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Oh, arnie, I am just sick that you can't come. Do you think that Bob could pack you in one of his bags? Wink

Richard, this has been a 3-day weekend (Martin Luther King day is today), and I have been more busy than ever! I am sorry to say that I haven't checked all my PMs, but definitely will today. I am awaiting to hear your plans before I ask CJ if he'd like to come. I know that he'd like to meet both you and Bob.

I have heard from some Wordcrafters that they can't make it for sure (such as Asa, Zmj, Tinman, and of course Arnie, and I am assuming Jerry can't come all this way from Hawaii), but there are others I am not sure of. So, thanks, Arnie, for adding it to the Home Page.

I called the Renaissance Hotel this morning and found that their rates during the week are quite high ($229), though they have $99 weekend rates. Saranita had been quoted $99, so I will PM her about where she found that rate. The woman assured me that it wouldn't be cheaper on the Internet, and then at the end of the call she murmered something about "You might find us cheaper on Travelocity, but you can't cancel..." or something. To me, $229 per night is outrageous. I will talk privately with Saranita about her rate, and I won't make any reservations there at this point. If someone does need to stay in a hotel and I can't get a good rate there, I will try some hotels in Evanston. That is close to us also, and I should be able to find something there.

If no one but Bob wants to go to a Cubs game (please let me know), he, Shu, and I could do it possibly on April 7th or 8th, before others start coming in. By the time we got there and then got home, that would be a day's trip. On the other hand, it is in the middle of lots of great bars, including a Goose Island Brewhouse, so afterwards could be fun.
 
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You assume correctly, Kalleh, that I don't intend to go to Chicago in April.

I plan just to sit here and watch the coconut trees grow.

Join me if you can.

~~~~~ jerry

Edited to eliminate verbosity.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: jerry thomas,
 
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Don't worry about the cubs game. I'd quite like to go but it's really only because baseball is a big slice of American culture and it's an experience I'd like to add to my list. I'm not that bothered about it though and if no one wants to go that's fine too.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I think Simon and I would like to join you for a Cubs' game. I just asked him if he'd want to go and he said "Duh! Hello? Of course!" LOL

Silly me for even having to ask. I've seen the Cleveland Indians play, and the Cincinnati Reds, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Not bad for a non-fan of professional sports, huh? Don't even ASK me about all the pro football games I attended while still in High School.

Ok - so that's 2 more for a Cubs' game and 2 more for the Art Institute.

Will Chicago pubs let a 12-year-old in?


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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CW, when are your dates of being here? The pubs will let kids in, but it might not be that exciting for Simon. We might have to reassess that, though we could probably get by with one cask conditioned ale at Goose Island. Mmmmm!

Also, remember, this all depends on my ability to get the tickets. I have no idea how hard that might be.

I sent CJ this invitational limerick. As one of our very first posters here, I'd love to see him join us. However, knowing how busy he is with OEDILF, he probably won't be able to:

A party in Chi Town is cast --
With Wordcrafters...friends from your past.
You're invited to schmooze;
There'll be plenty of booze.
Come join us! We'll have quite a blast!

If that doesn't do it, nothing will! Wink
 
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Well, it worked. CJ is coming. He thinks he will probably join us on the 11th, but he'll know more closer to the date.
 
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That's great. It will be good to see all of these disembodied internet wordsmiths in the flesh. (Though I still think CJ is just a brain in a jar of chemical gloop somewhere in a secret laboratory.)


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I also think we might want to wait until he actually walks through the door. Wink Still, it will be fun to finally meet him. CJ was one of the first posters on this site.
 
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Did I ever answer you with dates? If all goes well, Simon and I will be in the Chicago area from sometime on the 6th and we'll leave to come back to Columbus on the 11th.

As you know, we have friends in Oak Park and we'll stay with them at least through the weekend. For room's sake, we might just stay the nights there throughout our visit. We can easily meet you wherever the group is going, and we'll for sure (with our friends, Scott and Tony) be at the Seder on the 10th.

I am very much looking forward to meeting more WC'ers!


