Sunday, November 7, 2010



We headed out to the Lake Forest area to meet up with my husbands family who were in town. From there we headed to Bohemian National Cemetery. We both have family members there. I wanted to go because my aunt & uncle who lived here in California, who were our only relatives in California, had their ashes put there as their final resting place with my grandparents. My father has not been able to visit them at the cemetery and I was going to get a picture for him. Well they were placed there two years ago, my brother attended the internment and guess what, they never put their names on my grandmothers stone! It was a huge disappointment for me. We did go to the office to voice my anger. I believe it was done this week and they will be sending my dad the photo showing that it was done.

We also visited my husbands family who are buried there. His uncle was being silly picking out a spot because they have a few empty ones. I also got some pictures of a few beautiful statues while I was there.

Then it was off to Aunt Butch's party. We were not sure what to expect since she has Alzheimer's. It turned out to be a beautiful blessing. It is very sad of course but she always has been a fun person. The favorite aunt who loved everyone. She does know her brother & sister because they visit often but didn't know any of us. Our son was with us but his girlfriend was unable to go because of her conference. We sat at a long table and there were other people who we didn't know at booths around us. You could see Aunt Butch asking her brother "who is that" over and over again as we partied for 3 hours. One good thing about where her mind is at is that she is happy and doesn't remember a lot. I am telling you this because she has a son who doesn't see her anymore and if she remembered she would be very hurt.

So during the course of the 3 hours, probably at least six times, she would push herself around the table in her wheelchair and introduce herself to each of us. She would ask who we were and for that split second she knew who you were. She was fascinated with my husband, his brother and our son Adam. You can see her with my husband and son as she went around. It was the most loving thing to witness. Several different times someone would say we are here for your 90th birthday and she would hold up her arms saying I'm 90! She still has a very quick wit and her birthday wish was for a man between 18 & 25. Then when she found out that our son was 31 she said maybe she could go older. Even though she didn't really remember us (I was very close to her) it was still very nice to see her happy, like a kid again.

So the tables around us were witnessing this and as each one left they came up to her and wished her a happy birthday. They all commented on how wonderful it was to watch this day unfold. I am so happy that we were able to join in this day.

So as we were driving home our son asked what we were doing for dinner. My husband always goes into, I can't eat another thing today, blah, blah blah! Well as we were driving Adam made reservations at Ditka's for 8:15pm. It was the most amazing time. Dinner was out of this world. He is know for his pork chops and let me tell you it was a delicious dinner. The ambiance was awesome and we went through two bottles of wine as we dined. If your ever in Chicago you must give Ditka's a try. I loved when he was the coach of the Bears, those were fun days with the Superbowl Shuffle!

On Sunday morning we took off to Gilberts, IL. My brother-in-law has been living there for about 4 years now. (he was born & raised in Texas, he is my husbands 1/2 brother but feels just like a full one to me) We love Jimmy and his girlfriend Caprice who bought their house together. Well Jimmy is all about the decorations for Halloween. That was just so much fun. My mother-in-law was staying there too until her flight on Tuesday.

We got to meet Caprice's family which was a blast. Her mother, her sister, her brother, their children and other family members who also came over. They were all there for the trick or treating event. For some reason Gilberts put rules out this year and kids could only go door to door from like 3 to 6pm. Even though it wasn't dark out the kids still got scared with all the decorations! Then we watched a movie that night and had some delicious, can you! However all afternoon Caprice put out the most delicious snacks. She really worked hard on showing us a wonderful time. It was a great Sunday!

On Monday we got up and enjoyed a delicious french toast casserole. Then it was off to see a few sights around Gilberts and we got to spend some fun time at a Cabela's store. Then it was over to Claim Jumper for a great lunch before we needed to leave for O'Hare Airport. When we arrived at the airport my husband was upgraded to first class and I let him keep it for himself. Wouldn't you know that right at our gate there was a Vienna Hot Dog stand and an Uno's pizza stand. OH YES I DID! Our second flight from Denver back home to the Ontario, CA airport we got to be together in First Class and the wine just kept coming. It was a great Monday and to top it off I saw two shooting stars out of the airplane window. What a blessing for me.

Back here at the house our daughter Amber & son-in-law Dylan had a fun time with Halloween.

