We're back from our whirlwind Christmas tour of
We tagged along with our friends the Koepkes
aka Bill, Susie, William and Lisa.
Bill is also known as Mr. Map Man.
He's the kind of person that knows north, south,
east and west while driving.
I am directionally insane!
See that big fat notebook/satchel thing he's touting?
It's packed with maps, brochures, sightseeing lists, coupons
and I think our lunch and dinner.
I LOVE travelling with map men!
They are great at leading the team.
We arrived Friday afternoon and Mr. Map steered us to
The Art Institute of Chicago...
the biggest tourist attraction in Chicago.
Bill learned that from his brochure.
I should probably remind you that my hubby is not a good traveller.
He's the guy who stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and said,
"Why do people want to look at a big hole in the ground?"
I was proud of him for being a good sport at the art museum.
While we enjoyed the art,
I know he would rather have flopped on the hotel bed to watch football.
At least he wasn't standing around like a statue.
at least he looked LIKE art!
Saturday morning, we awoke to
I was SO HAPPY!
The Koepkes were hoping to capture
their Christmas card photo with Chicago in the background.
It truly was like walking in a
Lisa and Bill sure do make a lovely Christmas card.
We packed six people into a cab with my
6'2" hubby squished on Bill's lap.
Poor Bill was smushed and so was
his Internet printout about
THE SHEDD AQUARIUM!
The snow really had us in the Christmas spirit.
Hubby liked the aquatics better than art...
This is where I saw the works of
the greatest artist on earth...
Back outside, we followed Bill's map
to the neighboring Field Museum.
"You guys walk ahead," I said. "I'm gonna snap some
I didn't snap any pictures at the Field Museum.
It was getting close to 3pm
and Hubby agreed to sacrifice scouring the
500-thousand cavernous exhibits with
the Koepkes to escort me back to the hotel so
I could grab my tripod and take
I wrapped my camera in a neck muff and plastic bag
and firmly attached it to the tripod.
That photography teacher told us to keep our cameras warm.
"Wanna come with me?" I asked Hubby,
but he was already flopped on the bed watching a football game.
I was so excited to start
I loved the sparkling lights...
and, how Chicago was all decked out for Christmas.
As the skies darkened,
Chicago still twinkled.
I was in awe of the beauty!
Later, we caught back up with the Koepkes
and strolled Chicago's
Here we are in front of the skating rink.
The Miracle Mile bustled with holiday shoppers.
Yep, it was cold in the Windy City!
I swear by THESE:
I used to tuck these chemical hand warmers in my gloves
when I was stuck outside on a winter story as a reporter.
They saved me that blustery evening.
On Sunday, I was sad to say goodbye to Chicago.
We took one more look from the top of the Sears' Tower.
The snow had moved east...and
Bill knew what direction that was!
We were gifted with a beautiful blue sky.
I LOVED it up there...especially the side with the view of
MAGNIFICENT LAKE MICHIGAN!
And look at this!
A lookout perch with a
Ten-year-old William was a wee worried
to take the plunge
and step out on the deck.
We were so proud when he braved it with his mama
and we have this picture to prove it.
WE LOVE YOU!
And, looks like the Koepkes may have their
CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE!
Okay, it was taken in the hotel lobby...
but we will always remember we were in