Chicago

Christmas in the Windy City

Abstract lights along Michigan Avenue2

Abstract lights along Michigan Avenue

reflection of the skating rink in the Bean

reflection of the skating rink in the Bean

ice skating-Millennium park

ice skating-Millennium park

Last year at this time, my husband and I took a

Christmas shopping trip to Chicago.  Even though I

have done a lot of traveling, I have never traveled during

the Christmas season, and have always wanted to see

Chicago or NY for the decorations.  Here are a few

I took of the lights along Michigan Avenue, and

ice skating at Millennium Park.  A must do!

Categories: Chicago, fun pics, photos for sale, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Babysitting Building

I learned something the other day.  The famous building in Chicago with the diamond-shaped

roof is called the Smurfit-Stone Building.  Who knew?  I had just always called it the

Adventures in Babysitting building.  Remember that scene where the little girl climbs

down the rope out of the window and is hanging there until her brother rescues her?

I personally think the scene was ruined when after he gets her, she says “Oh Brad”

in this breathy, creepy way no one should ever be saying their brother’s name.

Oh well, I love this movie anyway, and think its one of the classic movies of the

80’s (of course way down on the list from the Brat Pack movies).

I was out late one night and got a shot of an empty Van Buren train station.

The skyline with the Smurfit-Stone building in the background is a bonus,

in my opinion.  What do you think of this movie?

Adventures in Babysitting-the movie
Categories: Chicago, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mystery Window

This window is from a  building in Chicago.  We actually were on top of a parking garage, getting photos of the El Train below.

It just made me wonder why one shade was open, and the others closed, who lives there, what are they doing now..etc.  And I love

fire escapes in my photos.  So anyway, I thought it

was interesting.  I also have this up in my shop 🙂

available on etsy.com

Categories: Chicago, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Packing for your trip? Here’s what I learned to lighten the load

hubby and me at sunset, Edisto Beach, SC

In my travel experiences, I have come a long way in terms of packing for a vacation.  My first 10- day trip to Europe consisted

of a giant wheeled suitcase with everything but the kitchen sink! This irritated many strangers as they had to help me hoist it onto trains, buses, and boats!

Since then, with luggage fees and a lost suitcase, I have

learned how to whittle everything down to one carry-on.  Now these have been for no more than a 4-day weekend, but I am

challenging myself this fall when we take a 10-day trip to Italy with only a carry-on.  My husband and I will have the smaller

wheeled suitcases they allow on board, along with a small backpack for me, and our camera equipment backpack for him.

I think the key is renting places with washing machines!  But here are some of my tips:

1.  Travel in warm weather, you wear less, so you pack less.

2.  As stated above, rent apartments with washing machines.  If that is not possible, your clothes can be hand-washed in the bathroom sink.

We have done this, and bought a clothes line with a sink stopper from Magellan’s to hang our wet clothes on besides chairs or whatever.

You can also get soap sheets, or pack some dry detergent with you.

3. If you do choose to wash your clothes in the room and you don’t have access to or want to pay to dry your clothes at a laundry mat with

a dryer, you will need wrinkle-free, quick dry clothes.  Buy socks that are not 100% cotton, not only do they dry overnight, they keep

you from getting blisters if you walk a lot since they don’t get moist and rub against your feet.  Some places to get some nice travel clothes

are Magellan’s as mentioned above, Patagonia ,Athleta, and REI.  I have found some really cute dresses at the last two places that you can wear

anytime! Now these are not cheap.  I have had to save money for a couple months to get clothes, which is fine, if you know far in advance

where you are going.

4.  Some awesome packing aids are packing cubes, which really help condense things like underwear, or those air compression bags you squeeze the

air out of (without a vacuum).  I have seen these at Target and The Container Store.  I love these!  You can really compress your

clothes down, and have room for new stuff when you go shopping!

5.  If I know I am only going to hand-wash items, I really don’t want to wash my underwear because I feel like that is not clean enough.

I have bought cheap packages of underwear, rolled them up tight into a zip-loc bag, and then thrown away a pair every day so

I am not carrying around dirty underwear.  That’s just my preference, I am sure most people wouldn’t care 🙂

6. For the few outfits you will bring, make sure all the colors match, so you can wear any top and bottom together. Or just wear dresses.

7.  If you don’t want to bring socks and tennis shoes, or sneakers, get some good walking sandals and wear those the whole

time.  A good walking sandal that I found is Merrell brand.  I know REI sells these as well as individual stores, and online.

I have some that I have walked several miles around Chicago for 3 days straight, and they never bothered me.

8. Now how about those pesky airline restrictions on liquids in your carry-on?

*Instead of bringing a travel bottle of your facial cleanser, I use those Dove facial cloths that activate when you wet them.

They free up space in my quart bag, and exfoliate everyday that I use them.

*Some things you only use a tiny bit of, like eye cream.  Even that small jar is too big to take with you.  Go to a

cosmetic counter like Bare Minerals, and ask for a sample of something.  Those tiny plastic containers they give

you are perfect for eye cream or some makeup you will use a little of.

*If you are traveling with someone who does not need all the space in their little quart bag, put some of your

stuff in their bag!

9.  Do you really need your hairdryer?  Most places provide one, but if not, wash you hair at night and let it air-dry

and just wear it in a pony tail or braids while on vacation.  If you do it this way, you may be able to cut down on

your liquid items as you may not need to pack hairspray, leave-in conditioner, or styling gel.

10. I know there are tons of tips I don’t know about.  What are yours?

Categories: Beach, Chicago, fun pics, London, New York, Paris, Switzerland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Tip-Chicago

available at etsy.com

Getting good pictures of the Bean in Millennium Park is difficult with so many people around.  If you would like to see it without anyone around, get up before the sun rises!  Not only is it nice and peaceful, you get an awesome reflection of the sunrise in the bean itself.  See this photo on Etsy.com.

Categories: Chicago, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My first awesome photo

for sale at Etsy.com

This is my favorite photo from Chicago.  We haven’t had the camera very long, so Chicago was “practice” with it.  I love cityscapes at night.  We went up to the observation area of the Hancock building to take photos.  I was hoping it was open like it is at the Empire State Building, but it wasn’t.  There was a fence blocking the view, and I couldn’t get decent pictures with it there.  So we went inside, and I had no choice but to take photos through the window.  There

was a reflection from the cafe behind me, so I had Jim put his had above the camera while the lens was up against the glass.  This and a few others turned out great.  I sold this print at an art crawl event, and it was published in the Vanderbilt University 2010 calendar.  I also have it hanging on my wall!  You can own it too available at Etsy.com.

Categories: Chicago, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: