Amy Artisan

Family | Travel | Craft | Life | Books

Month: June 2009

In the Summertime…with my Sister…

Back when spring was trying to emerge from the long winter here in Chicago & when Rebecca was ready for the school year to be through we started talking about plans for a sisters’ weekend in June. We picked a weekend, made reservations at our favorite inn in Michigan and started planning what we wanted to do. Then, we saw a concert date later in June and decided to change our plans to include the concert. Rebecca flew into town on Thursday evening and our weekend was filled with a bit of everything – from silliness to shopping to fine dining to just relaxing.

Ready for the Concert!

On Friday night, we travelled back in time almost 20 years & went to the New Kids on the Block concert down in Tinley Park. Yes, back in the day we were fans – along with many of our friends. My sophomore year of high school included Dad standing in line with me early on Saturday morning to get tickets for a concert – then Mom & Dad rode Marta downtown with us (& 2 friends) for a concert at the old Omni Center in Atlanta. So, when we saw that they would be in Chicago in June, Rebecca & I modified our sisters’ weekend plans and picked up tickets during the advanced ticket sales.

Dirty Dancing

(more pictures here)

From the moment we arrived at the amphitheater we were laughing at what we saw – minivans with NKOTB on their windows, a plethora of homemade shirts pledging undying love, tour t-shirts from high school, a NKOTB lunchbox in use as a purse, a Joey doll was brought by the gal sitting behind us. Without a doubt, the best use of “vintage” memorabilia was the gal who had refashioned her NKOTB sheets into a tunic. When the guys finally took the stage, we dived in & were suddenly silly girls at the concert – cheering, singing along…and at least one of us threw our hands in the air & waved ‘em like we didn’t care…

Donnie in front of us!

At one point in the show, Donnie was 6 rows in front of us for a song, as Rebecca said “I have to admit we were screaming like 16-year-olds!”

Ready to head to Michigan...

Since the concert venue was basically en route to Harbor Country, we spent Friday night down there and then on Saturday morning we headed over to Harbor Country. This year we visited some of our favorite spots but also discovered some “new favorites” that will be visited on future trips. From the first time that I stayed at Gordon Beach Inn, people have always asked if I’d eaten at Timothy’s – the restaurant at the inn. Until this weekend, the answer had always been “not yet.” Saturday evening, we treated ourselves to a wonderful meal at Timothy’s – we had a table on the screened-in porch and enjoyed everything that we ordered.

Ready for Dinner @ Timothy's

After sleeping in on Sunday morning we packed the car & began to meander back towards home. The last several trips over to the area I had seen a cute coffee & tea house – so our breakfast on Sunday was the time to try it out. The iced coffee, iced cappuccino and almond-strawberry tart were delicious we enjoyed them while relaxing in the Adirondack chairs in front of the shop.

Sunday Breakfast

The trip back to the city included a stop at the European Market in Union Pier, a little bit of Michigan City shopping (mostly looking) and a late lunch with a friend as we hit Chicagoland. As we unpacked the car, repacked Rebecca’s suitcase for her flight home & downloaded our pictures for the weekend we were so thankful for the chance to get together and have fun in so many different ways.

Ever Evolving…

I have always enjoyed taking pictures – it probably started with my toy camera, as a child. Before too long, I was using a Kodak Instamatic – then a Kodak Disc camera – then a 35mm point & shoot – then a 35mm Advantex – then a digital camera…of course, it wasn’t long before I was dreaming of a DSLR – but I repeatedly said that while it was high on my wish/want list it was very low on the need list.

Stopping Leaves in Motion

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done a lot of travel for work over the years – in addition to assorted airline miles I had amassed quite a few hotel loyalty points. Several years ago, Rebecca & I enjoyed a spa weekend with some of the points; however, I still had lots leftover. Last summer, the hotel loyalty catalog came & I discovered that I had more than enough points to pick up a DSLR.

Flower Garden

Last Labor Day weekend I started taking pictures with the new camera & was immediately thrilled with “how much better” they were.

Peony Detail

Until earlier this month, I had only used the auto/preset settings on the camera – I hadn’t had time to focus on the manual side of the wheel. The first Saturday of this month, I spent the day getting to know my camera. I enrolled in the one day Boot Camp offered by Chicago Photography Classes. As we learned about shutter speed, aperture, and depth of field we were sent out in the neighborhood on a few quick photo assignments.

Lily Bud Detail

After several hours focusing on the camera, we spent the rest of the afternoon working with the pictures on the computer. At the end of the day, I had several favorites that I had brought down to grayscale & printed out.

Pen & Paper

I definitely know more about using my camera now – I’m wishing I had time to take the more in depth Photo I class – maybe another time. Until then, I’m looking forward to trying new things with my summer activities…gardening, cooking, knitting, a few vacations…

© 2024 Amy Artisan

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