yooper Top Ten

Just for those of you who wonder what a Yooper is, I'll tell you: it's someone living in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan. Look on a map for that! We have a cabin there, so for a week or more each summer, we become Yoopers, too. Having just been there, I thought a Top Ten list would be appropriate as to why we enjoy being temporary Yoopers. 10. Yooper Merchandise Let the pictures speak for themselves!! 9. Time Out Cell phones and internet won't work at our cabin!! This forces us to entertain ourselves with games and projects. We learned how to play Mexican Train this year! Fun! 8. White Stag Though we have to drive at least an hour from our cabin to get here, this restaurant is a family tradition and well worth the trip! Many birthdays have been celebrated here, and their steaks and pork chops are divine! 7. The Wild Berries It's not quite time for picking yet, but the wild raspberries and blueberries are the best. We make pies and they are gone before you know it! So many many tiny berries need to be picked to make just one pie, but it's well worth it. 6. The Locals I enjoy hearing the local folks conversing. "Eh" is often used at the end of a question: "We're having a beautiful day here, eh?" "About" is pronounced "a-boat" or something like that. There are other words, too, but I am not going there. Now, just to give you a flavor of U.P. talking, I'm going to tell you about what the senior grand-stand announcer at the 4th of July parade had to say about firefighters when asking for folks to donate to the Fire-fighters Fund: "Folks, I want you to think about our firefighters. They are a lot like toilet paper. When you need 'em, you really need 'em. But, when you don't need 'em, you don't even think about 'em. So, donate to our Firefighters Fund today!" 5. Iron River - Small Town U.S.A. Folks jsut seem to know each other and come out in droves for summer activities like Rodeo Days and the 4th of July parade and picnic. We were lucky enough to get to go to the parade and fireworks this year, and veterans, trucks and scouts are given top billing! And I saw something at the parade that was a first: a cement mixer pouring water over screaming kids on the parade route! 4. Covenant Point This is one great camp for folks of all ages! Both Anne and John have been campers and counselors there. (John is wearing his CP shirt - I don't have an actual picture to post of the camp.) For the past five summers, John and Anne have hosted staff get-togethers at our cabin and it's one hoppin' place on our peninsula! 3. Water Not only do we have our beautiful, clear lake right out our front door, but we have lakes so close by...James Lake, Tamarack Lake, Silver Lake to name a few. And waterfalls, too! 2. Wildlife We often see deer nearby. Bears are reportedly around, but I have yet to see one. Little zipping chipmunks often race across our deck. But my favorites are the dragonflies that are curious enough to stop by when we swim, boat and sit. And the frogs that hang out by our dock. Elusive fish. Turtles are around, too. (There are flies, oh, there are biting flies...and mosquitos, but they aren't on my list of Top Ten!) 1. Our Cabin It's on a beautiful lake many miles from the nearest town. (Not Hagerman Lake.) It's small, homey, with only neighbors on either side of us...good long-term friendly neighbors. We share tools, water, missing grocery items, our sauna, their swing, fishing tales. Life is good here.