Tag Archives: chicago

Our Trip To Chicago

Happy Friday, everyone. So glad the weekend is just around the corner.

I wanted to share a few more photos from our recent trip to Chicago. Two of my three kids and I drove from Nashville to Chicago. This happened during their fall break. The drive there was a lot slower than the drive home. We made it back in seven hours. We arrived in Chicago on a Friday evening and left on Monday morning.

Our two dogs had to stay at a kennel since my daughter’s apartment doesn’t allow pets. This was their first time away from us and we were all sad ( and worried) to leave them. Luckily, they had each other and we were told they did just fine.

Although all my kids were born and raised in Los Angeles, Chicago was the first “true big city” my son had ever visited. And even though Los Angeles is the second largest city in the country, it doesn’t have that big city feel as everything is so spread out. My son loved Chicago along with the energy and hustle of a big city.

Two years ago, I moved my daughter to Chicago to attend law school. She is in her final stretch, getting ready to take the bar next August. We’re so proud of all her hard work. I know she’ll make a great lawyer.

We ate lunch at the famous Giordano’s on Rush Street. Their pie is huge and we ordered half sausage/ half veggies. I’ve never seen so much cheese in one dish. My son, the cheese lover, was in heaven.


Chicago is a beautiful city. Every time I visit, I’m amazed at how clean and attractive this city is.

His first time on a subway.

Chicago Marathon

On Sunday, our friends, Jalei and Nikolai, ran the Chicago Marathon. They did great – we’re so proud of them! Jalei’s family came all the way from California. It was so much fun seeing everyone and cheering with them. After the race, Nikolai said he was “numb from the waist down”. Ouch!

On our last day, my daughter took me to her apartment rooftop to witness this beautiful sunrise. Thank you Chicago for a wonderful visit.

360 Chicago – Fun For All Ages



Visiting Chicago never gets old. Each time I’m there, I’m amazed at how much Chicago has to offer. During my son’s fall break, we drove from Nashville to Chicago to visit my oldest daughter and son-in-law. This was my son’s first visit to Chicago and he loved it.

If you’re visiting Chicago for the first time, one of the things you should do is step into the iconic John Hancock building, take the elevator to the 94th floor, and enjoy the view 360 Chicago has to offer. You’ll get 360 degree views of the city skyline and lakefront. The John Hancock Center stands at 1,500 feet, making it the fourth tallest building in Chicago.



Visiting the observation deck was the first thing we did. After going through the security checkpoint, we moved on to the photo gallery where you can learn about Chicago’s history and communities. The ticket line on that Saturday was long so it took us about 40 minutes to get to the elevators. But once you get to the elevators, the ride only takes 45 seconds to travel 94 floors.



The views are breathtakingly beautiful!


There’s more. If you want thrilling views of Chicago, you need to get tickets to TILT. This attraction tilts visitors out 30 degrees from the 94th floor, providing the most thrilling views. Since I’m afraid of heights, I chickened out. The rest of my family loved it, however.


This TILT is 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile.


Our group consisted of a teen, several young people in their 20’s, and a 40+ year old mom. 360 Chicago is a fun experience for all ages. I would highly recommend it. Next time I’m there, I’d love to visit at night.


***Thank you #360Chicago for providing the tickets. We had an awesome time.***

A Stress-Free Courthouse Wedding


Last week, my oldest daughter, Melody, and her now husband, Jamie, said “I do”. The couple married at the Justice of the Peace in Chicago. The ceremony was intimate, inexpensive ($60 instead of a traditional ceremony which is close to $30,000) and stress-free.

They didn’t have to please or impress anyone. They didn’t have to worry about enough seating, wedding favors, plates, flowers, table cards, etc. Melody and Jamie were in and out of the courthouse in 20 minutes and were free to do whatever they wanted. They hired a hobby photographer who followed them around Chicago and shot over 400 photos for just $25. Melody looked beautiful in an inexpensive, simple white dress, while Jamie looked dashing in his light-colored suit.

Instead of fancy flowers and decorations, the focus on love took center stage at this ceremony.

After the ceremony the couple went to a nice restaurant and enjoyed a delicious meal. At a traditional wedding, you’d pay an average of $30 per plate. They also spent the first night as a newlywed couple in a great hotel overlooking Lake Michigan.

Two days after their courthouse wedding, the couple came down to Nashville. Melody’s sister, Christy, and I surprised them with a homemade red velvet cake.weddingChristy also made these cute “NEWLYWED” bracelets.weddingI have to admit, not seeing my first-born get married was hard for me, at first. When your kids are small you have this vision of a beautiful wedding day. Not being able to hear her say “I do” made me sad and I felt cheated out of a celebration, but I’ve realized that at this time in their lives a courthouse wedding made perfect sense. And I respect that they did this on their own terms. After my daughter graduates law school (if she isn’t completely buried in student loan debt ) they might renew their vows in front of family and close friends. It’s on their terms, on their time line…

I know their courthouse wedding will  bring them just as much happiness as the traditional $50K weddings. Because at the end of the day it’s not about that one day… it’s about everything that comes after it.

Congrats, Melody & Jamie! I wish you an amazing and happy life filled with laughter, love and joy.