Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Finally, Chicago trip details, and one other thing


Chicago. What can I say other than we had a blast! The above picture is one of G on the Architectural River Cruise. You can see all the other pictures here. I took loads of pictures of the displays inside the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium as well as buildings we saw on the cruise. Two and half days is definitely not enough time to see and experience all that is Chicago!

Our flight took off at 11:55 a.m. You'll see in the first picture of my photos that G wasn't looking very happy about flying. By the time we got up in the air, she was all smiles and admitted that old mom was right, flying isn't so bad. :-)We took the orange line elevated train through the city. It was amazing to see just how close some of the trains come to the buildings! From there, we hopped on the red line subway train to the Grand Ave. stop. Our hotel was one block to the left and 2 blocks down the street on Ontario, right off Michigan Ave. As per usual when I plan a trip, even to St. Louis, there is always a glitch. I had a typo when I googled the directions to the place we needed to pick up the GoChicago discount cards. I put in South when it should have been North. It took us in opposite direction all the way at the other end of Michigan Ave. Where we needed to go was only within 3 blocks walking distance from our hotel. It was nice that none of us got stressed and whigged out over it as would have been the case if D was with us. By the time we got the discount cards, it was 5ish and we were all starving balls. We ended up at a Thai restaurant, called Dao, for dinner. They had reasonably priced and good food. We all liked it except for G. Pad Thai is nothing like Lo Mein. We ended up stopping at a Starbucks right across the street from our hotel for a coffee and I bought G a turtle brownie. It was still pretty early in the evening so I suggested going to see a movie at the Loew's theater. We saw Kung Fu Panda. Yawn! I was really disappointed in it. Jack Black is a favorite of mine and I thought it'd would be funnier. I ended up taking a cat nap during it. So did my mom but that's nothing new because if she sits still for more than 10 minutes, she falls asleep.

The next day we got up and went to breakfast at Viand which was in the Marriott across the street from our hotel. Very good food but very expensive. Then we headed out to catch the 146 bus to the Museum Campus. Like the day before, we messed up when we hopped on the 146 bus and took a very scenic drive down Lake Shore Drive. I finally asked the bus driver if we were on the right bus to which he said no. We got on the wrong 146 bus. So we waited about 15 minutes for the right one and wouldn't you know it, our stop was at the very end of the route. I won't bore you with the details but we were able to go to all the places I had planned - Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and the Architectural River Cruise. We ended up taking a river taxi from below the Shedd to the Navy Pier so we got to ride on Lake Michigan (Shoreline cruise without the narration). The Architectural Cruise took right an hour so we were done by 5 p.m. We walked a couple blocks to catch a bus back to our hotel. Realistically we could have just walked from Navy Pier back but my poor mother doesn't move quite as fast as she once did (arthritis in her hips). We cleaned up and walked back over to the Loew's movie theater and went to dinner at Heaven on Seven. Very yummy! Kids' menu was on $5.95. My mom and MIL were tired so after we dropped them off at the hotel, G and I set out to walk down Michigan Ave. in search of a Walgreen's to pick up cheap souvenirs for us.

Wednesday we got up and walked a couple blocks to the Corner Bakery and Cafe for breakfast. We walked over to the Eddie Bauer and did a little shopping. I got me a couple pair of nice slacks originally $49 a pair for $15 a pair. Rock on! I usually can never find bargains for my size so I super pumped about it. Because we couldn't find anything in G's size that I wanted to pay for, we dropped my mom off at the hotel and my MIL, me, and G, headed back down Michigan Ave. to the Macy's. We immediately saw the Lush shop and stopped there. G was able to get her another Happy Pill and grandma paid half for some shower jelly. By the time we got back we had to head back to hotel to pick up my mom and the luggage and go to the airport. We all pitched in and took a taxi. We just couldn't fathom doing the EL route all over again.

I will definitely go back to Chicago. I grew up in the 'burbs/country and thought I would never say this but if I was young, single, childless, I could definitely see myself living there. No way in hell I'd have a car - public transportation all the way for me. Anyway, I am hoping that I can work it out to make Chicago an annual mother/daughter trip. I had that much fun.

Lastly, this past Sunday, June 22nd, D and I celebrated our 17th year of marriage. I complain about him a lot but like Dana at said better than I ever could, "I believe in two things: that there is that one person out there for everyone, your soulmate; also that one person who is the only person that can put up with you for all your life."

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chicago trip details

To my small number of readers, I promise I will post about my Chicago trip before the week is out. Stay tuned . . .

