Friday, March 1, 2013

Anniversary Weekend

Last year, Mike and I went to Chicago for a long week-end to celebrate our 25th anniversary.  We had a wonderful time and ended the weekend attending a letterboxing event in Lake Bluff, IL.  This winter has been incredibly busy and stressful.  Mike wanted us to get away for a few days again this year.  We headed to Chicago for a few days break.

We left around 7:00am on Saturday.  On our way to our destination, we tried to get 3 letter boxes.  The first location was gated and we could  not enter.  The second location was in a park that hadn't been plowed all winter.  It too was inaccessible.  The third box was in a neighborhood park.  After trudging through piles of snow the box was found!   Not an auspicious beginning to our weekend, but we had fun anyway.  There is nothing like following behind someone trying to hop into his foot print while wearing clogs to bring levity to the morning. 

One of the things that Mike wanted to do was to see some of the homes that Frank Lloyd Wright had built in Oak Park.  The homes were gorgeous.  We were surprised that so many of them were for sale.  We drove by some of the houses and walked to others.  There were tons of people staring at the houses and driving down the streets where the homes were located.  Sometimes the traffic was so heavy that there was only one lane available for moving vehicles.  I think it would be quite difficult to live in a house that so many people want to see.  I would probably keep the curtains drawn at all times and never use the front yard. 

I had never been to an Ikea store before, so that was our next destination.  It was fun looking at all the lighting options and seeing the variety of fixtures for bathrooms.  We're going to be working on the bathrooms in the project house next, so those types of products were foremost in our thoughts.

The second floor of the store is reached by using glass elevators or very open escalators.  After walking around the second floor, my nerves were at their breaking point.  I don't do well with heights and the glass rails around the drop off to the ground floor made me very nervous.  We decided not to see the third floor.  I enjoyed going to Ikea, but will probably not make the journey to go to another one.  It will be easier and less nerve-wrecking to make purchases online.

Lunch was next on the agenda.  Mike wanted to try the food at Joe's Crab Shack.  The food was good and we enjoyed the uniqueness of the experience.  There aren't many sea food places in our area, with the exception of Red Lobster.  We shared a sampler appetizer and bucket of crab and lobster.  What a treat!

We did a little shopping and then checked into our hotel.  For supper we headed to our favorite Chicago area pizza place...Giordano's  We arrived to a fairly quiet restaurant and ordered salad and a Chicago style deep dish pizza.  Before the pizza arrived,  the restaurant filled with a children's basketball league for the end of the season pizza party.  It was difficult to hear each other speak, but the pizza was worth it..  

The next morning, we did a little more letterboxing and managed to snag all the boxes we attempted.  Mike was a great sport and retrieved the boxes that were buried in the snow.

We attended a letterboxing event and met many new friends.  It made me smile when I would introduce myself by my trail name and would hear, "You're -------------!  I was hoping we could meet!  I love your shoe signature stamp!"  We met some boxers from Kalamazoo, which was surprising.  Hopefully, we'll run across her sometime when we're on the trail in our area.

After the event ended, we headed back home.  It was a lovely weekend and provided the rest and fun that Mike and I both needed.  On our way home, we remembered why we don't want to live in a large city.  It's great to visit, but not something we'd want to deal with everyday.

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