Amy Artisan

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Category: Sister Trips (page 2 of 3)

On Flights & Family Time

As another year winds down, inevitably it has us looking back on the year & determining highlights. For me, a highlight of 2013 was the fact that I wasn’t constantly on the road with work travel. In fact, I only had 4 weeks of work travel this year. With 26 flight segments taken in 2013, only 1 trip was for work. That means that the others were for fun times with family. So where did those flights take me? Here, a few highlight pics from fun times in Georgia, Wisconsin & Texas…
May - A surprise trip home to cheer Rebecca in her first super-sprint triathlon.

May – A surprise trip home to cheer Rebecca in her first super-sprint triathlon.

June - Artisan Family Great Lakes Getaway. We enjoyed a week around Lake Michigan - first at Mackinac Island and then in Door County, WI

June – Artisan Family Great Lakes Getaway. We enjoyed a week around Lake Michigan – first at Mackinac Island and then in Door County, WI

July - In Marinette to celebrate kid birthdays and take in a Brewers game!

July – In Marinette to celebrate kid birthdays and take in a Brewers game!

August - Rebecca & I go back to Mercer to see a thrilling win as Mercer returns to football for the 1st time since 1941.

August – Rebecca & I go back to Mercer to see a thrilling win as Mercer returns to football for the 1st time since 1941.

October - Fall fun in Marinette, including the pumpkin patch and haunted hayrid

October – Fall fun in Marinette, including the pumpkin patch and haunted hayride

October - Trick or treating with the girlies in Texas.

October – Trick or treating with the girlies in Texas.

December - A quick trip home to the 'Ville to enjoy a Family Christma

December – A quick trip home to the ‘Ville to enjoy a Family Christmas

As the 2014 calendars are being opened, I’m already making plans for trips  & adventures with these dear ones!

Bing! A Vacation!

For the last several years, June has meant a weekend trip to Michigan with my sister. This year the tradition continued, although we were along the shore of a different great lake. In March, Rebecca was enthralled by the daily locale picture on the Bing homepage…Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. Since my current work assignment has me in northern Wisconsin, on the border with the UP of Michigan, we decided to plan our sister’s weekend around this picture. After a bit of online research, we booked into a charming motel for 4 days in June…Rebecca booked a flight to Appleton, WI and before we knew it, we were on vacation.

In short, it was a great time! 4 days…900+ miles driven…2 scenic boat cruises…hundreds of photos taken…countless cups of Cherry Roast coffee…many fun memories! Stay tuned for our adventures in shipwrecks, sculptures, shorelines, waterfalls and more!

(P.S. Work is beyond all consuming these days…hence the blog silence…I’ll be doing some short blogs posts in the coming days to revisit my vacation…)

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.

Back to the Beach…

…another summer weekend, time for the annual Kansas Sisters Weekend over in Harbor Country.  Rebecca flew in from Atlanta last week and late Friday afternoon, we picked up Jen & Kristy and pointed the car east – towards our escape. While the trip is a ritual, each time we visit we mix & match from our “menu” of favorite items, add some new items to the mix and end up with another lovely experience.

Beach Morning

Our time away was a bit shorter this year so some “standards” of previous trips were passed by this year – all the more reason to go back again soon. On Saturday morning we picked up coffee and scones for breakfast, packed up our beach bags & walked a few minutes from our inn to the beach. It was a beautiful morning to enjoy the view, read a good book, catch up with one another.

Beach Morning

Saturday afternoon our priority was to sit and knit with Kim & baby Max at the always charming Sit & Knit, A Yarn Cafe. Baby Max charmed us all. Rebecca & I continued our tradition of picking up “matching” yarns as souvenirs – this year it is sock yarn. Hmm, how is it that the non-knitter ends up with yarn souvenirs on these trips? 🙂 Throughout the weekend I made great progress on the latest sock on my needles. We didn’t do as much shopping as we have in years past; however, we still stopped at a few of our favorite shops as well as “discovered” a few new ones. And there was no shortage of delicious dining and drink options.

