I went on another trip last weekend. I went with my friends Cheryl and Judy (my bowling partner). We left Thursday afternoon and drove to visit our friend Claire in Indiana. We've all been friends for 20+ years, our kids all grew up together, running from house to house in the old neighborhood. We hadn't seen Claire in 3 years since her husband, Kenny, passed away. We had a great weekend full of laughter, eating, drinking, playing Five Crowns, just having a good time. We took the train into Chicago Friday around 1:00.
It was Judy's first time on a train and she really wanted a picture to commemorate the moment so I asked the conductor to pose for a quick pic with her.
The train ride lasted about 1-1/2 hours and wasn't bad except for the last 20 minutes when it felt like they turned off the air conditioning. It got really hot really fast. As soon as we exited the station in Chicago we headed straight for the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. We had already decided this sounded like a good place to eat and didn't think it was too far from the station.
It was so hot and humid and it took us a while to make our way the 10 blocks from the train station. When we had all finished our delicious lunch we just had to have a piece of cheesecake, Reece's Peanut Butter cup with chocolate mousse with 5 forks! (Claire's 16 year old daughter came with us)
When we were finally able to roll out of the booth we headed next door and discovered that the Hancock Building
was giving free passes to their Observation Deck. Once we got past the fact that it was Friday the 13th and we were about to go up to the 94th Floor on a nonstop elevator some of us, (who shall remain nameless) were afraid of heights apparently, we stepped off the elevator and had an amazing view of Chicago to the east,
It was amazing to see the city that way. I've only been to Chicago a couple of times but I saw things I didn't even know they had like beaches,
this thing (which I have no idea what it is)
and Claire, who used to live in Chicago, had no idea either.
Seeing Navy Pier from this angle was cool too. It really changes everything.
When we finished looking around the city we walked up Michigan Avenue in the general direction of the train station and stopped and shopped in a few stores along the way.
We caught the 8:45 train back and went through a wicked thunderstorm with lots of rain. Thankfully when we arrived back at our station the rain hadn't reached it yet so we managed to stay dry.
Saturday we went to one of my favorite craft stores, Hobby Lobby. That store is amazing. It has everything for decorating and crafting you could ever want. And you know what I bought? Nothing! I have no time for crafts! All I ever do is read blogs. But it was fun looking at all the stuff anyway. From there we stopped at a candy factory that was having a garage sale. If you had a sweet tooth that was a great place to shop. I didn't buy any candy and only bought a little something for a special little sweetie I know and love. After that we went to see Eat, Pray, Love. Some of the review I had seen said it was "slow". I didn't necessarily find it slow but let's face it, it wasn't an action film. It was a journey with love and left you with something to think about. I enjoyed it. We had a couple options for dinner but finally decided to go Mexican. I never grow tired of Mexican food. We went back to Claire's that night and played another round of Five Crowns. Except for Claire's dog barking at her for 15 minutes because he wanted to go to bed and she was playing cards, we had a nice evening. He's an old man and he's almost blind and deaf and he wants what he wants when he wants it!
Here he is snoozing, which is all he did when he wasn't barking. Poor old guy!
We headed back to Michigan Sunday around noon and had a nice uneventful trip. Just the way I like it. It felt so good to sleep in my own bed last night! I slept like a baby. We had stayed up late a couple nights and I woke up early.
Monday I spent time trying to get things organized and ready to head out of town again. I had to make some dog food, pick up a few things at the grocery store, finish up some laundry, clean the fish tank, pay bills, fun stuff like that. Today I have a pedicure and packing.
We will be gone 10 days and I will miss my house and my pups and Scott too. Scott will enjoy the house to himself and will probably spend his time packing up for his big move in September.
I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone we haven't seen in a few years. We will catch up with H's sister Sharon, our good friend Mike, H's brother Bo and his wife Kim and their 3 kids and maybe a couple friends if things work out. I'm looking forward to seeing the beach again, swimming in the pool, hunting for shells, relaxing. I am not looking forward to the drive. Yes, we've decided to drive so that we can stop and visit my auntie and uncle in Tennessee. We will only stay there two nights and one day but it will be wonderful to visit them again and maybe spend a day on their beautiful lake. This will be our 3rd long driving trip of the year! I'm hoping for sunny skies, light traffic and strong satellite signals for my Aussie Garmin!! I'll have lots of pics when I get back!