$wpsc_version = 169; winter | Rebecca & Dale

Rebecca & Dale

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Dale’s Easter Trip to Colorado

Dale spent Easter weekend in Colorado with some of his oldest and best friends (I went to Lara and Tony’s house–thanks for the feast, L&T!). Here is a shot he took while they were zooming on into town!

A gorgeous shot taken from the balcony of their condo rental!

Dale, Chase & Chris took a drive through the mountains and jumped out to get a photo near the Loveland Pass.

Dale and Chase and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture marker.

Someone is holding Dale’s camera. He’s very comfortable with that, obviously. Chase, Chris and Dale met up with another of their nearest and dearest (and the Best Man at our wedding) Greg! He was working on a snowboarding event at Copper Mountain.

Mountains everywhere! Even grocery runs have spectacular scenery in Colorado.

A wintry view from the ski lift. I imagine the weekend went just like the one in that movie Hot Tub Time Machine.

Chase & Chris posing politely for Dale.

Colorado is just rotten with mountains, I guess.


A little snow hut along Copper Mountain.

Gearing up for more extreme winter sports! My guess is that they came home a lot more sore than they would have 15 years ago.

Dale had a GREAT time and wants to take up skiing again. He also enjoyed the generosity of his good friend Chase, who made much of the weekend possible! Thanks, Chase!


It's cold. Damn cold.

It’s a winter wonderland! And that explains why we are lacking in blog updates. It’s cold. Damn cold. Dale went out to the suburbs in Barrington and found some lovely winter scenes.

He drove around looking some striking images–he felt he didn’t find much.

He wanted to capture how cold it is and how snowy. Did I mention it’s cold? Because HOLY CRAP is it cold.

Tiny horses with big horses!

Pussy willows in the snow.

Even more pussy willows in the snow.

I didn’t go with him. Because it’s COLD, I tell you.

Expect pictures of indoor hobbies and activities for the next month or so.


Holiday Walk in River Forest

Tonight Dale and I went over to the Forest Park Holiday Walk! Forest Park is so much cuter than I usually give it credit for. It’s just really been built up since we moved here! Tons of cute shops–a beautiful wine store, a boutique chocolate place, a bunch of pubs and restaurants and antique shops as well as little indie gift shops. Anyway, it’s adorable!

The holiday walk featured well-decorated businesses and lots of perks–free sleigh rides, samples from a few neighborhood restaurants and even a free bonfire with complimentary smores! Adorable!

The tea shop had REAL reindeer you could pet in the lot next to it. The Reindeer was incredible soft and I wanted to snuggle it very desperately! A couple of the businesses also had cats and dogs up for adoption and I wanted to take all of them home, too.

Many of the shops had “animated” window displays–many with real people! Our favorite was the hardware store (Dale’s favorite local shop) where they had Elvis Santa’s Blue Christmas.

He was quite the ham, that Elvis Santa. It was hilarious!


Official Tree Lighting, Daley Plaza, Chicago

On Tuesday, I wandered over to Daley Plaza during my lunch hour to watch the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony featuring the actress Keri “Felicity” Russell and Chicago’s own Mayor Daley (donning a hat in the photo above).

I took the liberty of taking this video of the tree lighting countdown! However, when I rotated the video in stupid MovieMaker the video got all tiny and wide and weird but you get the idea!

After the tree lighting ceremony Keri Russell hung out in Santa’s little house–free visits for all the kiddes, from what I understand–and was swamped by the local media.

I kept an eye out for about 10 minutes and then I had to go and pick up my lunch (chopped salad from Au Bon Pain, if you’re interested).

On my walk over to Au Bon Pain I noticed the county building was decorated the congratulatory banners that proclaim “Congratulations Chicago’s Own Barack Obama” were still on ever light post! I’m guessing they’ll come down when he’s sworn in?

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Wisconsin Road Trip

Dale and I love a good road trip. We get in the car and just drive. I got the love of road trips from my grandma Mary Ann (mom’s mom) and Dale got it from his grandparents (dad’s parents), too!

On Saturday Dale had a hankering to hit the open road and he decided we should go to Milwaukee (and if I had said no he would have just annoyed me around the house all day with his restlessness slowly turning to crabbiness).

Dale had hoped to meet up with his friend Gary who lives in Milwaukee (but we know him from back in the Flint days). Since this was a spur-of-the-moment trip, Gary was busy–and his mom has been ill–so we wish him (and her) well!

We took our sweet time getting to Milwaukee from Oak Park. We drove through Racine and up to Milwaukee.
And we spotted a lighthouse along the way!

We also spotted one of the stranger houses I’ve seen lately! There is a house just outside Milwaukee that features a strange assortment of pop culture icons and oddities, including a real Big Boy mounted on the roof of their garage–and a Hamburglar nearby! Check out the roadside curiosities blog for full coverage of the wacky house–it’s craziness!

