It is always a special treat to introduce you to new characters on European Doorways. Today's story includes my two maternal cousins. My mom has one brother, who has two daughters. They are the same ages as me and my sister.
They grew up in suburban Chicago. We grew up in rural Central IL. They went to very large schools. We went to tiny schools. Growing up, we didn't seem to have much in common. We were at grandma and grandpa's house all of the time and knew all of the rules. They only got to visit every so often and didn't know that you had to wash the dust off the top of the soda cans or always keep the bathroom door closed or you had to throw the tiny Hersey Kiss aluminum wrapper in the recycling.
(On a side note, I am SOOO much like my grandma Hill, I bet my mom is cringing/smirking/shaking her head yes, as she reads this.)
So as time moved on and life got more complicated with college and jobs and husbands and kids, the time lapse got bigger and bigger between our visits with our cousins.
This summer, we had the chance to catch up with N & D at my brother's wedding. D and I were comparing stories to how we celebrated our 40th birthdays. And we realized that despite our different childhoods, we all have the same excitement for new adventures. So we started making plans.
In August, D came down to Springfield to check off her bucket list of going to the IL State Fair. My sister and I have had over 10 years of adventures at the State Fair. We were glad to help her check that off her list.
In October, they returned the favor and had us up to Chicago for an adventure that took us throughout the city. Well, maybe I should say it felt like it was the whole city, but I'm really just a small town girl, so in reality it was just a tiny bit of the city.
My sis and I took the train up to Union Station, met the girls in the food court and started our adventure in the Grand Hall. I tried to talk them into reenacting the scene from My Best Friend's Wedding, but no one would take me up on that idea. So we just moved on to the Lady's Lounge at Union Station. It was the first of our stops on the Chicago Architecture Tour.
We had a great lunch at Giordano's and I am still dreaming of the pizza. Uncle L picked up the tab for lunch.....all the way from Arizona ;).
I will stop rambling and just let you enjoy some of the sights we saw throughout the day.
(We were trying to get our reflections in the glass. We look a little ghostly.)
Our next adventure, Spring 2015, Matthiessen State Park. They have never been.
My legs felt like noodles after "hiking" all over the city. I think it is another thing we will have in common after a day hiking the park.