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Could I please ask those of you who are coming to post the dates you will be here? I should really begin to look at a schedule. We've talked about some ideas, but I'd like to get the plans made. We are flexible, and since we will be renting an SUV, there should be enough transportation available for people to go different ways. Also, remember that we are 1 block from the train station, which makes it quite convenient.

I am getting excited!
 
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I shall be arriving by BA on 09 April at 1410 and leaving by train for Seattle on 13 April 1415.


Richard English
 
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unfortunately Jo and I will not be able to attend.

Rex
 
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Phil and I should be at O'Hare terminal 5 at 14:10 on 6th April and leave on the 17:40 on the 14th April.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Simon and I will arrive in Oak Park, at our friends' house (you remember Scott and Tony?) sometime Friday, April 6. We'll be in the Chicago area until the morning of April 11 (I need to work on the 12th). There is a slight chance I'll have to change my plans (cancel? Find money to fly there and back just for a few days?) because of work, but hopefully that won't happen.

As the group starts to make plans for what you'd all like to do, we'll plan to join you for as much of all of that as possible.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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I'm scheduled to arrive at O'Hare via American Airlines on Monday morning, April 9th, at 10:30 a.m. I'll be staying at the Marriott Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. My flight home is to depart O'Hare on Thursday morning (12th) at 8:40 a.m.
 
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So sorry to hear about you and Jo not coming, Rex. Please let us know how she is doing.

Thanks everyone! I have asked TrossL to consider coming, and CJ had said he might come on the 11th. The Seder will be on the 10th, if you recall. Bob, your other friend isn't coming?
 
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Kalleh, you mentioned being near a train station. What station is that? A nice snooze on the trip home might be nice but they frown on that sort of thing on the interstate.
 
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CJ, our home is near the Union Pacific line, which ends at the Olgivie Train Station downtown. Amtrak trains come into Union Station. However, Union and Olgivie Stations are 2 blocks apart. The trains leaving for Hubbard Woods (our stop and a block from our home) leave hourly (much more frequently during rush hours) at 35 after the hour. We could also pick you up from the train station.
 
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The time is getting closer...

I have been trying to get ready for everyone, and suddenly I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. We have much to do to get ready, and I realized that I am going to be out of town most of the time before everyone comes!

I've had some questions about weather. Well, Chicago can boast about a lot of things, but not the weather, especially in spring. It is highly unpredictable. Take today...We got up to sunshine, and by midmorning it was 74. I did a few errands, and by noon it was 53! It is now in the 40s. That's spring for you. Bring rain gear, sweaters, jackets and warm-weather clothes. It could snow, too!

We will plan for the Seder on the 10th, and on the 11th we will have a beer tasting and a cookout. We bought some delicious steaks for that. CJ is supposed to be here in the 11th, and we can eat, schmooze, and taste American beers. Besides that, one day we will spend on the Chicago River on an architectural tour, and then in the afternoon we'll go to the Art Institute and Mellenium Park. We will have to drive past Wrigley Field, but I wasn't able to get tickets to the Cubs. We'll go to the Chicago Botanic Gardens another day. We'll spend one evening in the Goose Island Brewery for dinner. We'll try to get to the Field Museum (wonderful dinosaur collection) and the Museum of Science and Industry. I will need to get the dates down, but we will also have to be flexible because of weather. The only tickets that will be required are for the Architectural Tour, so I will decide on that day. I will need to spend some time getting dinner ready for the Seder, so you might have to go without me on the 10th.

As far as food, I will have cereal, fruit and milk around for breakfast, and lunch meats, bread and cheese for lunches, and you can help yourselves. We'll go out a lot, too.

Have I omitted something that you'd like to do, but I haven't named? Do you have any special needs or allergies? We have a Border Collie, but she is pretty well behaved. She loves to play, so she will be in heaven with everyone here. She may join you in bed, so let me know if that bothers you. Bob and Phil will arrive on the 6th, so on the 7th we'll go to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. That's a long drive and will take the whole day.

There is a Catholic church within walking distance and some Protestant churchs around too. We are fairly close to the lake, and if the weather is nice, there is some great walking.

