Monday, December 10, 2007

You can go home again!


Both sides of our family have long and deep ties to Chicago. My Great-Great Grandfather, George B. Swift was in fact the mayor of Chicago around the late 1800's. Dan's earliest memories of Marshall Field's (now Macy's but always Marshall Field's to us), were the windows at Christmas and buying his 1st cub scout uniform there. When Nick was young we would go ice skating across the street on State Street at the outdoor rink. It is no longer there--things do change. We decided to re-live some old traditions and start some new ones. We spent a couple of nights at the Palmer House which is a gorgeous 135 yr. old hotel downtown (now owned by Hilton). The ceiling of the lobby is covered with original Italian murals. No acts perform in the Empire Room anymore but the walls are filled with pictures of the "greats" who performed there 30-60 years ago. Sinatra, Burns, Youngman, Lewis, etc. all greeted us. Walk out the front door and you'll see the old Carson Pirie Scott Building (currently under renovation). Look to the right and you'll see the historic elevated train ( the "El" to the locals). We went to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the Christmas trees from around the world. The exhibit has been there every Christmas season since WWII. Grace loved the interactive exhibits. Dan and I have been going to that museum since we were little kids. My Great Grandparents used to live on Hyde Park, just a block away. Chicago has great shopping--one of the many things we miss about the area. No trip to Chicago would be complete (at least at Christmas time) without a trip to Marshall Field's and a look at the story in the window displays. This year it was "The Nutcracker." It was adorable as always. We didn't stand in line for an hour to eat in the Walnut Room under the Great Tree, we have done that before many times, another Chicago tradition that goes back over 100 yrs. and several generations in our families. Lake Shore Drive, the Field Museum, North Michigan Avenue, the theaters, the restaurants...no matter where we travel or live, this place always feels like home.

7 kind words:

Mark & Terri said...

Beautiful pictures! Never been to Chicago but would definitely enjoy seeing it during this season. I just know I couldn't handle the weather though. For me its cold out when it gets below 60 F.

redmaryjanes said...

I love Chicago and the Palmer House is my favorite hotel there. It sounds absolutely wonderful!

Ashley said...

What a fabulous trip! I love the photos. Grace has the biggest smile on her face! Sounds like you had a great weekend, and I'm sure it got all of you in the Christmas Spirit. Chicago is such a fun city to visit. We do have reletives there, and if I ever get out that way, I'll be sure to let you know!

Angie said...

What a fun trip and great pictures! I have never been to Chicago but I would love to and after seeing and hearing about your trip...I'd want to go at Christmas!

Brandi said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. It's been awhile since we've been to Chicago, but I really love that city. I've never been at Christmas time...I'll have to change that!

Glad you all had a good time! I love Grace's pose by the train.

Kim & Jeff said...

How fun - loved slide show of pictures really makes me want to take a weekend trip down to Chicago...

Kim

Gail said...

Great pics!!
I have always wanted to visit Chicago.
Now I definitely do!!
Your daughter Grace is a beauty!!
Happy Holidays!

 
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