Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Linda's Trip to IL - June 2011

I had another GREAT trip to IL to visit friends and family! I went last year in June and I recreated that trip this year -- but this year was EVEN BETTER! I arrived at Midway at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10th and my sister and her husband were there to pick me up. They live in Elgin, which is an hours drive from Midway. What a wonderful sister and brother-in-law I have! I like to fly on Southwest from Love Field, as I can get cheap fares and there are no additional expenses for two suitcases.

On Saturday, Cindy & I drove up to Milwaukee, WI for the largest bead show in the world. There were 1,258 vendors there! Last year when Cindy & I went to this bead show, we had no idea what to expect. We went in the door, started on the left side and walked up and down rows looking at all of the vendors. We spent four hours looking and buying beads for our jewelry. We missed a lot of our favorite vendors, but by then we were too tired and out of money. This year we were more prepared. I printed a floor plan of where the vendors would be and highlighted our favorites we wanted to visit. We still spent four hours there again this year, but we got to visit all of our favorites. I can't wait to sit down and make new jewelry with my purchases!

On Sunday the 12th, my friend Mary Finlayson, whom I have known since the late 70's when I lived in Glendale Heights, IL, came over to Cindy & Mike's house. She brought all of her broken jewelry to the "Bead Doctors". Cindy & I fixed several pieces of her broken jewelry and we remade some of her granny's jewelry into pieces that she could wear. Mike fixed us a wonderful dinner too! Mike loves to cook and he made all of my favorite things that I can't cook at home since Bob won't eat them. The catfish, risotto with baby bella mushrooms and asparagus was yummy!

Last Monday the 13th, Cindy & I didn't have any special plans and that was the only day of my trip we had nothing planned to do. Before I left for IL, my friend Kathy Jensen who lives in Ohio, sent me an email saying that her family would be traveling through the Chicago area from WI on their way back to OH, and maybe we could hook up for a couple of hours somewhere. Mike, Cindy & I met Kathy, her husband Brian, their son Chris and daughter Danielle at a McDonald's. They used to live down the street from my family in Broken Arrow, OK and I hadn't seen them since 1993 when they moved to OH. We sat and chatted for awhile and got caught up. What fun to see long-time friends!

On Tuesday, Cindy & I drove to Springfield to visit Mom and other family members. We took Mom to my ex-husband's cousin's house for dinner. Craig, Barb, their son Charlie and daughter Bethany have a beautiful home on Lake Springfield. David's nephew Connor and his wife Shiloah were there also. Mom was Shiloah's fourth grade teacher.

On Wednesday, Cindy & I drove to Decatur to visit more family. We stayed overnight with Uncle Jack & Aunt Louise. All of us met Aunt Eileen, her son Charlie and his wife Vicky, Eileen's son Gary, Jack & Louise's son Phil & his wife Mary Beth for dinner at Hometown Buffet for dinner.

On Thursday, we drove back to Springfield to tell Mom good-bye. We got back to Elgin -- a four hour drive from Springfield -- just in time for another one of Mike's wonderful dinners.

Last year Cindy & I had an impromptu jewelry sale in her friend's front yard on a busy street, so we decided to do it again this year. But, we were more prepared this year. Last year we made $300 which we thought was pretty good, but we did even better this year! On Friday and Saturday, we set up our tables of jewelry. My friend Sally Boynton and another friend, Cindy Rojic, came to sit with us. It was fun to sit and chat with "old" friends and make a little money at the same time. Cindy & I sold lots of jewelry and we both made back what we spent on beads at the bead show in Milwaukee. It was a good couple of days! And the weather couldn't have been more perfect!

Mike is a part of a group that cooks breakfast on the third Sunday of each month for the homeless at the Inspiration Cafe in Chicago. Both last year and this year I went with them to help cook. This year we served breakfast to 33 people. I wish there was a place here in Dallas like the Inspiration Cafe -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3AOzj7mVNQ.

Later Sunday afternoon, Cindy & I met my friend Mary for lunch at the Panera Bread cafe for lunch. It was in a shopping center called the Arboretum, so Cindy & I got to do some shopping too.

Yesterday, was the day for me to travel back to Dallas. Cindy & I had the morning together before she took me back to Midway Airport. I hated to say good-bye, but I was anxious to get back home to my sweet hubby whom I missed. Bob and I will be driving back to IL in late July for a family reunion, so we'll see everyone again at this time. I can't wait!

If you would like to see more photos from my trip, here is the link -- http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8EbMmLJq3aKP1o

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