See you all soon! If there are any others who would like to join us, please let me know.
 
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Kalleh,

This sounds wonderful; you've put in a lot of work. Only just over a week to go before a fairly short flight and a long queue for security ;-(

I don't know how Margaret will feel about having Flirt share out bed - she's a bit bigger than the little Patterdale terrier who used to do that:-)


Richard English
 
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Sounds terrific. If there's a free day somewhere I'd quite like a poke around Chicago on my own (especially if you can recommend book or record shops) but it won't matter if I can't.

We all appreciate all the hard work.

Oh, BTW can you, just in case send an e-mail, address it to me, inviting me and Phil to stay and putting your address on again. Probably won't need it but if there's one thing I've learned in travel it's to never underestimate the potential stubborn stupidity of immigration officials.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Kalleh, you're amazing, and we're grateful.

If the Seder meal is something you'd rather do on your own, I completely understand. If not, I'd be so happy to help you prepare it while the others tour. I take instruction well and believe anyone's entitled to call the shots in her/his own kitchen. Smile
 
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Oh, BTW can you, just in case send an e-mail, address it to me, inviting me and Phil to stay and putting your address on again. Probably won't need it but if there's one thing I've learned in travel it's to never underestimate the potential stubborn stupidity of immigration officials.

Could you please copy me in, Kalleh? I share Bob's mistrust of immigration officials and, indeed, under the more stringent US requirements that now prevail, all aliens must give their first night's accommodation address or they will be refused entry to the USA.


Richard English
 
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Absolutely, I will send you both an email. I don't believe I know Phil's last name, though, so could you please send it to me by PM or email, Bob?

I spend a wonderful evening in Columbus with Saranita and CW (and her delightful husband and son) because I am scheduled to present at a conference tomorrow. Of course we talked about the Gathering. We would like to switch the barbecue to Monday the 9th (Bob's birthday) so that we can celebrate. Hopefully, Richard & Margaret will be there by then, too, and we can have the beer tasting as well. If he is delayed, we'll hold off on the beer tasting. (Richard, be prepared for my switching a microbrew for a Budweiser, just to keep tabs on your tastebuds. Wink) But we absolutely have to celebrate Bob's birthday!

As for Flirt, if she is a bother, we can always keep her in the basement and mudroom, at least for the night. So don't worry.

Saranita, I'd love help with the Seder. I am thinking that day some of you can go to the Field Museum (natural history), while I work.

Bob, there should be some down time, so don't worry. There is a great used bookstore in Evanston. Actually, I am wondering if we should switch the House on the Rock to April 8th, Easter. The Web site indicates it will be open, though I will call to be sure since it's 3 hours away. Not much is open on Easter, and you will probably be tired on Saturday anyway. You can spend Saturday just "poking around" on your own then.
 
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Excellent.

Please don't lock Flirt away; she and I had a good chat last time I was over and I expect we'll have a lot to catch up with.


Richard English
 
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I am very excited! It looks like all is covered at my job, so I'll for sure be able to come (barring last minute illness, etc). Simon and I will be arriving in Oak Park at the home of our friends, Scott and Tony, on Friday, April 6. We'll spend Easter Sunday with them . . . but the rest of the time is all up for negotiations.

We'll be going to Easter Services at our friends' church, probably - it's a Unitarian Universalist church, and they're not Christian, so I don't really know what the Sunday services will hold, but anyone who is around is welcome to join us. Just let me know if you're interested!

Oak Park is where Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio are, so if you're into architecture, that could be a fun plan to fiddle around in.

Anyway - see you in about a week! Yay!


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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I'm easy on the schedule. I do really want to get to the House on the Rock one of the days though.
As for my birthday. However we celebrate is fine with me.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Nancy & CW, our dinner was such a good time -- I'm sure it was a foretaste of what promises to be a very good time in Chicago with everyone attending.

Being your assistant with the meal preparations will be fun for me, and missing the field museum doesn't bother me at all. That outing is likely to involve more walking than would do me good.

