Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kindred Sister

One of the best things about today's fair was the chance to see my tender friend M and her merchant tent. She is just an amazing force in my life. M has inspired me to join the gym, become more stylish, and encourages my art endeavors every chance she can. She herself is an amazing artist with her independent photography business Kindred Spirits. If you visit her site you can see her sensitive and caring well a picture of the husband and me taken for our fifth wedding anniversary. Note: We both share an Irish/Slovak heritage and tend to adore the same foods...which always makes for a good friendship! She truly is my Kindred Sister.

Hit Parade

It seems like every year the husband and I forget about the town parade. The fire truck sirens and marching band drum cadence awake us before we are ready to leave the land of nod. Thus we usually watch the procession from behind our picture window in the studio. Our town has the typical parade affair---bands, tractors, politicians in vintage cars....and it tends to add a few dashes of the unusual. I miss the days of the Shriners in their little zippy cars and way cool fez hats ( as a child I so wanted this honor in a parade when I someday became an adult...)
Portage Frosted Food Float: Complete with menu and faux hams and sausage links.

Square Dancing Troop of Senior Citizens. They are talented enough to dance on a moving well as doing it to the tune of "We're Coming To America".

The Bunny Bus of...Magic. Cute or terrifying? It was hard for us to decide.

The Show Stopper. The best and most bizarre of the day. This float was from a local restaurant featuring a pig with a sign that said "eat chicken", a cow that said "eat pork", a chicken that said to "eat beef"....and some dude in a very cool pot asking that you "eat pasta". It is great to think that these people sat around a table at one point and shared this vision for their float. And I love that the candy-passer-outers were wearing chef hats!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Huzzah Dress

Confession: I was very afraid to step on the scale when I came back from our Chicago festivities. Chicago pizza, mac and cheese....a cola with most meals. The daily workout consisted of walking and walking and walking the streets of the Windy city. I try hard to gage how I feel about my health other than what the scale reveals. Above is the prettiest piece of fashion I have ever had the pleasure of purchasing. When it arrived it was about 2 dress sizes too small. Though my pant size has dropped it has been a struggle to drop the dress size...weird. But yesterday I tried the dress on for motivation...and it fit...the zipper went to the top for a snug fit. I could still breathe and move around in it:) It is an overwhelming experience for a curvy woman like myself to fit into something I would have avoided just three months ago. I have yet to convince myself if I should have a public outing in the pretty huzzah dress. For now I am content to sashay around the home feeling lovely...if even for a few minutes of the day....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mom Mail

My mom cracks me up. We go on vacation but she is the one that sends us a post card! AND it features our favorite eatery from my home...To note: when the husband and I vacation we skip the post card and souvenir parts of the trip and opt for pictures, great restaurants, and things to do together. Even if that is our plan we still tend to bring a treasure load of odds and ends home from traveling...

09/15: Big Bird, Trees, and Home

We arrived home to find a bit of a Topsy turvy town. The Giant Eagle was without power for the entire day and then some...
The sounds of power saws perform in the neighborhood as people are still clearing roads and yards from the poor felled trees...
And we arrived home to a bit of awaits me in another seven hours...*sigh*.

09/14: Fish and Cancelations

We discovered what families do in Chicago on a rainy Sunday. They go to the Shedd Aquarium---and so did our tired very wet feet. Quack. Quack.

Even though the aquarium was packed it was worth the wait to visit the Wild Reef exhibit. It was a joy to overhear the enthusiastic children pointing out all the "Nemo" and "Dori" sightings to their parents---as if the fish were waiting in the tanks just for them to visit.

At some point my lil sis received a text from our brother asking about the "flooded" Chicago and if we were all right. Of course we were okay. There were no flooded streets or parks that we journeyed through. What flood? We arrived to Union Station with the perfect amount of time to spare for checking in and loading....only to discover that, well, Chicago was flooded and the Amtrak lines for 38 trains (including ours) were under water...and would be for the next 24 hours or so...

At the end of a vacation you usually have enough money to go home, eat and pay the bills waiting for you. Our wallets were thin. How would we get home---soon? We all had different obligations (mostly work related). Renting a car from the airport would have cost $ night in a questionable hotel room would have been close to $200...So thanks to the Internet and lil sis's boyfriend C---he ordered our group the last four tickets for a luxurious trip home on the Greyhound. No travel experience can compare to a Greyhound trip...

09/13: Crafters and Celtics

The rain poured for the Renegade Craft Fair. But we loved it anyway. Of course we loaded up on all the free loot and did some "research" for our trip next year. The vendors were very pleasant and tended to flirt with the husband (who tended to roam away from the group).

Did you know that corn was an Irish Tradition? No? Me either. We came to the Chicago Celtic Festival a little late in the day---and a bit on the soaked side. The vendor food was a bit on the mysterious and strange side---but the free Great Big Sea (G's favorite band in the world) made up for it...

Rain ponchos and Great Big Sea. A medium sized crowd of die-hard fans meant we had a great view of the band and plenty of room to kitchen party in our way cool ponchos in the never ending down pour.

09/12: Groceries, Murals, Cubbies and Wheels

Our Chicago Greeter took our group to Pilsen. Featured above is the most picturesque grocery store we have ever encountered. This neighborhood grocery specializes in foods such as cactus and stomach.
An interesting little sign in Pilsen.

The neighborhood is filled with endearing eye candy. Just beautiful to behold.

Later we stopped at Wrigley Field so the lil sis could pick up an authentic Cub shirt. This area has been dubbed Wrigleyville by tourists who seek games and beers---but it also has a huge thriving gay community. Rainbow signposts and flags fill the streets and shops. Interesting juxtaposition.

The rains of Hurricane Ike persisted into the night. We went up up up on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. Another amazing view of the city cloaked in mist and rain. Bonus: Lots of rain = first in line.

09/11 :Zoos, Beans and Sox

In the morning we visited the Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo (it's free!). A wonderful zoo with great classic architecture. You can feel the love the city has for this zoo. The animals were well taken care of and the grounds were beautiful with flowers and well behaved children.
The afternoon was spent at Millennium Park and introducing it to my sister and her boyfriend....because everyone loves the Bean.

The Chicago White Sox vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox lost 6-4 but Jim Thome hit a 411 ft home run to make things exciting (this is important, I guess, because he once played for the Indians---so says the husband). There was a 9-11 tribute to soldiers of the war...and some fan ran out on the field in the middle of the game and was escorted off the field by a line of very buff looking security guards. G had only four hot dogs. How does his stomach do it?

09/10:Eating: from the streets to the sky

After the train trip, humping the luggage to the bed and breakfast we ran for quick food. The mac & cheese at The Smoke Daddy Bar and Grill in Wicker Park is one our favorite things about going to Chicago. The secret crunchy stuff on top is amazing goodness.

That night we dined at the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building. It was clear night and the view of Chicago at night was spectacular...and so was the food and drinks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Loot

We have returned...our bags loaded with Renegade Craft Fair loot, our memories loaded with love, and our cameras loaded with over 2,000 pictured from Chicago Vacation 2008! As the husband and I try to recuperate before work tomorrow (i.e.= showering away the funk of the trip, unpacking, paying the bills that arrived while we were out, and taking some big naps) I will also attempt a photo-travel log on my new flickr thing...(Note: this vacation did just the trick in getting me exctied again about the world of art and crafting...and working over the next year to be a part of it!) Oh...and it was just all shades of fantastic to share this vacation time with my lil sis:)