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I arrived in Chicago at 2am on the 20th…flight delayed due to bad weather. By the time I’d settled in at my hotel it was nearly 3am. YAWN! It was ok, just made me a little tired on day 1. I didn’t have anything planned for my 1st day. I wanted to walk around on my own time-line and get my bearings. I started off by walking to breakfast @ Lou Mitchell’s – It took me a while to find it and by the time I did I was starving. Upon entering I was immediately offered a donut hole and given a small box of milk duds which has been part of their greeting process since 1958 (they opened in 1923!). Everyone was really nice and they make a great french toast!

Part of the day’s exploration included Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue, & window shopping along the Magnificent mile. My favorite part of today was Millennium Park’s “the bean”. SO COOL!

From Wikipedia: Visitors are able to walk around and under Cloud Gate’s 12-foot (3.7 m) high arch. On the underside is the “omphalos” (Greek for “navel”), a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections. The sculpture builds upon many of Kapoor’s artistic themes, and is popular with tourists as a photo-taking opportunity for its unique reflective properties.

Stay tuned for more trip details…A skyscraper walking tour, the Art Institute, a boat tour, & going to the famous Second City comedy club!


I’m back from Chicago and had a WONDERFUL trip. Such a beautiful city! I’ll share more details in the next day or so…as soon as I get my photos organized.

I will tell you that one of my most favorite experiences was going to the 103rd floor of Sears Tower (aka Willis Tower) and stepping out onto The Ledge – a glass balcony that extends 4 feet out from the building. If it hadn’t been so crowded (and I’d had some Windex) I could have curled up in one of the glass balconies and taken a snooze or stared at the view for hours. Stunning!!!

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I’m on vacation so I just happened to be laying on my bed when the building started to creak just before 3pm today. I barely felt the 3.4 quake, but the sounds coming from my apartment building reassured me that it happened. Ok, maybe “reassured” isn’t the right word. I do love earthquakes though (the minor, non-damaging ones) and I’m pretty good at guessing the magnitude. I always go to the USGS site (which is bookmarked on my computer) so I can see how I close my guess is. I’m a dork.

Guess what I just learned? I didn’t even know this when I started writing this post. Today is the anniversary of the “the big one” which struck San Francisco at 5:12 am on April 18, 1906. Spooky!

I have an earthquake kit ready to go, but looking around my apartment I’d better move some of my heavier objects to a lower destination. I do not want to “check out” by way of a 20-pound Pottery Barn candlestick conking me on the head.

This time last week my sweet Dad was making reservations at a restaurant to celebrate my recent job change and all-around good things happening on the work-front. He would NOT tell me where we were going which made it a little difficult only because when I go to Napa I tend to bring my laundry and if it crosses my mind…maybe an extra pair of shoes that aren’t flip-flops. Anyhow, I ran a quick load of laundry which resolved the wardrobe problem and off we went. It was SO exciting…I had no clue where we were headed. We passed all the usual spots…and finally we pulled into the parking lot downtown in the newly renovated riverfront district. Hmm…there are a few new restaurants in this area and my eyes popped wide open when he said we were going to…FISH STORY! I’ve passed by this place numerous times and it was definitely on my hit list. We started off with a gin & tonic and perused the extensive menu. As a starter, we decided to split the Steamed Acadia Blue Mussels which were DELICIOUS and could easily be a main course for one. We then split the Little Gem Lettuce salad which was fresh and yummy. Dad ordered the halibut (his thought it was slightly over-cooked) and I had the Grilled Washington Steelhead (I thought it was fabulous). And the fingerling potato hash that accompanied my fish? Hello! What is that recipe?? Oh, and we wrapped up the meal with Valrhona Chocolate Bread Pudding (YUM) and Butterscotch Pudding (it was tasty, but Don Giovanni’s is still the best).

It was so fun to try out a new restaurant and new food and THE sweetest thing that my Dad took me out to celebrate. I am one of the LUCKIEST girls in the world! Thanks, Dad!

Today’s the day…free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s! Luckily for my taste buds (not so lucky for my belly) there’s a B&J within walking distance from work. Hooray!

Don’t miss out…find a Store near year!


Happy Saturday, everyone! The heat wave is over & the clouds are back. Boo. I decided to have a little fresh squeezed orange juice to brighten my day! Mom & Dad’s 40+ year-old juicer is still going strong!

I heard a lot of sirens about 45 minutes ago and went out to investigate…turns out they stopped less than a block away! A total of FIVE fire engines responded to a call at an apartment complex on Washington between Polk and Van Ness. I talked to one of the firemen and he said someone called in “smelling smoke”. It appears that all is a-ok. Phewf!

LOVE the response by the SFFD! We’re in the midst of a heat wave (by SF standards) and I really appreciate all the firefighters dedicated to their job. Thank you!!

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