The plans you have in mind sound perfect, and I know your April weather is so much like ours that being flexible is the only sensible way to do this. I hope you can de-stress by remembering that it is good friends who are coming to see you & Shu and that just the pleasure of one another's company will be more than enough to please us.
 
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Glad to have your help, Saranita.

We are trying to get the final plans laid, though we have to consider the weather, too. So far, I hear that the end of the week and the weekend will bring 40 degree weather and the possibility of lake-effect snow. Of all the luck! However, predictions are commonly wrong, so who knows. Also, we are having monsoon season right now, too. Hopefully it will be all rained out by next week.
 
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though we have to consider the weather, too.

Hey, some of us live in England. We know all about the vicissitudes of weather


Richard English
 
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May I assume that the get-together will be the primary topic of conversation for this Saturday's chat? I'll be there when you open up shop.

And do we have a schedule you could post here outlining who will be there and for what dates?

Kalleh, do you have a full house yet? If the offer is still open, my plans may be up for revision. The morning of the 11th still looks best for my arrival but I was thinking of driving up so that I could help a bit with the transportation detail, if you liked, but that would make returning the same day problematic. I would be your least-trouble-to-deal-with guest since, because I rarely find a mattress hard enough for my tastes, I frequently sleep on the floor.

Lastly, Kalleh, you've discussed at great length what we would all like to do during our brief Chicago stay but I, for one, am coming not for the city but for the company. I think I can speak for most of us when I say don't knock yourself out thinking you have to entertain me. Just listening to the various accents will be more than entertaining enough.

(Having said that, the last time I was in Chicago, I tried some of your world-famous "Chicago style pizza" and, frankly, didn't see what the hubbub was all about. Maybe I chanced upon a sub-par restaurant? Anywho, I wouldn't mind giving that another shot.)
 
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CJ, I just sent you a PM on OEDILF...before coming here. You are most welcome to stay with us that night. We have driven to St. Louis before, and it would be way too long to do in one day.

Here is the schedule of who will be here when:

April 6 - Bob and Phil arrive at 2:10; we will pick you up; bring you here to unpack and decompress; then we'll find a place for dinner.

April 7 - We'll go to the Field Museum, which has natural history and a great evolution exhibit with some of the best dinosaurs bones in the world.

April 8 - We'll take Bob and Phil up to the House on the Rock and perhaps stop on the way home in Milwaukee.

April 9 - Saranita arrives at 10:30 a.m., and Richard and Margaret arrive at 2:10. We'll pick up Saranita and then go to the Museum of Science and Industry. CW and Simon will join us. Richard has been there before so he won't mind missing it, I am sure. Richard, since you are getting in during the middle of the day, we'd appreciate your taking a cab to our home. You and Margaret will be able to rest up that way after your long trip. It's Bob's birthday so we'll go out for dinner at Goose Island, and CW has promised to bring a birthday cake which we'll eat when we get home. (BTW, while in New Orleans this week, I picked up a great birthday present for Bob.)

April 10 - We'll go to the Botanic Gardens (hopefully...the weather is always a concern) in the morning, and Saranita and I will prepare the dinner in the afternoon while the rest of you "poke around" a bit. Our Seder dinner will be at 6:00 p.m. I am hoping my 2 kids will join us, and CW's 2 friends will join us, too. Catherine, who uses (and loves) CJ's knives, is sorry that she will miss CJ!

April 11 - CJ will be coming, but CW will be leaving. If the weather is nice, after CJ arrives we will do the Chicago architectural tour on the Chicago River and then go to the Art Institute and Millenium Park. If there is time, we might want to tour the National Limerick Society, which is having a special Presidential Limerick Exhibit right now. In the evening we will barbecue steaks and have our beer tasting.

April 12 Saranita leaves at 8:40 a.m., and I am assuming CJ will be leaving, too. I will be leaving in the evening for Anaheim, and you will be on your own after that. During the day, we might want to go downtown in Chicago and shop along the Magnificent Mile.

April 13 Now it is just Shu, Bob & Phil and Margaret & Richard. Richard and Margaret leave at 2:15 from downtown (Union Station). I'd suggest doing something around here. Drive Richard and Margaret downtown and perhaps go to Clark Street Ale House or somewhere like that afterwards?