When we finally got to downtown Milwaukee it was imperative we go to the Bronze Fonz–a life-sized statue of Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzerelli himself! Needless to say I was thrilled! And it turns out The Fonz is not nearly as intimidating in real life as he was back in his heyday! And Dale could totally take the Fonz in a fight, obviously.

After visiting Fonzie, Dale suggested we visit the Third Ward–Milwaukee’s burgeoning upscale arts district. Lots of adorable shops and nice restaurants. Even a fantastic, huge upscale grocery market! We went for an early dinner at a restaurant called Swig–it was really adorable and beautifully designed. And the food was good, too!

Dale took his camera, of course and even got a rare shot of me (I’m a pretty boring subject at this point for poor Dale).

We really liked the Third Ward and I practically had to drag out of that restaurant!

On the way home we got cheese. It was a trip Wisconsin!
We had to.

Once home we feasted on the cheese–it was an early dinner like I said–and watched some TV. It was a great little adventure.


Dale's Winter Photo Essay Part 1

Maybe I am a bit sadistic but I really enjoy a good snow in the city and today did not disappoint as you will witness below. Of course my joy is not supported by those around me who have to drive to work – including Rebecca – but since I am wholly reliant on the train and the trains are not affected by snow I am perfectly fine getting a few inches.

These first four shots were taken while at lunch at the Fidelity building across the street from my office.

I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago that the moose is actually made up of car bumpers.

A view from my window at work.

After work I took a walk to Millennium Park a few blocks away. In the summer there are free concerts in the park, a reflecting pool, picnic areas, gardens, etc. It is really an oasis in the city. In the winter the activities are limited but they do have an ice rink and the video sculptures at either end of the reflecting pool are still in operation.

The Cloud Gate – “The Bean”

Video Sculptures


Sunday in Chicago

Today, we took a train downtown to go to one of the few free museums in Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Dale was quite excited to check it out. There were three exhibitions, each of them interesting and well worth making the trip. The three exhibitions:

Robert Heinecken 1932-2006: Sex and Food, a Memorial Exhibition: An interesting exhibition about women, sexuality, and their place in visual cultural. Larry Sultan: The Valley: A sampling of photos from a porn shoot! But not what you’d expect. Odd imagery; some nudity but nudity isn’t the point. It’s just the odd everyday lives of sex industry workers. Misty Keasler: Love Hotels: This was my personal favorite! Images from the amazingly bizarre Japanese “Love Hotels” –themed hotels catering to young couples looking to get away from the prying eyes of their family! Young people live with their parents until marriage and finding a place for “fun” can be tricky! Wow. No nudity. Just images from the rooms themselves. Fascinating glimpse into a different culture.

After enjoying the museum, we decided to wander down Michigan Ave. and see what was up and grab a coffee. It was chilly! They installed new bike racks–how cute are they?

In front of the Chicago Institute of Art, we spotted an anti-war/anti-Bush demonstration and I snapped a couple of pictures. The signs read ‘Honk to Impeach’ and the horns were blaring! There were three groups of folks wandering about, handing out fliers and such so it appears more dispersed/empty than it was.

Across the street from us on Michigan Ave. was the Big Bean and the commons area that turns into a skate rink in the winter. You can’t see their toes, but the folks above are sliding about on skates, under the spectacular silver cloud.

Finally, we ended up at Intelligentsia coffee house and enjoyed a hot cocoa. They had neat tiny plants on the tables. I took a picture because I’m a dork.


While Dale's Away…

Dale is driving with his good friend Chase this weekend–all the way to Arizona! I’ll be sure to share pictures of his trip when he gets back! Chase is moving to the Phoenix area and we wish him well! We will surely miss him. He’s been our most frequent guest since moving to Illinois!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you’d think I didn’t know how to shower without Dale telling me! Ha! Anyway, I spent a good portion of the day getting crafty! How happy this had made me! Of course, I completely lost track of the day but I have some proof I did something with it:

I made these pairs of earrings from a kit, sadly. I didn’t want to learn on expensive pieces or on the antique beads I plan to work with. I was lucky to have a lot of jewelry from family members and while much of it is not my style (four heavy strands of beads for one necklace is too much for me) the colors are pretty. So I want to make some contemporary jewelry with my antique pieces. This is my first attempt to make jewelry and boy was it challenging–but totally fun!

I like the bottom middle ones best, I think. Though the top left ones are also a favorite! Cheapies, but still cute!


A Trip Downtown

We’ve had a very quiet month, minus a handful of outings. We went downtown so Dale could get his printer replaced while its under warranty. While driving around, I spied a couple of fellows in front of this building:
Sadly, I did not get the best picture. But look closely:

I spotted two gentleman in floor length fur coats and pimp-esque hats walking a very happy dog. I l ove the city.


More Architecture in Oak Park

In addition to the many Frank Lloyd Wright homes we are lucky to live near, there are many architecturally significant homes including lovely Victorian Homes like the one above!

We’re not exactly getting snow this season but the homeowner here had lovely red bows lining their fence as well as plenty of garland adorning the railing along the stairs! So cute!