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Chicago is me, me, me and art by Ann Treacy
July 14, 2016, 11:37 pm
Filed under: Chicago

We’re getting close to the end of the road trip. We started the day in Pennsylvania, then off to Ohio, to Indiana and we landed in Chicago. I have big plans for dinner with dad and Katie. But we planned a day downtown Chicago for fun.

Turns out the kids were super excited to go shopping and ditch me. I’m not writing this to make them feel bad about leaving me alone – right after I paid for lunch. I mean I know this post will be up for years – but I didn’t feel hurt at all.

Really I didn’t feel bad. I got to do exactly what I wanted to do at exactly the pace I wanted to do it. So I visited the Harold Washington Library – where I took a class years ago. Then I went to the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Institute has a guide that shows 12 of their top favorite works of art that you can see in an hour. Challenge accepted! I did it – with two hiccups. American Gothic had been moved. I sleuthed it down. And the Young Dionysos was temporary off the floor.

It was fun. The works included the Chagall windows, which I don’t always make a point to see. And of course the Georges Seurat, which I do always make a point to visit.

Then I skipped up to Millennial Park and saw the sights. (The girls and I had walked through earlier to get to lunch – so they are in some pictures.) Then off to Michigan Avenue, the Wrigley Building and some random statues.

And I decided to take selfies along the way. I have taken 12 selfies in my life – because mostly I have a kid to serve as model. I am terrible at selfies – requires more backward spatial aptitude, I like to do them quickly because I find it embarrassing and the raw material is a little rough to start. But again I didn’t do it to make the girls feel bad later when I’m so old and feeble that they are ditching me again. Not at all.

Art Institute of Chicago Scavenger Hunt:

Thanksgiving in Chicago: Chicago Institute of Art by Ann Treacy
March 10, 2014, 7:34 pm
Filed under: Chicago

We went to see the Chicago cousins for Thanksgiving. It’s another family tradition. We’re lucky in that my sister makes the whole meal. We just show up!

This year many of us went to visit the Chicago Institute of Art; Aine and I love that place and it was fun to see it with more people.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Ann Treacy
March 4, 2012, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Chicago, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania

The day started about a week ago. We started in Chicago. Drove through Indiana, stopped in Cleveland Ohio for lunch and a tour of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and now we’re sleepy in Pittsburgh. That’s three new states that the girls and I have never visited. (Grandpa has – in fact he mention that the last time he drove this path was September 12, 2001; he was stuck in DC for 9/11 and decided to just start driving West to get home.)

We had lunch at the Great Lakes Brewing Company. It came recommended and was good – although a little loud. Then we headed to the Rock & Roll Museum.I suspect that Grandpa and I may have enjoyed the Museum more than the girls – at least one was a little crushed not to find Justin Bieber anywhere. Sadly you can’t take pictures through most of the museum – but here are some of out highlights (in no particular order):

  • Boy Scout uniform from Jim Morrison
  • Pictures from T Edwards radio program. (Including a picture of Dion; someone remembered when Dion played in Winona.)
  • Album covers from the Midwest including the following: Babes in Toyland, Prince, Husker Du, Jayhawks, Replacements, including a flyer from a show at 7th Street (Lily thought it was sad that I had been there in the last month) and that’s all I can remember.
  • ZZ Top drum set – I told Aine that they decorated the drums with their beards; that’s what it looked like anyways.
  • An undipped acid blotter sheet featuring a picture of Janis Joplin.
  • Boots (and guitar) from Johnny Cash.
  • Dress worn by Katy Perry
  • Michael Jackson’s glove & the Thriller mask
  • The giant hotdog that Phish used to land into one of their shows
  • Janis Joplin’s psychedelic car
  • Figures from The Wall (or as Aine says monster/teacher/Dr Einstein moving doll person) So wish I could have gotten a picture of that!

I’ll let you guess who loved each item. Our only sadness was that we didn’t have more time.

States visited: IL, IN, OH, PA

Road Trip Day One: Road 2, Ann 0 by Ann Treacy
March 3, 2012, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Chicago, Indiana, Wisconsin

So who thought it would be a good idea to drive to Florida? What a dummy!

We started on the trip yesterday. We got on the road about noon, as scheduled. So that was good. We got a free upgrade to a minivan, which was probably good. (Not my dream vehicle – but loads of room for the girls.) Then the luck sort of ebbed.