They carved 3 pumpkins which got great reviews from the trick or treaters! Also we had 57 kids at the house and they were thrilled to be given the BIG candy bars that I buy each year. They said it was cute how the kids would yell back to their parents "this is the best house, they have the big candy bars!"

So here are a few odds and ends that I wanted to show you. Our house in Western Springs always had this house on the corner who had this penguin on their garage door. It was still there even 21 years later! My daughter is just learning to crochet and she made me a scarf for my trip. When we were at the cemetery on Saturday, in the office that fake tombstone was sitting on a desk and Mark's uncle wanted me to take a picture of it for him. That building you see is a retirement center and my dad use to run all the maintenance on it! An interesting fountain in Water Tower Place Mall and a neat small water tower looking thing heading into Riverside, IL. Of course I could not leave the airport without taking a picture of the toilet. I don't travel often but to this day I haven't seen these anywhere but Chicago. They are so awesome. Wave your hand and the plastic moves around given you a fresh seat to sit on! (that of course is if you trust that it isn't just spinning around using the same piece of plastic each time:)

Thank you for sharing in my adventure to Chicago.

It was the best of the best!


Mary said...

You had quite the time in Chicago! So glad you had a good day with Aunt Butch. Love the halloween decorations, and also the jack-o-lanterns! We had friends in SC that gave out whole candy bars; the boys always had to hit their house! And, since we lived out in the county and they didn't live in a subdivision, they would always give our boys a couple (to get rid of them!). Good times!
Love the idea of the toilet!

Kristie said...

Your trip seems like it just got better and better! I love that you got to see SO much family while you were there-that's so neat!

I saw a shooting star on Monday too! It was so bright-it looked like it was just a couple miles away!

All the Halloween decorations are awesome and your daughter and SIL did an amazing job with their pumpkins! I don't think I could ever carve like that-very cool! ;-)

EmptyNester said...

What an amazing trip! Travel is always better when family is involved!!! I know you will cherish the memories of this trip!

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip it sounds like you really had a good time visiting with your aunt and other family....great photos.
God Bless Trish

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

I really want some deep dish pizza!! Pizza is my favorite food. I can only image how good it would be.
I could not get over all the decorations the Caprices' family had for Halloween. They went all out. If I was a kid it would scare me silly :-D

secret agent woman said...

I love the picture of the uncle trying out some of the sites! Might as well have a sense of humor about it.

Technodoll said...

Debby, I have to ask:

1- how on earth do you remember all these details chronologically and in such vivid detail, and

2- where do you find the time to organize and collage all your photos and then blog about everything???

*bows to the queen*

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

I need to go back and read all of the posts I have missed! I love thre carved pumpkins...and I would have LOVED to Trick-or-Treat at youe house too!

So glad you loved your time in Chicago!!

Unknown Mami said...

I never even knew toilets like that existed. Crazy! Could I trust it?

croleyc69 said...

Sounds like a wonderfully Awesome trip. Glad you got to see a lot of family. I just love the pumpkins and all the pics.


Brandy@YDK said...

I'm finally playing catchup. It looks like you had a wonderful trip. all the pictures are so great! that toilet thing is awesome - lol.

Tonja said...

Oh, what a fun trip! So many fun things you got to do! What a sweet birthday party for your aunt. I would imagine she may remember the feeling of the party, if she doesn't remember the feeling. And, how neat that you got to see so many family members, too. And, getting bumped to First class...more than! And, the toilet...I've seen those in the bigger cities before and they sure are nice!

By the way, we were near the Lincoln Park Zoo in a private Catholic hospital.

Kerri said...

oh man! i am now hungry haha and really want to go visit! that toilet thing is cool (i will just pretend to not have read the part after that) haha
awesome trip thanks for all the pics!

That corgi :) said...

you guys sure did a lot of visiting and sight seeing (and eating) on your trip! glad you got to connect with family and help celebrate your aunt's special birthday!

those pumpkins carved are all fantastic looking! very nicely done!

wow, big candy bars! you rock!! I can see why your house would be a favorite!


Ginny Marie said...

I've driven through Gilberts many times on my way to DeKalb, but have never stopped there! (I love the O'Hare toilets, too...wish all public restrooms had them!)

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