Summer Vacation

Our vacation to Northern Wisconsin was all I hoped and dreamed. There was fishing, sunshine & grilling out. Even some fire works. It was a much needed break from city living:

That is the face of someone who needs some fresh air. Please indulge me while I engage in the time honored tradition of sharing my crappy iPhone photos of my vacation with you. You’ll wish you had been there! Or at least that I had a better camera.

Rhett Butler was not a fan of the bonfire but this was mostly because he was required to wear a leash and this impeded his ability to run up and down the hill from the dock to the cabin as many times as possible within 10 minutes. He has formally requested we buy him his own hill for Chicago. We are getting right on that, buddy.

He did however enjoy riding around on the boat and napping in the sunshine. He was noncommittal towards the fish.



While I caught by far the least amount of fish between us all, I did catch the last fish of the trip. In my cardigan. 

The humans on the trip all had a great time as well. Cheese was eaten, beers were enjoyed and the lack of connectivity to the internet was liberating.

Oh and about that life jacket…..

Needless to say, he would prefer arts & crafts camp to swim camp.


When I first moved to Chicago I lived near Navy Pier, downtown in a high rise with a doorman. While I knew I wouldn’t always live downtown (600 square foot studio, FTW) it was a great place to live when was learning how to get around in Chicago – there are always signs pointing you back towards the number one tourist attraction in town. No matter how lost I got- typically determined in a bathroom of a Starbucks while consulting my Not For Tourist’s Guide that has many, many maps in it- I could always get back to Navy Pier. Sadly, because I was dressed like someone in normal not tourist clothes or carrying groceries, I got stopped for directions a lot. I always nodded, looked super serious, and told the people that they should just take a cab! Your destination is really far away!

This worked to my advantage until I had some people from Iowa take a taxi three blocks and I ran into them again. That was awkward.

Last week B and I took and evening walk with the dog, and while we were a few blocks from home a nicely dressed older couple approached us, smiling. The husband spoke first, shaking his shirt with his fingers while he spoke.

Haaaaaaad Rock? T-shirt?

The wife stood next to him, pointing to the street signs and then giving the universal sign for “where” and held her hands up by her head and shrugged her shoulders.

The husband, unsure if we understood spoke more slowly and shook his t-shirt with more emphasis:


B speaks some Spanish. I can peck my way through German. We both have a few phrases in French. But Italian? No. We knew they were speaking Italian to each other, and we were fairly sure it came down to something along the lines of “Hey. People. Tell us how to get to your restaurant called Hard Rock Cafe so we can buy our grand children a t-shirt.”

Have I mentioned we do not live close to Hard Rock Cafe?

We slowly began trying to help them. Large pantomimes were made. I’d start and hold up two fingers and say “TWO” over and over really loudly while B pretended to walk South. They’d comprehend, and I’d then hold up one finger, and say “ONE” over and over and B would walk one block East. We finally hit an impasse when we knew they could get to the street Hard Rock was on…but they needed to go about 20 blocks. We didn’t want them to think that they were at Hard Rock so we started gesturing big. I held up many fingers. They shook their head, we shook ours. We pulled out our iPhones and demonstrated where we were, where they would be, where the Hard Rock Cafe was. We all shook heads. We all stood in silence.

We were going to get these people so lost.

I tried to gesture to a cab, but the couple shook their head and motioned that they wanted to walk. OF COURSE THEY DID.

While I was starting to find a stick to sketch things out in a flower bed, and twenty minutes into the ordeal, the gentleman pulled out a map. Where this map was fifteen minutes earlier I have no idea, but suddenly, we had a map.

B pulled out a pen. We put the map down. He drew a star where we were. The couple made grand flourishes with their hands, making it clear that YES THE STAR IS WHERE WE STAND NOW. B made a circle where Hard Rock Cafe was. I shook my tshirt over and over again.


The woman nodded her head, smiling.


Finally, we were all on the same page. We shook hands, graci, thank you, graci, thank you. Air kisses were given and we waved bon voyage.

We walked away, high fiving, shaking our t-shirts. They were the best directions I’d ever given, even if they were for the biggest tourist trap in town.

T-shirts indeed.



Radio Silence

I’m unplugging for the holiday weekend. Rhett Butler is very excited:

I’m hoping this weekend contains lots of campfires, s’mores, fireworks, fishing, reading and sleeping in. I’m hoping not to see any skunks, bears or Canadian tuxedos.

As for any swimming, Rhett Butler wants everyone to know he is fully prepared:

Goodbye forever (or until next week),



A Day In The Life

There is saying, something about the best way to make God laugh is by telling him your plans.

Frankly, I’d argue that if you want to get him really chuckling, perhaps write a blog post extolling the great virtues of your day.

Because the next day you will eat a bug before 6:00 a.m. And I think we can all agree that starts the day at negative 90 trillion.

First my alarm went off at 5, which is the norm most days but on TUESDAY I get to sleep in a little. So the 5 am alarm was painful, and then once I pulled myself out of bed I put my biking clothes on and hit the trails without even drinking a cup of coffee. This is not how I usually operate to say the least. I was about 4 (painful) miles into the ride (seriously, still sore from the 32 miles I rode Saturday) when I saw it coming. It was like the opening scene from Men in Black, slow motion style, as the bug came towards my face, and blam, into my mouth where I gagged, coughed and swallowed the damn bug. There might have been tears. I didn’t fall off my bike though. That was a positive, if one is looking for the silver lining in the story involving an accidental bug swallowing.

I also discovered that the only other people out on the trails at that hour are the crazy diehards and one little old lady pushing a large cart full of toy poodles.


So to recap: on Monday I got an iPad and on Tuesday I ate a bug before seeing poodles in cart. HAPPY JUNE.




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