Tag Archives: traveling

chicago yearnings

I haven’t been to chicago in almost 2 years…I live less than 3 hours away–so that’s just a crying shame!  Viveka was in Chicago recently and she lives a world away.  Reading about her travels made my own yearnings for a visit to Chicago stronger.  I knew I was going to go sometime this summer…just wasn’t sure when.  In talking with the Kiddos, I found out they wanted to go too because my son-in-law has never been.  And they are on a time crunch since they will be returning to the Dominican Republic next month.  This was all the encouragement I needed.  The next thing I knew I had a hotel booked and was bookmarking all sorts of things to see and do while we are there.  So, Chicago here we come!

My number one MUST DO in Chicago is to go to the “Art Institute of Chicago”.   I adore this museum.  I have been many, many times and never bore of it.  Their impressionist collection is impressive…one of the best outside the Musee D’Orsay in Paris.  Not to mention all the other wonderful works there including the Miniature Rooms, “Nighthawks”, and works by John Singer Sargent.

We will also be visiting the “Museum of Science and Industry”.  I haven’t been to this one in years and I am looking forward to it.  It has great exhibits and lots of interactive things to do.  Our son-in-law will  enjoy this museum…he is a science fan.

Other than the above mentioned visits, nothing else is carved in stone.  The Kiddos will want to shop…me, not so much.  I do want to check out the H&M for possibly replacing a few of my tanks.  And maybe I will take a peek in Tiffany or Hermes.  Otherwise, I am happy just walking around and getting lost in all the architecture.  I love going into the old Marshall Field’s (now Macys, of course) store–it is so gorgeous and if I pretend hard enough, I can transport myself back to the 1930s or 1940s and imagine myself dressed to the nines, spending my afternoon shopping for beautiful suits and hats, gingerly carrying my wrapped boxes as I go to the tea room for a much deserved break.  It is hard to conjure of these images when I am surrounded by scantily clad, overly tattooed and pierced women but I can do it.

Our hotel is in a great location and offers a complimentary manager’s reception (read: free booze) and breakfast.  It is going to be a nice little get away to share with the Kiddos before they are gone.  Here are some pictures of my last visit to Chicago:

View from hotel room:

Love the contrasts:

My energy levels and Master Bliss’ come in sharp contrast here:

At the Art Museum:

Eating out in Chicago is always a good time for gluttony:

Bonus:  The Tall Ships were in!

Always a sucker for a lighthouse:

And sometimes I can’t believe my eyes:

would you let your husband wear this? (i am not even going to “go there” about her outfit)

When in Marshall Fields, always look up:

Just a few more days and I will be there again!  Have you been to Chicago?  Do you love it?  What is your favorite thing to do there?

~~Mistress Bliss~~

PS  Can anyone tell me how to get to Porte Rouge?


Filed under backyard excursions, out and about, traveling, Uncategorized

tapped out


Life has taken a sudden turn into craziness.  My apologies for not responding to comments or commenting on your blogs.  Today is the first day since last Friday that I have had the opportunity to even venture into blogland for more than a quick look.  I have read a few posts out there but, by and large, I haven’t kept up and I fear I can’t go back…just have to go with now and forward.  Until the wedding is fait accompli, I believe this is how it will be and I just need to roll with it.

Last Saturday morning we left at 6:00 AM for the Poconos region of Pennsylvania (yes, French Twisted Woman, I did think of you, however, I didn’t know for sure if this was your neck of the woods).  The sole purpose of this 12 hour journey was to take Belle Fille to a  couples’ shower given by her fiance’s family.  This is just about the LAST thing I wanted to do since recovering from illness and having just a few weeks left before the wedding.  However, duty called for action and it was done.

I think I am getting old.  Twelve hour road trips are not my thing anymore.  From the start I let Master Bliss and Belle Fille know that it was on them to get us there.  I had a Nook of reading and some magazines to keep me entertained and happy.  Or not.  Apparently I can’t read in the car longer than 20 minutes before I need a 15 minute nap to recover.  I did make a huge dent in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by the time we got home but I didn’t finish it as planned.  Master Bliss and I have this dream trip of taking a driving tour of the West.  After this 24hrs in a car over 3 days debacle, I have thrown that dream out the window–somewhere on Hwy. 80 in the middle of Pennsylvania.  My MAX time in-car is 7-8 hours then you better get me out of there if you wish to have any peace in your life.  I think I will be looking into train travel for the Western bound trip of the future.