April 14 Bob and Phil leave at 3. I'll let the guys decide what to do then. I return on the 15th, Shu.

This is just tentative and anything can be changed. CW and Simon really wanted to go to the Museum of Science and Industry, and that's why I scheduled it for Monday. The weather is definitely not cooperating right now; it is 32, and we've had some snow. The Botanic Gardens of the architectural boat tour will not be fun in the cold. Some of this we'll have to play by ear, therefore.

If someone is missing something that you'd really like to do, please let me know. I want you all to be happy! Big Grin

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That looks good to me.

Margaret and I are quite used to finding our own way around so a cab to your house will be no problem. However, will there be anyone there to let us in? If not maybe you could let me know when would be a good time to get there and we'll spend some time mooching around Chicago first.


Richard English
 
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"we'll spend some time mooching around Chicago first."


Pardon me, Richard, but in my language that means you'll spend some accosting people on the streets and saying, "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" Razz

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As I'm staying in a hotel at Heathrow tonight and travelling down to Heathrow by coach in a couple of hours this will be my last posting until we all get home having had a truly wonderful time.

See you all in Chicago.

Bob.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Have fun, everybody! Sounds like a blast!

Wordmatic
 
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Pardon me, Richard, but in my language that means you'll spend some accosting people on the streets and saying, "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" Razz

But not in mine. It means "to wander about desultorily".


Richard English
 
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Have fun, everybody! Sounds like a blast!

So sorry you won't be there. And it's only about a day on the train (and only about 3 hours in the air). Maybe next time...


Richard English
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Originally posted by wordmatic:
this space available
Wordmatic


Hey, that's what it says on my hat!

Sunflower and I have had the good fortune to have met both Tinman and Zmjehed within the last two weeks! Soooo, even though we aren't there, we've had the opportunity to meet two Wordcrafters anyway!
 
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However, will there be anyone there to let us in?

Richard, it will be fine. I will let you know privately. We may even be home when you get here; one never knows about traffic or about airline schedules.

How nice, Asa. Now post some pictures for us!
 
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We are really excited to see everyone! As for me, I feel much like CJ does in that I am really coming up to be with the people more than to see the sights. I do think that Simon will really enjoy the museum, though, and that Submarine looks like it'll be really neat.

See you all soon!


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Please.... someone take pictures... we at home will enjoy seeing the sights and the faces of those we talk to everyday.. Smile
 
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I see my April Fool's joke (late, I know) fell on everyone like a lead pipe. Roll Eyes
 
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I see my April Fool's joke (late, I know) fell on everyone like a lead pipe. Roll Eyes

If you saw it then you're one of the few who did, I suspect ;-)

Maybe that's because US Presidents are no joking matter - especially the present one.


Richard English
 
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What April Fool's joke? Not only did it fall on deaf ears but blind eyes. Or maybe it's been zapped. Well the long weekend is here, so I raise my coffee cup to you all and wish you a magnifique time--

Wordmatic
 
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Yes, enjoy yourselves, everybody! I wish I were there. Don't forget to take lots of pictures!


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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It's not too late to hop a 'plane, Arnie! I saw that BA were offering a LON/CHI/LON for only £300 a couple of weeks ago!

I'll make sure I drink plenty of fine ale on your behalf in any case.


Richard English
 
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The first of our guests have arrived...Bob and Phil! However, we have tuckered them out, and they are both asleep now. Roll Eyes

I am sorry to report that it is cold out, so we won't be taking too many walks, and I think the architectural boat trip is out. The Chicago Botanic Gardens does have some inside gardens, so we can still go there.
 
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It was 70 degrees and bright sunshine here yesterday and promises to be as warm or warmer today. Maybe our fine weather will have reached you by the time we arrive!


Richard English
 
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I can attest that it is very cold here. I am at my friends' house nearby Ken and Nancy, and it's windy and cold. We drove through some snow, too - brrr!


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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