I got a speeding ticket as soon as we crossed over the Wisconsin. I totally deserved it. I may have been able to talk my way out of it – being less than an hour in a rented car and just getting used to it – if I hadn’t been on the phone. I will give the cop credit for not asking if I knew how fast I was going. (I didn’t but I had some idea.)

Next it started snowing in Tomah. The blizzard started about 40 miles later. They closed schools in Madison about 2 hours before we got there. We were averaging about 40 miles an hour on the highway. I couldn’t read the signs. (Should have used that excuse with the ticket!)

Nearly 8 hours to get to Chicago – that’s an all-time worst record.

But once we got there bbq ribs were waiting and a cake to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. And it was fun to see the cousins. And now it’s 8:00 and we’re already in a new state. I’m not driving. SO that’s good. Mifi is working. So that’s good. And we have plenty of gas. So that’s good because I think you can enjoy Gary Indiana just as much from the car. It seems pretty industrial – and not in a glamorous oils refinery/Emerald City way. Just trains and power lines.

State Count: MN, WI, IL, IN


Thanksgiving in Chicago by Ann Treacy
November 27, 2011, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Chicago

It seems like our time in Chicago was particularly quick this year. We headed out in our convoy on Wednesday. We stayed in Madison with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Billy Wednesday night. Then Thursday we headed to Chicago. We ate at our usual place – which we seem to find by looking for the place we think is our usual place but is not as easy to find. Then we had a great dinner with all of the fixings – including two turkeys (one baked, one deep fried) and a ham. Really I could give up everything except stuffing, ham and pumpkin pie. Luckily everybody seems to like different things.

The day after we went to a gym full of trampolines. It was very fun – but two days later I can still feel it. We were there for two hours and I’d say most of the grownups jumped for at least an hour. That’s a lot of bounce. That night the grownups headed to a really nice dinner at Al Dente. It’s a chef owned restaurant with a Mexican/Lain flair. Then the less mature of the grownups headed out. It was very fun but I totally lost my voice. To be fair, I has been skating around a cold all week. A day of being so unkind to my body just brought the cold into full force.

Saturday some of us went to the Children’s Museum. Aine and Bridie seemed to enjoy it. They rarely get to call the shots so that was fun. Then we just hung out. Played cards and ate Chinese Saturday night. Then we got up at the crack of dawn to drive home, which didn’t seem like such a good idea at the crack of dawn – but now that it’s 12:30 and we’re back in St Paul it seems like a great idea.

Thanksgiving in Chicago by Ann Treacy
December 26, 2010, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Chicago

We arrived in Chicago on Thanksgiving. We had two turkeys (one deep-fried) and a ham. Really we had enough food for about 100 people – I think there were about 25 people there: us and a lot of Dan’s family.

We packed up snack packs for the homeless. All of the kids helped. Nothing like a little assembly line work to build up an appetite.

The next day we went to a kid’s improv show. The younger kids loved it; the older kids got busted having to play the teen dragon. The improv group did a really good time and I have to think that kid-friendly improv is not always that easy.

As always we ended our trip with an amazing meal for the adults at some restaurant that I can’t remember – but I have to say that bring your own would be an excellent idea for restaurants in the Twin Cities!

Breaking pumpkin records by Ann Treacy
October 24, 2010, 7:10 pm
Filed under: Chicago

We had a very Halloweeny weekend in Chicago. On Saturday afternoon we went and painted shop windows in Glenview – we were invited to do so. We weren’t going for any graffiti gags. The girls did a nice job with their painting. (Sean was at a birthday party.) Later that evening, we went to break a world record – the most jack-o-lanterns. They were going for 36,000 lit jack-o-lanterns. We personally carved 8. It was very fun. We got there right at dusk so by the time we figured out the pumpkin process it was pretty dark. It’s perfect environment for carving pumpkins with kids.

Actually it wasn’t bad. Aine let me help a little. Bridie was OK with a lot of help – and the other girls were fine on their own. Then the big girls started to light up pumpkins. As you can see from the pictures, there were 5-6 rows of scaffolding for the pumpkins. I at least made the girls promise to focus on the lower rows.

We thought the planners were very lucky with weather. They had been predicting storms all day and it had rained much of the morning. So when we felt a few raindrops we headed for the car. We got there just before the big downpour. We’re not sure what then become of the pumpkin light – but I think they were very close to the numbers they needed. And everyone had to sign in when they carved a pumpkin so I think they’ll be OK.

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