Despite the “trapped in a car for 12 hrs crankiness” and endless rain, I can say that driving through Pennsylvania is beautiful.  Love those mountains and it made me think of Tennessee.  And the woman we stayed with…well let me just say, she was the epitome of class and graciousness.  We had planned on staying in a hotel but this woman, a dear friend of Belle Fille’s fiance (she was a mentor to him while growing up), insisted that we stay with her.  She lives on a 300 acre working farm that is peppered with relatives that live here and there and run things now.   Her farm-house was charming and clearly identified the woman who lived there…clean, neat, eclectic, hospitable, well-traveled and humble.  In her 75+ years, she has lived abroad and traveled extensively, speaks three languages and is one of the most down to earth persons I have ever met.  Just a gem.  She is coming to the wedding and I am already looking forward to seeing her again.  Guess what?  She had the same trench coat I have!  It made total sense to surprise her with the “perfect” thank you gift…a lovely scarf, bien sur.  This is the idyllic setting we stayed in:

The party was fun and the future in-laws did a nice job with it.  Future MIL decided to have beta-fish(es) as the centerpieces.  Yes, really.  Not sure why and not sure how I felt about it (besides feeling sorry for the little fishies) but I had to twice decline taking one home with me.  She was very insistent about Belle Fille taking one home too.  Since Belle Fille is still in the “people pleasing” stage of life, she acquiesced.  I can’t tell you how hard I laughed when somewhere between Pennsylvania and Ohio the bowl fell over freeing the little Beta on the floor of the back seat.   As it flopped its little life around, freaking Belle Fille out, Master Bliss had to stop the car to “rescue” it from a horrible fate.  There was enough water still in the bowl so it could be revived.  I told Belle Fille that the whole ” forcibly adopting a fish” was no doubt a test to see how her future mothering skills would be and if this situation was an indicator she had better not tell her MIL.  She didn’t find me funny.  But I did!  This is what a party looks like from a fish bowl:


Master Bliss and I did a little exploring, in the rain, on Sunday.  The goal was to get some exercise before getting back in the car to go home on Monday.  This is how rain hiking looks:


We dried off and warmed up here:


It was a lovely little tea house/restaurant in a picturesque town.  I felt like I had traveled back in time about 120 years.  I loved it.

The party Sunday lasted until 10:30/11:00PM with the kiddos and future in-laws coming over afterwards to open gifts (do you understand why I say our hostess was such a gem?  even providing tea and snacks at that late hour…better woman than I).  Before retiring we told our Hostess that we would “just be getting up and going” Monday morning–trying to let her know we didn’t expect any type of breakfast (or pomp and circumstance).  We thought she “got it” but we woke to eggs, bacon, coffee, pancakes–the works.  Unbelievable.

Of course we got to drive home through a snow storm because freak snow storms at the end of April only happen when we have to be on the road for 12 hours (did I mention that already?).  Thankfully, we didn’t encounter any problems and saw just one roll-over.  But it was kind of surreal seeing this…:


…at the end of April.

We got home late, late, late Monday night because we (of course) had to get some groceries and get 300 pictures developed for the party favors we worked on ALL DAY Tuesday and parts of Wednesday morning.  The rest of yesterday was no less taxing…after the party favors were done we had to go shopping for some other wedding paraphernalia, stop by the venue and chat up the help there on what was still needed and by when, and stop by about 12,000 stores looking for the perfect floor mat for Master Bliss’ office area.  Is it any wonder I am still in my pajamas–with no apologies–Thursday morning at 9:24 AM?  I may stay in them all day.  In fact I may not move from this chair at all.

Oh yeah.  The beta fish died yesterday.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

P.S.  My last word is one of advice.  Should you ever be invited to an event, wedding or otherwise, that requires a RSVP, please send the @#$& card back.  Merci, lovelies.


Filed under family matters, manners and etiquette, traveling