Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicago adventures

We had a good time in Chicago and while I was there for work, I did get out a little bit. Kevin showed you the Sears tower outing...those glass boxes are cool...but what a strange feeling to be standing over "nothing".

While at the work meetings, I received a nice surprise in that I was given the Vice President's award from our VP of our Vertical. (a vertical at our university is several schools together). What an honor to be recognized for my hard work. Though at times my job is stressful, so on Thursday evening, Kevin and I am some of my faculty went down to Navy Pier for a walk. My faculty thought I needed to spend some time with Bob here I am telling him my troubles. LOL

Here is Kevin and I as we entered into the Navy Pier area

We also got to go the the Harry Potter exhibit....this is outside the museum.

Before we went into the exhibit we saw the flying car that Harry and Ron took to Hogwarts.....sooo cool, I wanted to sit inside....

Once inside the exhibit you are not allowed to take pictures...but the movie memorabilia was AMAZING. They put such detail into the witches and wizard robes, the school robes, the quidditch uniforms...and it was really neat to pull a mandrake up and hear it scream, play quidditch and throw the quaffle, and sitting in Hagrid's giant chair. For me one of the highlights was seeing Snape's things....He is my absolute favorite character!

Saturday morning before we heading home, we attended graduation. America Ferrera (Ugly Betty star) was one of the graduation speakers.

Graduation was also at Navy Pier...This is my assistant chair Heather and I outside after the ceremony. Heather is new so last week was the first time we had met in person.

After graduation we headed home, and we were even lucky enough to catch and earlier flight, we were at DIA, before our original scheduled departure from O'Hare...awesome!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Willis Tower

So we went to visit the Sears Willis Tower since Jody had never been there. So we had to try out the new skyboxes.

Here is a view from the one we are in to the other.

But before you step into it, taking that first step takes a little nerve, but once you get over it, it is really cool.

So that was our excitement for the evening.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well we are on our way to Chicago....

I have to go for work, we have graduation on Saturday morning and then we will be home. I will be in meetings most days and evenings, and Kevin will be working from the hotel room. Not a vacation trip, but we do hope for a couple of fun things.

1. tonight we hope to get in in time to go to the Willis (aka Sears) Tower
2. Friday we are going to see the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry That should be very cool!

Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Garden Tractor...

As you all know we have a large area to mow now and Jody keeps breaking the tractors. We decided that we might need a new one and had been kinda looking, but I was hoping to wait until next year and hobble thru this season. It was not to be so, as our tractor would not start. We decided that we had, had enough of broken garden tractors. So we went down to Sears and picked out a 26HP tractor with a 48" mowing deck.

Eventually, we'll get a snow thrower for this tractor so we can remove the snow just by driving around. But we need to get a shed to put it in first.

Mert decided that even in the 95+ degree heat that he needed to get out there and use the new tractor to mow everything down to where we want it to be. Jean thinks he just wanted to run around with the new toy, but it is good for him to get out an do stuff like this.

Central Coast of California

Kevin had his 20th high school reunion last month in California, and so here are some of the pictures from the trip. So before the big BBQ, we decided to have a couple of days relaxing. San Antonio was fun, but since you can never have enough vacation we spent a couple more days in Solvang, CA. Now when Kevin was growing up all this area was, was a Dutch themed vacation spot. However, with the growth of the wine industry in CA, the Santa Ynez valley is now becoming a world renown area for wine.

We flew into Santa Barbara and then drove to Solvang, but before we got there we had to stop and have dinner at Pea Soup Anderson's.

Just stopping for some cheese and bread is enough for me, but the soup is good too. Normally I don't even bother to look at the menu as I just order the "Traveler's Special". But this time we decided to the soup in bread bowls, which was also very good.

The next day we roamed around Solvang doing quality control for the bakeries around town. It was a hard job, but someone has to do it. We did determine that Mortenson's was our favorite bakery, and they are welcome to send me some cream cheese danish anytime they choose (hopefully, very soon).

While were were there we stayed at the Wine Valley Inn, which is in the old Tivoli Inn building. The accommodations were great. If you stay there over the weekend, they even have a complimentary wine tasting, in the evening.

The room we stayed in was up on the 3rd floor, and there was no elevator! But it had a nice view and was very quiet.