• Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Travels

    I Love L.A.

    I just returned from a visit to the site of the #BlogHer16 conference in Los Angeles. I love L.A. I. LOVE. IT. Of course, my rose-colored glasses were deeply tinted on this trip, what with the “late January getaway from Chicago winter” and the “spending three and a half days with the most awesome team ever” elements. Los Angeles was a dream, and I wish I could’ve “slept” a little longer. Literally and figuratively. On the way out, I got to walk through my favorite corridor at O’Hare airport. Of course, when I was sitting at the gate in the middle of a flight delay that would last nearly two…

  • My Kid Has Mad Skillz,  Travels

    I Let Go.

    I just dropped off a piece of my heart at the International Terminal for a once-in-a-lifetime Israel excursion. Sending my kid halfway around the world while I stay home is a completely nerve wracking experience but I did my best to keep it in check. My biggest hope is that he has a safe, fun, life-enriching trip. Now hold me. That was the caption on a picture I posted last night, right before I drove my car away from Parking Lot D at O’Hare airport. J just began the experience of a lifetime, a Birthright trip. This amazing organization provides Jewish young people aged 18-25 with a ten-day excursion that…

  • Favorite Things,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures,  Travels

    Epic Road Trip: Check!

    I just drove in from New Jersey and boy, are my arms tired! Ba dum bump! Wait, that’s wrong. That’s an airplane joke. My arms aren’t tired at all because I didn’t fly to New Jersey. Also, I’m not a bird. Maybe I’m breaking that down a little more than necessary. Maybe you’re clicking awaaaay….WAIT! Over the past few years, my fondness for road trips has grown immensely. There’s something about being totally in control of where I’m going, when and why I’m stopping, and all kinds of other things. When I was planning my third annual fall visit to see my sistuh-from-anuthuh-muthuh and the rest of her (our!) family,…

  • Pretty Pictures,  Travels

    How To Do Memphis In Three Days (If You’re Me)

    Well Memphis, it’s been fun. I think it’s safe to say that I used up every available moment enjoying what this city has to offer, except for the two hours yesterday afternoon when my back and the blister on my foot indicated that laying on my hotel room bed watching “Friends” would be a better option than sightseeing. Memphis is incredible. It might be my new favorite town in Tennessee, and I lived in Knoxville for five years! (Shhh, sorry Knoxville.) There is no shortage of things to do (or places to eat), and if I had a few more days (and more travel money!) I could have easily filled…

  • Favorite Things,  Food,  Travels

    Walking In Memphis

    I’m in Memphis for a few days while D is attending a design conference. While I did my normal level of research on activities and places to eat ahead of time, I didn’t plan everything out by the hour like I typically do. I dumped everything into a list on my Wunderlist app and have been flying by the seat of my pants, truly. My favorite part of this trip, as usual, is the time I’m spending just walking around and taking photos. I’ve spent a lot of quality time on Beale Street. The neon signs are ridiculously fun. Love and happiness basically sums it up around here. I made…

  • Confessions,  Family Fun,  Pretty Pictures,  Travels

    Control Freaks Shouldn’t Take Train Trips.

    I have always enjoyed riding the train. While I live thirty miles west of Chicago’s city center, driving there can take anywhere from forty-five minutes in no traffic to more than two hours on an especially congested day. On the other hand, if I take the train, I’m at Union Station in about forty minutes if I catch an Express, and I can be productive along the way since I’m not driving. A non-Express train is about an hour and twenty minutes but still, no stress, no road rage. For me, the train ride to downtown is peaceful, just like the state of my brain when I took this picture…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    Chef’s Tasting at Rural Society: So Decadent!

    The last time I visited the new-ish Loews Chicago hotel in the Streeterville neighborhood, I was with Liz and her middle daughter and we were too busy with the sightseeing to enjoy a meal at Rural Society, their Argentinian steakhouse. It was a bummer but I made a promise to myself that I’d get back there as soon as I could, to try it out. As it turned out, it happened even sooner than I thought it would! The kind people at Loews Chicago wanted me to come back too, so they offered to treat Jim and me to a Chef’s Tasting. Naturally I said yes. (You would, too!) I…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    Homegrown Inspiration at Loews Chicago Hotel

    As many of you know, my dad spent more than forty years in the hospitality industry, as a hotel manager. I loved being the daughter of a hotel manager for many reasons, and I know that spending so much time as a hotel kid contributed greatly to who I am today (someone not fond of camping, for one thing! *insert rim shot here*). I even blogged about my childhood hotel history, if you’re interested in reading it. The links are at the bottom of this post. Since I lived in hotels for months at a time when I was a kid, it’s understandable that I feel right at home in…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Skydeck Chicago,  Travels

    Life In The Fast Lane Surely Make You Lose Your Mind

    It just hit me on Tuesday evening, right after I dropped Liz and her middle daughter off at the airport (how much I hate goodbyes could be a whole other post, ugh), how much I had done/accomplished/enjoyed in two weeks. It made me dizzy, and perhaps piled on more exhaustion, on top of my exhaustion. It also made me smile. The last two weeks of July just might have been the busiest two weeks of my entire life, but I’m not complaining. It was a blast. First there was the BlogHer conference in NYC. I went into it exhausted; the weeks leading up to conference weekend are crazed for our…

  • Amazing People,  Best Thing Ever,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz,  Proud Moments,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  Travels

    My LTYM Travel Season, By The Numbers

    Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and it also happened to be the last day of the 2015 LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER season. Each year I have driven to see some other shows, not only because I like hearing the stories live but also because I like to see how other cities do things (every city, while having to stick to certain national guidelines, creates a show that reflects their community), and it’s a way for me to support my fellow producers and meet up (on their own turf) with some of the teams I’ve coached as the LTYM National New Cities Mentor. This year, Jim was slightly astonished when I told…