Of course, I'm of the opinion cancer has taken a permanent vacation, so maybe "(Former) Cancer Girl Takes a Vacation" would be more appropriate. It is however, less catchy as a title.
We got back from our "heartland vacation" late, late Sunday night. It's been crazy busy ever since, but I do want to share a few of our Cancer Survivor vacation moments.
First, we had Survivor Party #2 at my mom's house in Springfield, MO. Note the shirts? Left to right that's step-dad Ted, Chris, niece McKinzee, me, mom (Vivian), nephew Lucas (in front), brother Jay and sister-in-law Jennifer, all appropriately attired in the Survivor t-shirt. Except Chris. Apparently I forgot to mention the dress code. Ooops. One of my mom's quilting friends gave me a spectacular quilt as a Survivor gift. It, along with the quilts my mom gave me (one of which is for the Shop to Stop Breast Cancer event!), deserves it's own post so we'll get to that later. The party was fun and my niece and nephew asked me to sign their shirts, which was really pretty cute.
After our quick 2 1/2 days in Missouri, we took our time driving up to Chicago. Great drive! Once in Chicago I was at a conference and Chris was conducting a wine tasting at House of Glunz. Eventually though, we had a day to just roam around the city. I LOVE Chicago. LOVE it. Of course, I consider anything below 75 degrees to be cold, so I think my love affair with Chicago will be a fickle one, but I'm quite smitten at the moment. And, Chicago loved me back. As Chris and I roamed through Millennium park and then across the bridge to Bicentennial Park (query: is one really ten times better than the other? ;-) we strolled towards the lake. We found ourselves in a very beautiful little garden, on a beautiful Saturday in summer, almost alone. And then we saw this sign:
How cool is that?? Thank you Richard and Annette Bloch. (Must look up who they are and how this garden came about). We walked through the garden and out onto the plaza, which was the "Cancer Survivor's Plaza." Wow. We stumbled on this completely by accident, but somehow it just seemed meant to be.Eventually, we made our way down to Navy Pier. The best thing I can say about that is that we saw this yacht in the harbor:
You will note that it is dubbed "Odyssey 2." Perhaps you will recall that I refer to what others call the "Cancer Journey" as the "Cancer Odyssey" (a term actually coined by the good and great Dr. Karam). I'm hoping my "Odyssey 2" is a little more like this one.
And as if Chicago had not proved her love for me in enough ways with all of this, we also discovered that Jimmy Buffett had followed us to town. To understand the importance of this you must understand that I am not a music person at all. I tend to think of music as noise. (Yes, I realize this is a character defect.) The only exception to this is Jimmy Buffett--I have been a parrothead since a high school boyfriend introduced me to the "Volcano" album (back when they were "albums" and round, black and shiny). I have been to a half dozen or so concerts of his (as a opposed to the, oh, call it 5 concerts of any other kind ever that I've been to). In Southern California his concerts sell out in about 8 minutes and he seems to be coming here less and less. So to see a flashing billboard with "Jimmy Buffett August 8th: Tickets Still Available" as we drove into Chicago on August 4th (our first night) was like seeing a "God will Speak to You Now. Is there anything else you'd like?" billboard.
We got tickets. We went. We loved it. Here's why:
The photos are probably self explanatory, but here's a little help: That's us, in the parking lot for the pre-party; Fins anyone?; Let's just say we were in the "no rhythm" section and tie-dye guy pretty much did that throughout the entire concert; and the "sleeping" parrothead? Yeah, that was before the concert ever started. Gotta hand it to him though, he rallied eventually.
Per Jimmy: "Changes in latitude, changes in attitude,, nothing remains quite the same... " (which was not a cancer survivor song, but should have been).