My friend, Erika, and her sister, Pam, were wonderful hosts. I thought I'd tell you all about it.
It started out here:
At the airport, all rested up and ready to go. Then there was a connecting flight at another airport, but I'll spare you the picture because it's probably of interest to me.
Then we arrived in Chicago! We ate with Erika's parents and went on to her sister, Pam's, house where we stayed all weekend. Saturday we woke up to a girl's breakfast out at a family restaurant (which apparently we don't really have in the South). Here we are at breakfast, along with Erika's friend, Vickie:
After breakfast, it was on to the one of the highlights of the weekend, the humongous craft show, also in "the burbs". I am kicking myself for not taking a good picture of all the booths. There were a lot. But here is Erika in one of the booths. I really wanted a picture of those monograms and didn't want the proprietor to get mad, so she stood over there so I could secretly get the picture. The monograms were great, but at $45, I wasn't going to buy one there. I am going to try to reproduce it sometime instead.
It literally took us about 5 hours to see ALL of the booths. Then we were there for a little while longer going back to the ones we wanted to visit again. Some of the things I got were jewelry (lots of jewelry, for myself and for gifts), chalkboard box for Julie, personalized puzzle for David, personalized picture frame, American Girl outfit, painted pet rocks for my kids (they loved that gift), several hair things, a purse and a cherry pit heating bag. That is a really random list I know, but, hey, it is what it is. I did not see a single seller with knitted or crocheted items, so no cute knitted hat. And there were no sellers with cute frilly aprons so none of those for me either; but I was happy with the purchases I made, so it's all good. By then we were really tired, but our day wasn't done. It was back to Pam's for the girl's annual potluck. I think there were about 15-20 people there and tons of food. We ate, we talked, we fell asleep around midnight.
Sunday, we slept in a little, then went into the city - the other highlight of the trip. When we got there, I was a girl on a mission. Julie has asked Santa for an American Girl doll (the one that looks like her, but with earrings). She is so sweet, she said she would ask Santa for that because it was too expensive for mommy and daddy to have to buy for her. Anyway, sweetness aside, I was determined that she would get that gift and that I would get it for her at the American Girl store in Chicago. Erika and her friend, Vickie, were very understanding and parked at the end of Michigan Ave. nearest the store. So this is where we went first:
Let me show you how incredible this store was.
This is just the downstairs. I so wished Julie could have been there with me. She would have loved it (and I would have had to spend tons more money than I did). Someday I hope to take her there. Here is the doll hair salon.
How cute is that? The dolls sit in the little salon chairs with capes on and get their hair fixed. Hate to see how much that costs. Anyway, next on our agenda was lunch, so we went to the bottom of here:
The John Hancock building and ate here:
The Cheesecake Factory - wonderful food and wonderful cheesecake. I tried the key lime cheesecake, more key limey, less cheesecakey, but still good. Then we strolled down Michigan Ave, visited a few stores, including the Lego Store:
(Lego John Hancock building)
We saw the river at night - beautiful.
Then after the stores closed, we ended up back at the John Hancock building. We went up to the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor and had appetizers and a great view.
(Navy Pier at night)
That was the end of our adventures in the city. On Monday, we got up and spent 9 hours traveling back. Nothing was delayed too much (an hour late getting home), just a lot of waiting in airports. All in all it was such a great weekend. Thank you so much, Erika, for taking me with you!!!!