Friday, April 20, 2012

Officially Freaked Out

Everyone knows the laws of three right?  You know how things (usually bad) always come in three.....

I stated in my previous post that I just returned from Arkansas for my friend Vicky's mother's funeral.  (number one)

Earlier this week another friend from our little group told me her mother had been admitted to the hospital.  Sue just sent me a text that they don't think she is going to make it much longer and that if they let her go home it will be on hospice.  She was then told it could be a couple of weeks or a couple of days (number two).

See why I am officially freaked out?

So the rest of us are thinking whose mom is going to be number three!

Mom, you had best get your keister to the doctor and get a checkup.   NOW

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Arkansas Road Trip


The Wind was ridiculous!


This past weekend some friends and I took a road trip to Arkansas to give support to another friend whose mother just passed away last week.  I would have to say it was the hardest thing to watch Vicky cry.  This gal NEVER EVER cries, never shows any anger; she always has a smile on her face. 

We all felt helpless.  We wanted to do something to make it better.  Of course there was nothing we could do but hold her and/or her dad Leo.  They were both so glad that we drove down there to be with them.  Leo kept telling us that when he gets up here he is going to take us all out to dinner…..on him.  We told him we just wanted to take him fishing (but he has to clean the fish).  That got a giggle out of him.  May of the people in attendance were surprised that we took the 5 hour trip down.  I could not for the life of me figure out why they were surprised.  What else are friends for?

We did get her laughing when we got to her father’s house after the visitation.  That felt good, it felt normal.  I hope that she felt some relief also.

Carolyn (V's sister) and V taking a much needed vise break.



It took us 5 hours to get to Paragould Arkansas from St Louis.  I guess with the fact that it was storming when we left didn’t help.  Sue got board and took my camera and stuck it out the window (when it stopped raining) and just started clicking.  Got some interesting shots that is for sure.

The trip home was a quite one, after sitting through the visitation then the next day sitting through the funeral service (we opted out of the graveside service due to the length of the drive back).  On one particular part of Hwy 67 there is a beautiful new long stretch of highway that was just begging me to take my sassy girl new car for a “special” ride.  As it was I was cruising at about 85 miles an hour.  Sue leaned over saw how fast I was going and asked to take if higher………….so I did.  We got it up to about 105 miles an hour before the back seat realized what was going on.  I was debating on going even faster yet, but the backseat was requesting loudly that we NOT go so fast.

HUMP party poopers.

Michelle and Alicia threaten to tell Mike that I was driving that fast.  Ha I beat them to the punch.  I told him, he laughed and asked why only 105.  I told him I had already past one state patrol and was worried of passing another.  He said I was already going to get arrested if stopped, why not make it worth it and get her up to 150.  I laughed back at him and said why not the 180 the tack shows.  He said that it will do 150 without a hiccup but not sure of the 180.  He then said an Audi was made to go fast.

Of course I didn’t try it again.  It was a nice thought though; maybe I will get the nerve up again next time to try it.  Oh and the trip home didn’t take no 5 hours it took only 3!  Guess you could say I drive fast.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tranquility

 A Friend/Co-worker was on her way to the Dry Tortugas.  It is an island about 70 miles west of Key West.  

If you like marine life and birds, no electricity, no cell service, and no hotels (tents only) then this is the place for you.

While she was on her her way she snapped this picture and sent it to me.  


But with views like this who needs all those modern luxuries?

I loved this picture so much it is now the background on my phone.  

She knows I LOVE the outdoors.  I seriously thought about sending her one of the Chicago City View.  But alas I do not own one of those cool "smart" phones.  Mine is still dumb.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our last Stop

If you ever go to Chicago then a stop to Ed Debevic's Diner is a must.  


You want "rude" service, be made fun of?


Then this is definitely the place to visit while in Chicago


And the food was not bad either.

(Felicia's newest boyfriend, Brian)


Look closely, way at the back.  The servers stopped occasionally to dance on counters and such.


Freaking Hilarious!


The service on the left... the gal... she was an absolute riot!  Her interactions with the customers was a show in itself.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Signature Room

A spectacular view is a given from almost any part of the Signature Room on the Hancock's 95th floor or Signature Lounge on the 96th. 

The theme throughout is elegant Art Deco, with dark wood, marble tile and accent lighting. Ascend the stairs and stroll back to the Lounge, with its incredible south and west views of the city. 

Back in the dining room, the views are primarily of the lake and of Navy Pier, in all its illuminated excess.

View from south side of the lounge.



The following views are primarily from the Ladies room on the 96th floor.  It was actually better than the view from the lounge we were in.


