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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Trip to Chicago, 2017

This year, Anna's birthday was celebrated in Chicago, the place of her birth. Bill and I did the math and figured that it had been 21 years since we had been back to this fabulous city where we started out as a young, married couple. That was back in 1990, where our new life started in a tiny little apartment on Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park. The kitchen was so small that you couldn't open the dishwasher and fridge at the same time! But somehow we made it work! Here we are in front of 1960 Lincoln Avenue. 

1960 Lincoln Ave.

We arrived at the Palmer House hotel on Saturday (grand, old hotel with free breakfast - gorgeous, remodeled rooms) and started our trek into Millennial Park and down Michigan Ave, taking in the sights. 

Gold Elevator at the Palmer House

Anna had a list of everything that she wanted to see - which included the hospital where she was born, Bill's first apt on Elm Street, Lincoln Park and the Lincoln Park zoo, and finally our old apartment. By the time we made it back down Lake Shore Drive to Gino's East for dinner, we had walked 11 miles! HOLY SMOKES! Our feet were killing us, but we were having so much fun. Deep dish pizza at Gino's was just what the doctor ordered. Here are some pics: 

At the airport, super excited!




Gino's East

After dinner, we made our way to the John Hancock Tower where we got a table at the 95th bar and had drinks while looking out at the beautiful, twinkling lights of the city. 


The next day was a day-long visit at the Art Institute (see my earlier blog for reviews on our visit). Amazing works! Thai food at Star of Siam and a night at Navy Pier completed the day. Weather was absolutely perfect every day and the city felt safe, was clean, gorgeous (flowers everywhere) and filled with European tourists with their families, taking in the sights at all hours. It was very different from what I remembered from years ago. The city has a more global, cosmopolitan feel, and is certainly more family oriented. Not without its problems, of course, but really wonderful! 




Here we are in Grant Park at the Buckingham Fountain. A quick Uber ride took us to Lincoln Park where we visited with old friends (such a delight!) and then it was on to Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, and finally a viewing of our old condo on Waveland Ave, right near Lake Shore Drive. Still looks gorgeous!



The Willis Tower was a highlight, looking at the city from the top of one of the world's tallest buildings. The Willises are certainly making their mark - they are erecting towers in our name! 311 S Wacker is across the street, my old home at Freeborn & Peters, attorneys at law. More pizza followed at Giordano's.




Belmont Harbor, birthday dinner at Trattoria No. 10 (acorn & butternut squash ravioli), and finally...


HAMILTON!


A perfect vaca with some of my favorite people! Happy birthday to my dear, sweet Anna! Couldn't imagine spending my first trip back to Chicago after so many years with anyone else (other than your brother - who will get the same treatment once he graduates). Love to you! ❤❤

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Art Institute of Chicago, 2017

I spent the entire morning in the Art Institute of Chicago, drooling over exquisite art, particularly the impressionist and modern rooms.  Amazing pieces with so much history! The color, design, composition, and technique displayed in these timeless works are an inspiration to me as an artist and encourage me to not give up on my creative dreams.

I particularly liked the paper weight collection and the miniature rooms, which are fascinating replicas of the grand rooms of stately houses from England, America and Europe. These are new exhibitions from what I remember from my former years in Chicago.

Here are pics of my favorite pieces. ENJOY!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day👭 2017!❤

I had the best weekend, ever, celebrating Mother's Day with my favorite people: Anna, Braxton, Rachel, Alex, and Bill!🌹

We started out Friday night with dinner at one of my fav restaurants, Outback, where the Alice Springs chicken wins major awards. We then made our way to Dairy Queen (chocolate chocolate dip cone🍦), opened a slew of gifts (new Coach bag), and ended things with movie night - Moonstruck, starring Cher and a young Nicolas Cage.

Saturday was a full day with Rachel, my little shopping queen, at the Outlet malls, where we hit almost every store and came away with lots of goodies. I can still outshop my 19 year old! Had to drag her into Papaya at the end of the day where tons of bargins awaited. Then a little celebrity stalking in Canton, and we called it a day.

Sunday was brunch at my favorite diner, Thumbs Up, in Roswell. Undoubtedly, the best French toast in the world. A trip along the Chattahoochee River was followed by mani-pedis. Exhausted typing this, but it was so much fun. I am one blessed lady!!

I am so thankful for my mother, mother-in-law, and grandmothers🐩, all of whom nurtured me and helped me to become the woman I am today. And now, I am so thankful to be a mother of three wonderful children who are terrific, accomplished people and who actually like me and want to be around me!  That means I did something right! With the Lord's help, of course!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!!❤ The world would be a sad, lonely place without us mamas loving on our babies!

Here are some pics from the weekend!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

UGA Graduation 2017! 🎉

This weekend was all about Alexander France, who graduated from the Terry business school at the University of Georgia in Athens!

The cold weather surprised all of us here in Atlanta, who had just settled into a late spring. I had literally pulled my pansys out of the front pots and planted my vinca and begonias, when the weather took a turn. Boots and stockings in May? Winter coats and blankets to a college graduation in Georgia? Unheard of, and yet, the thought of sitting outside in the cold rain for several hours made us rethink our celebratory outfits.

We heard one of the best commencement speeches from keynote speaker, Ernie Johnson Jr., who inspired all of to stop and embrace the blackberries in life. We also heard a great speech from the class representative, which was just as inspiring. Fireworks and a snack at Wendy's rounded out the evening.

Tonight was spent with Alex's family at Buco di Beppo feasting on chicken marsala, salmon, pasta alfredo, and ceasar salad plus a delicious chocolate bundt cake. What a wonderful time getting to know his brothers, cousins, step mom and grandma. A great family. We are blessed to have this young man in our lives.

We are so proud of all of Alex's accomplishments! We know God will bless him in all his endeavors, and that he will be a huge success in life. Bill and I look forward to seeing all of the great things the Lord has in store for him. ❤