Monday, August 22, 2016

It's a New Year! Kinda...

The calendar starts in January and goes to December, right? If you are like me, you have several different calendars whirling around in your head besides the classic January to December one. For most of my life my main calendar begins in September. Even before Alexa, calendars in our house begin in September as we have been an academically based household since college. It's a good thing and it has it's drawbacks.

GOOD - we have off the same holidays our daughter has off.
BAD - it's much harder to take a holiday or vacation any time of the year that does not revolve around a school schedule. So taking a trip after everyone goes back to school - not so easy.

GOOD - 2+ month Summer Vacay!
BAD - my DH works year round...

So you see, it's good and it's not so good!

We did do a lot (for us) traveling this summer. It was our 40th wedding anniversary this summer - no clue how that happened! With a kid in college we've been trying to keep expenses down so that trip to Hawaii or Europe was nixed pretty early. We talked about going to Canada for a offense, but we could do better than that, so we decided to go to a Yankee game (what else, duh!!) in CHICAGO!!!

Norm has been to Chicago several times but I have never been so we checked the schedule, found out they were playing the White Sox a week or so after our official wedding date and decided to make the trip. We had a great time and managed to sneak in a second game across town with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Getting to and from the games was so easy. We took the El to both. Nice to know NYC subways don't have the corner on crowded subways!
I'm awful with names - getting worse as I get older...I keep wanting to call this Cominsky Field even though I know it's not. U.S. Cellular? How about where the White Sox play?! While we were waiting to get in I helped a cameraman from the YES Network do a color check on his camera. Didn't help get us any perks, but I saw that YES logo and had to help out!
We had the BEST hotdog at this park! Smothered with sautéed onions and a little sauerkraut, it was the best hotdog I've ever had at a ball park.

Funny story - a few posts back I talked about our trip to Toronto to see the Yankees and how my brother saw us on TV - completely taking us by surprise. In Chicago we had similar tickets and of course, I looked to see where the cameras were and thought, no - he can't see us, we're not in the line of camera - WRONG! I get a ping on my phone an it's my brother complaining I'm not wearing Yankee swag...! Of course I protest, texting back to him, and he comes back telling me what Norm is wearing along with the guy sitting on the other side of him!

Then I posted on Facebook, as I usually do, and I get question from a friend asking what the Cubs score is - I'm not at the Cubs game...but I find out they are in town also, making up a game or two that got postponed. I get on StubHub and find out the Cubs are in town and buy tickets for the game the night after next! This one I KNOW my brother won't see us at because we are in the rafters of Wrigley Field -- in the rain!
It poured! The game was held up for a good 40 minutes. We had to run through the downpour just to get into the park from the El and we couldn't see the iconic Wrigley Field sign that's behind home plate. We were about 12 rows from the top of the stadium - that was the good news because our seats were dry and we were protected by the overhang.
The game finally started but not before some idiot fell over the ivy covered outfield wall on to the warning track!
I walked around to the other side of the field and took this photo of the stands built on top of the buildings across the street from the ball park.
We did do other things than baseball while in Chicago. One of the funest things we just stumbled upon was a local Beatles tribute band called Kaleidoscope Eyes. They were at the base of the Hancock Tower and they played for about two hours. They were great! As you can see they were down in the lower level off the Michigan Ave entrance and we were up on the street level looking down. They were just fabulous and one of the surprise highlights of our trip. We went down and talked to them after their set to see if they were playing anywhere else while we were in town and unfortunately they were out of the city the rest of our visit. 

We did go up into the Hancock Tower and took some great photos of the city. During our visit we walked along the waterfront, pictured directly below this photo, along the beach front and over by the park section opposite. You can also see the Navy Pier jutting out and we spent some time there also.
 They have a 360 degree view and we walked all around.
 Our hotel is the center one in this photo below with the rounded side and patch of green on top.
 This is looking north along the lake.
I wanted to go to the Art Institute and it did not disappoint!

 Norm taking a photo of the Seurat.
 Monet's waterlilies!
 Grant Wood's American Gothic
 Georgia O'Keefe
We also saw 'The Bean' and met a very nice woman who gave us directions commenting on how when she was new to Chicago someone did the same for her.
We also HIGHLY recommend the Architectural River Tour. This was great! You tour down the Chicago river and get an informative and fun guide to the history of Chicago and the wonderful buildings and architecture of the city. We had a beautiful day to be on the water and the views were amazing!

Our guide even took our picture!
Remember the photo of the shoreline looking across to the Navy Pier? This is from that park edge looking back over to the city.

I said we did a lot of traveling, but I guess we didn't do that much, it just feels like it. Alexa did two trips with friends, one to NYC and another to Toronto.

Our other big excitement was my boss's daughter's wedding. Congratulations to Kaitlyn and Dave!
Lastly, Miss Priss is back at school and living in her sorority house. We brought her back to Cornell last week and helped her set up her room. She's a sorority sister now so she'll be someone's 'Big' come spring semester. She went back early to help with freshman orientation. We're hoping she has as successful a year this year as she did last.
That's it for our summer. I'm looking forward to the fall. I/we have a few little trips planned for the fall and January so that will give me something to write about. I'm also looking forward to cooler weather. I HATE the heat!! (and sound like a broken record saying/writing about it!) I hope you enjoyed my summer travelogue and I'll see you in October!