Sunday, April 29, 2012

Son of High School Friend Visits

David was one of my favorite friends starting in High School.  "Green" could describe him.. and not just because of a green plaid shirt he might be wearing. He respected and was fascinated by nature. I remember camping and bike riding with him.  He would always be saying.. "Look at this!"
I still have a short note he wrote me on the bark from a birch tree. 
Jackson, his son is a film maker.  This was his second visit to show a film at student film fest in Seattle.  It was such a great treat to visit with him. I could see a little bit of his dad in him. The plaid shirt was red!

Tiptoe through the Tulips... and Mud

The color in the fields takes my breath away! I love the month long tulip festival in LaConner which is just about an hour north of my house.  I went with Kathleen and we too soooo many photos.  We spent most of our time in one field because it was just so beautiful.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tish and I hear Kenny G at Jazz alley

I love listening to Kenny G play his Sax.  the music is so beautiful... It is like he is singing with his sax.  At Jazz Alley, we had seats only a few feet from Kenny as his music echoed through the room.  He is from this area.. an alum of a local high school.

Bothell's Blue Trees

The trunks of these newly planted trees along the Burke Gilman Trail in Bothell have been painted blue as an "ephemeral artwork" that will eventually fade away. Meant to inspire awareness and discussion about global deforestation, they are so interesting with the small leaves blossoming out of trunks the color of the sky.  After reading about the installation, I took a drive to find them and took photos.  So many people just jogged or rode bikes by without evening stopping to look.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teaching Real Estate Classes to Agents

I am fortunate for all those that schedule me to teach real estate clockhour classes.  I just feel so blessed every time I walk into a room with a group of agents waiting for the class.  this class in Alderwood was a fun group!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Heading to Home in Chicago

Model of the City of Chicago
The sign that greets us every time we enter Winnetka
I grew up in the Chicago Suburbs in the Village of Winnetka.  Though I have lived out west for over 40 years, I still think of the Chicago area as "home."
Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Church
Mom and Dad Mankus

I find that the majority of my trips back to the Chicago area are to visit relatives when there is a death in the family.  This trip was because my Aunt Jane passed away.  Most of all I loved her laugh... Like mine, it could be heard across the room.  She was so loving, full of energy, and always a leader.  I admired her. Jane was the Girl Scout Troop Leader with my Mom for several years when I was in grade school. Marion, her daughter, was one of my favorite cousins. We went to school together. She was always so brilliant and confident.  She takes after her mom. I know how difficult it can be to lose a mom... and it was a great opportunity to reconnect with my relatives... so I planned the trip almost overnight. 
Walking up to Sacred Heart Church just makes my heart skip a beat. I went to mass there every school day and Sundays from first through eighth grades. I have driven by it thousands of times. It is just a part of my history. 
I visited Mom and Dad when we went to Calvary Cemetery.  There is always a pull on my heart when I go there. When someone you love dies, they just live on in our hearts forever.
Ruby making rainbow cupcakes

Emily, Judy and Rubh

Emily Studying

Yes.. that is me with the dogs.. they seem to like me!

The front door of the Mankus house

The stunning backyard

Roger and Judy had just moved back to Lincolnshire.  I slept on a mattress in their living room which was piled high with boxes.  I always feel at home when I visit!  Their house is beautiful looking out over a gorgeous yard and creek.  Ruby and Emily are a blast to be around. They are such fabulous nieces!
Peggy and Dennis Biesiada

I worked with Dennis at Gimbals decades ago. He and Peggy remain friends over all those years. I wish I saw them more often and kept in touch better. I found them on the internet while I was at my brothers and we met up for dinner. Gosh, it seems like only the other day that we last chatted, but our kids are grown, we all have more wrinkles, and we are heading into the empty nester stage of life. I remember first hearing about "beanie babies" stuffed animals from Peggy as they were becoming a fad during one visit. I wonder if I told her I have a whole plastic storage box full of them under my bed? I so enjoyed our visit!
Chicago Architectural Tour

Famous Lion that proudly guards the Art Institute
The Hard Rock Hotel... I stayed in the John Lennon Room

At Gino's Pizza... oh I love Chicago Pizza!

The Bean... with a spectacular reflection of the city

The Picasso Statue.. I remember how controversial and unusual it was when installed

I spent two days in downtown Chicago staying at the Hard Rock Hotel that is located in the Union Carbide Building... Our family had ownership interest in it many years ago. It is a classic Art Deco style. I went on two walking tours with the Chicago Architectural Foundation and found out that some of the information that I share on the tours I lead in Seattle is the same. Chicago, though, has so many examples of the different types of architecture every direction you look.  Decades ago, there was more money in Chicago than Seattle, so the design and ornamentation is more elaborate. I ate lunch at Gino's Pizza, walked around Water Tower Place, went to the top of the Hancock Building, spent hours in the Art Institute, went to Alvin Ailey Dance performance, and wandered around Millennium Park catching photos of the "Bean."

The Art Institute of Chicago is so large that you can never see it in one visit. I try to get there as often as possible.  I especially love the masters... Van Gogh, Monet, Pissaro,Renoir! Georgia O'Keefes clouds painting is so huge it fills the landing on the staircase. 

The view from the Hancock Building looking south

The view looking down at the water tower.

The view to the north from the Hancock Building
The view from the Hancock building was just so spectacular. I realized just how many buildings and people that live in or near the city compared to Seattle.  It is early spring, so that there are not any boats out on the lake, yet.  The Rophy, my boat, used to be Dad's located here in Lake Michigan.
Roger busy at his desk

Rogers office building

Rogers office building.. his office to the right just after the entrance

I loved getting to visit Roger at his office and meet his partners. He'll always be my "little brother" but he is so much more educated and successful than I could dream of. I'm so proud of him as a businessman, father, and brother.

One morning I spent walking and taking photos of the Chicago Botanical Gardens (which are not in Chicago but up near my brothers house!)  Aunt Florence came and met me there for lunch. She is my Mom's older sister.  I have been fortunate to share so many great times with her.  I was closest to her than any other relative.  My greatest memory will always be the Alaska cruise and vacation several years ago.  It was a lovely day.