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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The good, the bad and the not-so-pretty.......

I have returned from my  trip to Chicago!
This was the view of Chicago from the Ladies' Room on the 95th floor (The Signature Room) of the John Hancock Building!  This city even looks good from a bathroom!!! 
 So...let's start with the GOOD.....
 This trip was nothing short of wonderful.   I am not sure if it was because I needed a little trip like this or if everything we did was fun or if it was because my companions were just fabulous or  if I had some great cocktails and wine and good food or if it was because I bought some amazing shoes (or all the above!) but damn.....it was a fabulous trip!!! 
I am in love with Chicago....completely and utterly in love and smitten, smitten, smitten! Even the little snow and rain on Friday and the other cold and windy days can't dampen my love for that city!
I might even love it more than I love New York City.....shhhhhhh
My smart and gorgeous niece was a fabulous host....she knows her town and she knows what her aunt loves and thankfully--she got the DIRECTIONAL genes of the family.   With her trusty phone in hand to serve as our GPS and our transportation checker, she knew just where to go and how to get us there!  She led us on every adventure with the utmost of ease. And, we happily followed along!  If it were up to my fashionista daughter and I, we would still be sitting on the train trying to get to a good shoe store.....
Just so I don't bore you with chit chat and idle details on everything we jam packed into this trip.....I'll just give it to you in pictures.....in no particular order!
Toni and Alexa shopping on Michigan Avenue....it was so cold that we had to buy new coats!!! So, off to Nordstrom we went......

Marathon Day......6:30 am...Chai Latte in hand, wearing my new Chicago coat and my Pittsburgh Pirate hat...ready  to send off our runners! 

Chicago style pizza at Giordano's....it was yummy!  Much different than I thought...it was perfect for a Lapbander!!!

My 2 children and I at Navy Pier....what a great day, what a fun place! Thank goodness we bought new coats....it is the windy city, after all!

AMAZING meal at RPM Chicago.  I made these reservations in February....so worth the wait! Even though we had to eat dinner at 3 pm because they get booked so fast....it didn't matter!  Their polenta was to die for. And, the cocktails were just so creative and fun....I had a Negroni Bianco...made with Letherbee gin, Cocchi Americano and Amaro Nonio.   OMG.....just wonderful!  Can't wait to try to recreate it at home!! 

Toni, Alexa and I at Eataly....what a wonderful, wonderful place!  We ended up going  there twice.  And, I can't wait to go back!  It was MY KIND OF PLACE.  And, I fell in deep love with Falanghina....it will be my new summer wine!  Yes, we got lots of use out of those new coats!!

FLY LONDON HEAVEN at Hanig's  in Chicago!  Yes, I own the red ones now.....and another great pair too!

After the race!  Our runners.....born and bred Pittsburghers in Chicago!

My Grand Nephew Buckeye and my Grand Dog Bandit posing with the medals! They are just so darn cute! They had a great time in Chicago together!  What good boys! 

Toni, Alexa and I at The Signature Room for Happy Hour.  Happy. Happy. Happy.

Alexa, Toni and I on the Architectural Boat Tour of Chicago....yes, we were a little cold!! Those coats sure came in handy! I highly recommend anyone going to Chicago to book themselves on this tour.

And, now for the BAD.....

First, it's hard to come back from any trip....especially one that was so wonderful.  But, it's even harder to come back from one and then go straight into a work retreat.   Even as I sat at the airport in Chicago waiting for my flight back to Pittsburgh....the realities of what awaited me started to set in.   Soon, I found myself in a reflective mode.....trying to figure out the next steps of my work life journey.  Now that the craziness of the academic year is behind us, we are embarking on many changes that come with the changes in leadership that have touched the campus over the past year.  Although I've weathered many leadership changes and many changes in general in my almost-34 years on the job, sometimes a girl just gets tired.  And, that's BAD.....

And, the NOT-SO-PRETTY.....

Going forward into summer, I am usually energized and excited.   At the moment, I am neither.  The weight of what has to happen over the next few months at work and the things that truly matter to me in my worklife are zapping those feelings.  Plus, I'm pretty sure that I won't be taking a lot of days off to enjoy the sun and fun.
  And, that's NOT SO PRETTY....

But, I had a great trip to Chicago.
So, that's GOOD. 

2 comments:

Jody V said...

Your trip looked amazing! I'm right there with you where work is concerned.

FitBy40 said...

Oh Chicago, how I miss that city! So glad you got to experience Giordanos! That's an amazing pizza for sure!
I know it was brutally cold, but glad you made the most of it.
Great job to the runners!