Chicago in Spring 2005
Jean and I flew on American Airlines flight 1919 to Chicago Ohare and made a pitstop at Portillos for lunch. Hail bounced in the parking lot while we ate just to remind me how the Chicago winters linger. We then went and saw The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy so Jean could get a nap and I could feel chumped into seeing such a dumb movie. We then went to Aunt Lou and David's house for dinner. Auntie was putting together an excellent dinner while David helped Mary get in a nap before dinner. They had invited Cathy (behind the couch), Tom, Ryan and Aaron, Cindy, Nicolette, Danette, Anthony, Tom, John. We watched some TV and enjoyed the fire in a huge and comfy room downstairs which Aunt and David had made up for us.
Mary Margaret was getting ready for the day. Jean and I think she is really smart and cute. Auntie made some great coffee while waiting for my cousin Tom. He drove from El Paso, Il to rendezvous with Mary Margaret. We took a trip to check out Aunt Lou's newly acquired house in Bristol. Jean and I went up to the Fox Valley Mall and then saw Sahara at the AMC Cantera 30. We returned to Aunt's and tried to finish what was left from the night before.
We had a big breakfast in the morning and went for a walk on the path behind the house. We decided to go into the city to see the Shedd Aquarium. On the way back through the suburbs we went for a stroll through Lilacia Park in Lombard. We took some pictures with the tulips, Jean by the daffodils, near the entrance, lilacs up close, more lilacs up close, by the crabapples, Jean by the crabapples, Jean by the lilacs and one of us. We then stopped in Lisle to visit LaFinesse, a spa and salon that my Aunt owns in Lisle. We had a Chicago style pizza at Lou Malnatis then went to Cathy and Tom's house. We spent the evening talking with the Maneys.
We went down to the Naperville Riverwalk and saw the Millennium Carillon. We had brunch with Cathy at Grandma Sally's. Then we embarked on a journey to Tinley Park to see Dad and Betty. They were not at home, so we saw The Interpreter. Then we drove back to the Maney's, watched LOST and ate pork chops.
We drove to Delevan to see my Grandfather, Aunt Jo and Uncle Ralph. Tom and Mary Margaret met us there because Tom was picking up some antique foot lockers and Aunt Jo had a cake and presents for Mary Margaret's birthday. We checked into Lake Lawn Lodge and went to Lake Geneva and had dinner with my cousin Callie at the Cactus Club.
We had breakfast in the Frontier and decided to go swimming. My Mom called and we went to see my Grandmother's grave with my Grandfather. We had lunch with my Mom and Grandpa. We went shopping, back into the pool and then sat by the fireplace next to the pool.
We had breakfast in the Frontier again. Then we checked out and drove to Oakbrook to have lunch with my Dad and Betty at Maggiano's. Then we drove downtown Chicago and checked into the Holiday Inn. Ryan and Aaron, my nephews, came and picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the United Center to see my favorite band, U2. Bono (Paul Hewson 5.10.60), Edge (Dave Evans 8.8.61), Adam Clayton (3.13.60) and Larry Mullen Jr. (10.31.61) were fascinating. Really awesome stage too. Below is the set list from opening night.
Love and Peace Vertigo Elevation An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart City of Blinding Lights Beautiful Day
Miracle Drug Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own New Year's Day Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky Running to Standstill Bad Pride In The Name of Love Where the Streets Have No Name One
Zoo Station The Fly Mysterious Ways
All Because of You Yahweh "40"
We visited Asheville after a business trip.
After checking in at the Baymont Inn we wento the the Biltmore Winery for some wine tasting. Jean enjoyed the natural North Carolina rhododendron we found while at one of the overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We went to the Biltmore and visited the gardens, had lunch at the Stable Cafe,
sat on the porch which overlooks the mountains and then did a self-guided audio tour of the house. Here's a view from the side of the house and one with Jean and I. The greenhouse in the gardens had so many hybrid coleus. Some are deeper purple, green leaves w/purple lines and other varities. Jean in the palm tree room. There were orchids in pink, white, purple and mixed colors. Jean and I walked over to the bass pond where there's a waterfall. Jean walked over the bridge really quickly.