Friday, June 13, 2008

Let the count down begin

Well, we are now 2 1/2 days away from our mother/daughter trip to Chicago. Me, G, my mother, and my MIL are heading out Monday, June 16th, and coming back Wednesday, June 18th. I think I'm all ready to go. I have completed the following:

1) airfare tickets bought and paid for
2) hotel room reserved
3) CTA's 3-day unlimited passes bought and paid for and in hand
4) gochicago discount cards bought and paid for but not in hand

I'm just going to drive over to one of the off-site airport parking lots and leave my car. It'll be much easier that way and I won't have to worry about inconveniencing anyone to take us to and pick us up from the airport. I think one carry on bag will be plenty for a 2-night trip. Our flight is scheduled to take off at 11:55 a.m. We are going to take the EL from Midway airport to our hotel. Since I waited too long to purchase the gochicagocards on line in time to have them mailed to my house, I will be picking them up at one of their offices. I will be making the long walk from our hotel on E. Ontario St. to the 500 block of N. Michigan Ave. Or I might hop on one of the buses. Either way, I'm going to get everyone checked into the hotel room and head out on my own. I think if I go by myself it will be much quicker if I'm not having to wait up for other people.

My plans are for us to go visit Navy Pier and walk around and then go have some dinner. The next day I'm hoping we'll be able to take one of the Architectural River cruises and go to the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. I guess it all depends upon how long the lines are at the Aquarium, as to whether we'll get to do all three attraction. I don't know if we'll have time to do much on Wednesday before our flight leaves at 1:55 p.m. I suppose I better look into what our hotel's check out policy is first is first.

The nervousness is starting to subside and I'm starting to get excited. G is being her usual nervous nilly. She is still anxious about the airplane trip. I keep reassuring her that everything will be fine but I know until she experiences it, my reassurances mean nothing to her.

Anyway, I plan to take lots of photos. Let's just hope they turn out worth a shit because so far half the pictures I've taken go into the trash bin on my camera. I know they say practice makes perfect but it's not like I can retake them if I mess up.

Please keep some good thoughts that we have nice weather and that my husband doesn't worry too awful much about his girls. I know that those of you that read this pitiful blog of mine are probably thinking, Geesh! It's just Chicago!, but I'm not a world weary traveler. The last time I went more than 3 hours away from home was this time last year to Paducah/Bardwell,KY, when my sister was so sick. The furthest I have ever been from home was 8 years ago when we went to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, for a week. I'm really a homebody so this a big trip for me and Gabby. My mother for that matter. She's never been to Chicago either. Hopefully, this will be the first of many mother/daughter trips to come.

See ya'll when I get back!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


1-year old

11-years old

Happy Birthday Gabrielle Justine! Her 11th birthday was actually yesterday, June 10th, but we were out on a small, private lake, where I out fished everyone the first hour we were there. Hence the reason I didn't get to post this until now. We celebrated her birthday with the family on Sunday, June 8th, by going out to dinner at one of our local Mexican restaurants. Their tradition is to sing Happy Birthday in Spanish and then smash fried ice cream in the birthday boy/girl's face. This was the whole reason she picked this restaurant to go to. Why anyone enjoys that I'll never know but then again, I'm getting old so I don't enjoy stuff like that.

Before I started reading blogs, I used to think I was pretty good with the written word. Boy - what a wake up call I had on that! So instead of writing a long and drawn out ode to my girl, I'll just leave you with the above photos.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Picture 039
Originally uploaded by sltbee69
As promised, here is a picture of my girl the day after the braces were put on. She looks happy there but she really is in pain.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Does anyone want my husband?

Does anyone know how to get stain off vinyl siding?!?! Please tell me there is a way. Please. Bear with me because there is a lot of foul language coming. I was steaming last night and I'm still pissed this morning. I have to get this out so I can move on.

My fucking idiotic husband decided he was going to start staining our front porch yesterday afternoon. Because he can't be bothered with taping things off and having a wet cloth on him, he slops fucking stain on the house where the banister butts up against it. Yet when I say something to him about it, he has the audacity to get pissed at me because I should be kissing his ass that he actually decided to get off his fat, lazy ass and do something on the house!!! He acts like it's no big deal because it's in an inconspicuous place and only he and I will know it's there. This was one of those times that I just wanted haul off and smack him upside the fucking head!! I told him specifically on Sunday when we picked up the stain that we were going to have to be extra careful applying it around the house. No, I stressed it emphatically. But it apparently went out one fucking hairy ear of his and out the other fucking hairy ear!!! This is why even though I bitch that I have to beg him, no nag him, to do stuff around the house, that I really rather do it my damn self. If he's going to do things half-assed then I don't want his gd help! Never mind that when he decides to do something, it takes him at least twice as long because he's got to take fifty million smoke breaks and sit and think about how he's going to do it. Agh!!!