Wednesday, June 30, 2010


On a lovely, warm evening while in Waccabuc, NY, our hosts Anne and Howard took us on their boat for supper. The views were lovely...

...The water was still...

...It was peaceful out there on the lake...

...Ducks on a dock!

Richard had to grab this photo op, even though he was in the midst of dessert.

No caption necessary, right?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And The Living Is Easy

Don't you just love summer? Richard and I spent last weekend visiting friends at their summer home in New York state.

We swam...

...looked at lovely scenery... in the garden...

...and painted. Say ahhhh.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Big Thing in Chicago

I heard about this big bat (called "Batcolumn" by artist Claes Oldenburg) and I just had to see it. Here's what the website Explore Chicago says about it: "Like all of Oldenburg’s monuments, Batcolumn combines a humorous and irreverent attitude toward popular objects with meticulous construction details and handling of scale and proportion. It can alternately be seen as a reference to historical monumental columns, a salute to the American institution of baseball or a tribute to the steel industry."
All true. All I can say is, "That's one big bat!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Looking Back at My Birthday

In all my ramblings about my fabulous birthday weekend in Chicago, I almost forgot about my wonderful sister who sent a box... the hotel, which was filled with the most delicious, mini-cupcakes in the world. (There was even a red velvet one -- yum!)

And sitting right beside the box was an ice bucket filled with 2 little bottles of pink champagne. What a sister! (And yes, that does look like a pair of Richard's socks in the background...makes you realize that the shot wasn't a set up!)Thanks Marci. You made my birthday really special!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Garrett Popcorn

Another thing on my "not-to-miss" list while in Chicago was a visit to Garrett Popcorn. There are many of these shops in Chicago. We found this one by the smell of that amazing popcorn, wafting into the street.

We lined up with all the other eager popcorn buyers and ordered a bag of CarmelCrisp and a bag of Chicago Mix (Carmel and Cheese mixed together).

And then we went to a park, sat down on a bench and tucked in!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cheeseboigi, Cheeseboigi, No Coke, Pepsi

This is really what The Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago is like! You can see where Saturday Night Live's John Belushi got his inspiration from.

Here I am in front of the original Billy Goat Tavern which is situated in the oddest place, under the El at the foot of an underpass.

We got out of the rain and had the most delicious double cheeseburgers...

...sitting amongst a sea of Blackhawks fans.

Good times.

Here's the Saturday Night Live skit that was based on The Billy Goat. Cheeseboiger!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Architectural Boat Tour

On the recommendation of my cousin Saul, Richard and I took the Architectural Boat Tour of Chicago.

I loved how up close and personal the tour enabled you to get. And I loved the bridges that went up to allow sailboats through.

It was a foggy day which made the building look a little dreamlike.

The docent who led the tour talked for an hour and a half enthusiastically about the history of all the architecture of Chicago. She talked about the importance of clock towers...

...and this lovely, curvy blueish building...

...and the opera house.

I just loved the reflections of the other buildings in this one.

This was my amongst my faves. A pair of round buildings with round parking spots at the bottom.

Really fun tour.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lou Mitchell's Diner

One of the guide books I had for Chicago insisted that if you liked diners (and I certainly do!), then you had to head to Lou Mitchell's. Located on Jackson Boulevard, it was the starting point for the original Route 66, created in 1926. So when the signs for Route 66 went up on Jackson Boulevard, commuters found Lou Mitchell’s -- opened in 1923 -- waiting for them.

The place was so packed, when we were in line a waitress yelled out, "Who wants to sit outside?" Richard was the first to holler back a resounding, "Yes!"

As promised, their coffee was perfect diner coffee.

Richard had the smoked salmon omelette...

...and I had what they called "meltaway" pecan pancakes ('cause they melt in your mouth, the waitress advised me) and a side of bacon, served with REAL maple syrup.

I'll have to let Guy Fieri from Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives know about this place. It's the bomb!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hawks Everywhere!

The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks figured prominently in downtown Chicago last week... office buildings...

...I wonder if Mies Van Der Rohe was a fan?

The backdrop of the Blues Fest had a Hawks logo overlooking it, lit up from windows in an office building in the distance.

Looks like even the folks at the opera were fans.

Imagine having your wedding photos shot in the middle of Michigan Avenue with Captain Jonathan Toews watching over you.

And me? Next year's rookie on the fourth line I think.

Go Hawks go!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Belly Dancer

My friend's daughter Megan celebrated her 13th birthday on Thursday. The party's theme was belly dancing and a belly dancing teacher was going to teach the gang how to shake it. I did an illustration for the invitation... well as a matching cake. Hope the gals had fun!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Poutine at The Gage

In Chicago, right across from Millennium Park is a restaurant called The Gage.

It's actually directly across the street, so close that you can see the park reflected in its front door. I had Googled "poutine in Chicago" and The Gage popped up with glowing reviews.

And they were all right! Elk ragout poutine, delicious, creamy gravy making the curds, still squeaky in their freshness, melt a bit, all served over very good fries.

Richard loved it...

...and so did I! It definitely rated 5 curds out of a possible 5! Yum!


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