Archive for September, 2013


Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Every year Kirk has a conference in Chicago. This year we were all out of school early and were lucky enough to tag along.

I had no idea that we would fall in love with the city. I was even able to get the boys to spend a day shopping on State Street. Thank goodness we don’t live there because it would be very difficult to stay on a budget with the seemingly endless stores with more inventory than I have ever seen.

Naturally we had to take in all the sights.

The Willis (formerly known as Sears) Tower. Incidentally, I was too chicken to walk out onto the glass platform.

Art institute. The boys tired of the art WAY before I did. Note the under appreciated Gauguins in the background.

The Bean.

University of Chicago and a fly by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes near the campus.

Rode the L, took a ton of taxis and walked our legs off to the John Hancock Tower, Field Museum of Natural History, Old Saint Patrick’s Church, The Magnificent Mile, Shedd Aquarium, Millenium Park and China Town.

Naturally we had some pizza. Very cheesy pizza.

I stumbled upon Argo Tea. Wonder if they are elsewhere because I loved the Nilgiri Black tea.

Had more pizza.

I hope we can go back next year. I better start saving, now that I know how much shopping there is!! What a great city.

New Zealand Adventure, Part 1

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Last summer we were lucky enough to travel to New Zealand for two weeks with my brother and his family. Our adventure began in Aukland and happened to be my birthday shortly thereafter.

We toured all of the city sights.

Celebrated my birthday with the girls at The Langham Hotel for high tea. The Langham claims to have served the first high tea in England as a way for ladies to banish that “sinking feeling” in the afternoon experienced while waiting for the men to return from their days business.

Then later we continued to celebrate with the family for amazing seafood including fish and chips, fritters and fried oysters at The Oyster House, which was a short ferry ride away.

We left the city behind to begin our travels south.

We stopped on the way at Waitamo Caves to see glow worms, hiking down into the caves and then boarding a boat, VERY QUIETLY, in the dark to see the elusive worms. They really did glow!

Our next stop was in Tongariro where a blizzard dashed our plans to snow ski. It was winter in the opposite hemisphere after all.

We spent a few days walking through slush and snow, drinking a new favorite, mulled wine and hanging out at the Skotel.

Then we again headed south for what would be a sixteen hour trek to the South Island. Along the two lane highways we saw MANY sheep and the stunning country side before boarding a ferry for a very treacherous three hour journey.

And then an even more hair-raising ride through the mountains to our next stop, a stunning beach house on Pohara Beach in Golden Bay. Thank goodness it was dark! I’ll save the rest for another post.