Wednesday, June 30, 2010

end of day 2

Well this post is coming to you from the road we are in Wisconsin traveling west towards Minnesota. We have about 5 hours to get to our hotel. The sun is setting after an absolutely day.

We began the day with breakfast at the hotel. With the help of the hotel concierge we made reservations for the 10 am tour of the river and lake. Wendell a has been in business for 75 years. I think I can speak for the entire t and l group when i say the tour was well worth the fee and the time. The tour gives a great amount of information about the history of the buildings. You also can appreciate the beauty of the lake.

Then, we went to lunch at Portillo's and Barnelli's and had their famous Italian Beef with Jon and Karen. This was a delectable sandwich, spiced nicely and served on a crusty french roll. We ate outside and everyone enjoyed.

After lunch, we said our goodbyes to Jon and then walkted onto Olde City. Olde City is a lovely neighborhood in Chicago. We browsed several shops and then drove by Wrigley field. There had been a Cubs game and it was an afternoon game, and so we landed in lots of traffic, but we got a good view of the outlying Chicago surroundings.

I am actually finishing this post Thursday morning from Minnesota. ( Fairmont, Hampton) We arrived sometiime after 2 am CST and opened a bottle of vino as a nightcap.

Another wonderful day of smiles, laughs and fun, and great conversation.

Day 1

Day 1 has come to a close; it was a great success. We (MaryAnn, Cheryl, Debbie & I) arrived in Chicago and Nancy picked us up. We checked in to DoubleTree and did an impromptu (accidental) tour of downtown Chicago thanks to Nancy's TomTom navigation system (i.e., we got a little lost trying to get to our destination). :-)

We had original Chicago style pizza at Giordano's. It was INCREDIBLE. Afterward, we walked Millennium Park and walked down to Lake Michigan. It was stunning. We went past Grant Park (which was hosting Taste of Chicago). The temp was beautiful, sunny, sometimes chilly!

We had a tapas dinner at Emilio's then went to the top of the John Hancock tower, 96th floor, for cocktails. The night view of the city was stunning. Note: the wait staff was beyond rude. We actually saw another patron having a heated discussion about the service with the manager. They automatically embed an 18% gratuity in the what's their incentive to do a good job? Our server was beyond rude. If the manager wasn't busy with another customer, we would have shared out insight with him. Aside from that, the view made it all worth it.

It was a great first day; we had lots of laughs. Looking forward to Day 2. :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Giordano's Pizza

We had a wonderful Chicago style pizza and salads, too. Karen, Nanner's daughter in law joined us. Now we're off to see more of Chicago and hopefully Kathy Straub later

At the Airport

Cheryl, Debbie and I , aka Jersey girls , are at the airport on the first leg of our journey.
NANA HEY HEY it is great to hear from you and I'm glad you're tuning in!!

Coffee, tea and we are good to go.

We all decided we overpacked, but oh well!! Nanner I hope you have a trailer for all this stuff!

Monday, June 28, 2010

One more day

In 12 hours, we'll be on our way to Chicago! I have no clue how to pack 8 days worth of stuff into one little black carry on sized bag. The girls are torturing me already! The meanies are forcing me to pack light! What to do? Good news is that it's not a business trip or the winter time! :-)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two More Days!

Can you believe it? Only two more days until our trip! Nancy has already left...she and Dave are wonderful. They've driven from their farm in NE to Chicago so that we have a vehicle for our journey. They are currently visiting their children in Chicago. On the way, Nancy managed to flush her keys down the toilet at a rest stop in MN. According to the Facebook post, she seemed to be taking it in stride. I would have had a meltdown. Note to self...on trip...stop to smell the roses (not rest stop toilets).

Nancy has also been a wonderful "travel agent" and trip planner. Here's our itinerary:

Tues 6/29: Chicago: all kinds of stuff--Chicago style pizza, Millennium & Grant Parks, John Hancock tower for evening cocktails, Magnificent Mile, etc. etc.

Weds 6/30: More Chicago and hit the road, heading for MN late day; Binney's run first!

Thurs 7/1: Head for the hills...Belle Fourche, SD: Drive through Spearfish Canyon, view Bridal Falls, Canyon, Nightlife in Deadwood YEE HAH!!!

Fri 7/2: Devil's Bathtub, Mt. Rushmore, Needles Drive, Sylvan Lake, then head for Custer, SD through Hill City

Sat 7/3: More sightseeing, head for NE and Nancy's farm through Wind Cave Nat'l Park

Sun 7/4 & Mon 7/5: Nancy's & Dave's farm in NE; horseback riding at Nighswonger Ranch, fireworks in ScottsBluff, 4 wheel and hike Westwater Canyon, Oregon Trail Wagon Train, Bayard for some good old fashioned NE steaks! Moo! Scottsbluff Monument, Chimney Rock, Wildcat Hills (Can I get another YEE HAH)!!!

Tues 7/6: Head for Denver, meet up with Leslie Pinkham

Weds 7/7: Depart (3 to Philly and 1 to Boston)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another phone call closer to our T and L trip

Much has happened since we really began getting serious about this trip. I for one, have lost my daughter, tragically and unfairly. Now, I am needing this trip not only as a reconnection with friends, but as a way to try and put things in perspective.

We are all looking forward to the trip. Since I have been to none of the places we are going to, it's very exciting to think about all we'll encounter.

We will have a taste of quite a few states within a week and be immersed in life in a totally different part of the country.

I am so looking forward to this week for many reasons, mainly because I get to share it with my friends.