The nice thing about the John Hancock Building's Signature Room .... it is a free attraction.  Though most people at least purchase a drink and sit to take in the views for a while.


Unlike going up in the Sears building where you pay $25ish dollars to go up and stand in a glass room overlooking the sidewalk.



though the Sears building and Observation Deck is taller than that of the Signature Room in the John Hancock Building.  But at the end of the day and at those heights who is going to tell the difference?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sites of Chicago

Walking the streets of Chicago you will never know who or what you are going to run into or see.





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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Bean

Another stop in Chicago was to Millennium Park to see "The Bean" or rather Cloud Gate.  I personally call the the Mercury Drop for obvious reasons.


The "official" description is:

Cloud Gate -- referred to by locals as "The Bean", for obvious reasons -- is a public sculpture by talented British artist Anish Kapoor. Cloud Gate weighs in at over 110-tons, and is 66 feet long and 33 feet high. "The Bean" was created using a huge number of individual stainless steel plates -- Cloud Gate's seamless surface is the result of thousands of hours of polishing.
Picture from underneath the Bean looking up.
The sculpture has the appearance of a giant drop of liquid mercury, and the mirrored surface offers an amazing reflection of the city skyline, even more breathtaking on a bright, clear day. Visitors can walk underneath the Cloud Gate, which is surprisingly concave. Kids especially enjoy the fun house mirror effect that this creates.

People get in all kinds of positions to take their picture in the different angles of the Bean.


Mikayla had us lean against the inside of the Bean for this one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Walking Men

In Chicago at Grant Park there are numerous sculptures and gardens.  The one I wanted to see in particular this time was the AGORA or "Walking Men".




Located along the southwest side of Grant Park, Agora is one of Chicago’s most recent and important sculptural installations. Comprised of 106 nine-foot tall headless torsos made of cast iron, the artwork derives it name from the Greek word for meeting place.


The figures are posed walking in groups in various directions or standing still. Internationally renowned artist Magdalena Abakanowicz donated the sculptural group along with the Polish Ministry of Culture, a Polish cultural foundation, and other private donors.

 Born into an aristocratic family just outside of Warsaw, Abakanowicz (b. 1930) was deeply affected by World War II and the forty-five years of Soviet domination that followed.


In her journals, she writes that she has lived “…in times which were extraordinary by their various forms of collective hate and collective adulation. Marches and parades worshipped leaders, great and good, who soon turned out to be mass murderers. I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.”


The sculptor began creating large headless figures in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, and iron. Although Abakanowicz has frequently exhibited in museums and public spaces throughout the world— Agora is her largest permanent installation.


I knew there were a lot of them but 106....... I didn't count that many.  Hummmmm


As you can tell the girls like to play in them.


We felt like Dwarfs.


Not sure what this was or stood for, but Felicia HAD to have a picture of it.  Graceful and Angelic at the same time, no?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chi Town City Scape

Like I said in the previous post, Mikayla and I spent Easter Weekend with Felicia.  And of course we headed straight back to the city.  I love going down there.  Everything changes and there is always something new to see or experience.

Yes, they still wrestle anywhere they get a chance.  Even on the train ride to the city.


This is a post of building scapes and landscapes.  I love the city views.  



Though I don't think I could ever see myself living in the city.  I am more country girl who is stuck living in the suburbs.



But you just got to love architecture in the city, especially old ones.



Sammy (Mikayla's friend) Felicia & Mikayla



And yes Mikayla complained pretty much the whole day about all the walking we did.  I am sure we did an easy 10 miles throughout the whole day.  At least she went straight to be Sunday night from exhaustion.  LOL

View from the fountain on Lake Shore Drive

Monday, April 09, 2012

Belly Dancing is NOT as easy as it looks!

This past weekend Mikayla and I drove up to Chicago to visit with Felicia.  One of the things we did this time was participate in Felicia's Belly dance class.  Well actually the teacher gave us a private lesson.

Holy CRAP!  I never imagined that it would be THAT hard!  But we all got through it and had fun while we learned a few things.


 The scarfs around our waists jingle.  Rather the scarfs that Mikayla, Sammy, and I wore.  Felicia said that she is tired of jingling.  


 Apparently the "jingles" help tell the instructor if you are moving correctly.  Felicia has been ordering her costumes directly from Afghanistan.  They are actually hand made there and are cheaper than buying one made in the US.  for example an outfit Felicia just got cost her $56 which included shipping, she checked it out to buy from here for the same outfit ........... $250 before shipping!  Plus the ones from Afghanistan look more authentic.


Did you notice there are no pictures of me?  Yep I managed to hide behind the camera this time.