Beach Morning

Sunday morning it was rainy as we packed up the car to head back to the city. After breakfast and picking up some produce at the farmer’s market it was time to point the car west & come back to Chicago. As the rain gave way to sun and beautiful skies, DJ Becca Bec in the back seat kept us going with quite the eclectic lineup of tunes on the iPod.

Until the next time, this quick clip of the beach on Saturday morning will serve as a reminder of another wonderful weekend to celebrate sisters.

Just a few miles…

…down the road…but so far away…

One of my favorite things about going to Harbor Country, MI is that is really is a quick escape from the City (under 100 miles from my house) and yet as you travel those miles East from Chicago, over the Skyway bridge, through Indiana and on towards Michigan you really feel as though you are “far away” from the hustle and bustle of city life. Last weekend’s “Sister’s Weekend” was no different.

This is the 2nd summer weekend that my sister has flown up to join us for the fun and the fourth year that Jen, Kristy & I have gone over there. We booked the weekend several months ago and had been looking forward to it ever since – on several occasions, one of the four of us would comment about “can’t wait till the beach weekend…”

We left downtown Chicago at noon on Friday – a large Dunkin Donuts Iced Hazelnut coffee for each of us and a car picnic of lunch items and the fun began.

Among the highlights:

Friday Fun!

Friday afternoon was filled with shopping – including some antiques, and the charming Pomegranate Home shop…Friday evening was dinner at Cafe Gulistan – yummy Turkish treats. We sat right by the windows out on to parts of the beautiful garden…The evening was capped off by ice cream at Oink’s…And a quick glimpse of the sunset over Lake Michigan.

Saturday was a beautiful day…

Saturday Fun!

…for shopping among the Sidewalk Sales in downtown New Buffalo……a quick salad lunch at Rosie’s, a local institution…part of the afternoon was spent at Sit & Knit. Jack & Kim were away at the Estes Wool Market; however, we had a delightful time sitting & knitting with Angie, one of their teachers who was minding the store. I don’t know what the Cotton Blossom yarn will become (St. Croix for me & Tangerine for Rebecca).

Winery Fun!

…the rest of the afternoon was spent on the Michigan Wine Trail…first to our favorite, Round Barn Winery…and then we checked out a “new to us” winery, Free Run Cellars, which is operated by the sons of the Round Barn family. It is a new favorite winery and will be included in any outings that include a Round Barn visit.

Italian Cafe Fun!

…for dinner we went to Brewster’s Italian Cafe…earlier in the day, Kristy & Rebecca had checked it out & proclaimed that we needed to go there for dinner. It didn’t disappoint. Their “Dinner for Two” option, twice, was the way to go. Their gazpacho was so fresh it was as if we were eating vegetables straight from the garden. The brick oven Pizza Margharitas were so yummy, flash backs to Italy. And both pasta options the table selected were excellent choices as well…After a bit of outlet shopping over in Michigan City, IN we were back at Oink’s for ice cream.

Beach Fun!

Sunday morning brought a few hours on the beach – we love staying at Gordon Beach Inn because of the private beach access. Because of the heat it was a hazy morning & you didn’t see much of the lake. We enjoyed our breakfast of iced cappuccinos and scones/pastries, did a bit of reading & then walked the shoreline for a bit.

Before we knew it, it was time to pack up the car and return to the city. After some careful packing, everything and everyone fit in the car. On the way out of town we stopped at a produce stand to pick up Michigan cherries to bring home. The weekend was capped off by a quick lunch at Culver’s and then we picked up custard treats for the drive home. We all agreed that the weekend was filled with just the right combination of relaxation and fun and we are glad to have a summer escape like this.

We are already looking forward to next summer’s weekend – what annual summer trips do you have?

p.s. Stay tuned – contest winners & more blog fun in the next post…

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