Blue Star Highway and Chicago Blues

This summer has felt like a whirlwind; in fact, every summer seems to arrive and leave more quickly each year.  Why does it seem like time accelerates with each birthday?  We made it back to the Blue Star Highway and over to the Windy City this summer.  Each experience was filled with laughter, family, friends, and stories.  Stories being exchanged as we drove along the Blue Star Highway and wandered around various antique shops hunting for that unique item to call our own.  Stories being created while being together that we may eventually share with others while on another wandering.


A few days after our Blue Star Highway excursion, my job took me to downtown Chicago for a conference, and I was able to reconnect with several of my colleagues/friends since moving from the state of Utah back to Michigan.  Gregg decided to take Friday off work and meet me on Thursday night so we could spend Friday night and Saturday taking in some of the highlights of Chicago.  I had also invited my daughters, but Evan had to work and Hannah did not want to spend anytime with her “annoying” mom, so Gregg and I left them home alone, for 2 nights.  Or that was the plan… they are 18 and 20, so they should be able to handle taking care of themselves for at least 2 nights, right?

Friday morning, I call to check in, and trouble was brewing.  My girls were arguing and the plans they had to spend Friday together driving over to friend who lived on the Lake Michigan shoreline and  go to the beach had unraveled, partly due to weather, partly due to their bickering and no longer wanting to spend time together.  I spoke to both, and of course the story was a little different from each daughter.  Evan, who was with her boyfriend, and out and about because one, she has a driver’s license and two, she has a job and some disposable income, was fine with the turn of events, but Hannah was, let’s put it this way, not dealing with the situation well.  Even though she is 18 and graduated from high school, the process to get her driver’s license has taken an extremely long time, and she still did not have it, so she felt stuck and alone.  So, I bought her a train ticket to come to Chicago that night.  We spent Friday night and Saturday together as the 3 Amigos, Gregg, Hannah and I.  And it was good.  It was surprisingly good!

The dynamic between the 3 of us has been a struggle a lot of times, but I felt empathy for Hannah’s situation, and as her mom, I want to be a soft place to fall, for her to know that when she is feeling alone she can turn to me, so I took the chance on bringing Hannah over, worried that she would be sour and pouty, but she, well she wasn’t.  She was easy going, relaxed, and except for one brief moment when she didn’t get to go shopping when she wanted and instead I dragged her through the Chicago Institute of Art, Magritte exhibit, we had a pleasant day and half in Chicago.  In fact, we took in a lot of Chicago in the brief free time we had:

We walked through Millennium Park and said hello to “the Bean” which is sculpture officially known as Cloud Gate.

Chicago Bean

 Under Cloud Gate

Walked down Lakeshore Drive and took in the views of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier.

Lake Michigan

Hannah & Dawn Chicago

Visited Buckingham Fountain.

Buckingham Fountain

Browsed through history, culture, and art at the Chicago Institute of Art.

Chicago Institue of Art

Attended a Chicago Cubs game at historic Wrigley Field!

Chicago cubs

Wrigley Field


We even took in some classic Chicago Blues at Chicago’s Oldest and Largest late night Blues Club, Kingston Mines!  And we had Cheezborgers at the famous Billy Goat Tavern!

And all of that was fun and I’m happy I had the opportunity to visit the Windy City this summer, but the real joy for me was getting to enjoy Gregg and Hannah’s company together, meaning at the same time!  Which I think may have been the first in a very long time.




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