There's How Many Days Left Til Christmas?!

This month is flying past at breakneck speed and I'm left clutching the calendar in a vain attempt to keep up. My boyfriend and I have been traveling since the end of November with only a couple days home between trips - just enough time to clean, wash clothes, repack and squeeze in a little writing.

But not enough time to bake, gift shop, test recipes, put up the tree, or decorate. We still need to make holiday plans with our friends back in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I desperately need to call my mom. And I really, REALLY want to write another chapter in my novel before the end of the year.

So although I should be devoting today to a new Tuesday Tutor blog featuring another blogger's recipe, I doing the right thing and holding off until January. Because there's no way I'd be doing justice to any blogger by attempting to cram them in between flights, car trips, frantic light-hanging, and mouse-stamping Amazon-shopping.

And I'm not posting a recipe (sugar cookies) because I really need to test it one more time before I post. Since I haven't baked so much as a crust of toast since Thanksgiving, cookies will have to wait until I'm back in Virginia Beach long enough to defrost butter!

Instead, here's to more pictures. Which are really just my way of distracting you from the absence of real blog substance. And evidence of how much I'm enjoying myself this month. Although I haven't really accomplished more this month than becoming a Twoll on Twitter, it's really been a fantastic month.

These pics are from our trip to Chicago (it was a business trip for my boyfriend, but we extended the trip to include the weekend). I've never had a chance to explore downtown Chicago - but it was terrific. Gorgeous buildings, beautiful holiday lights everywhere, REAL deep-dish pizza with amazing tomato sauce, Magnificent Mile of shopping, and people. Hoards of people. Droves of people. People everywhere.

It was a fantastic trip.

We watched this escalator for 15 minutes.

And it wasn't just people. There were escalators everywhere!
(Old Marshal Field building)

Holiday decorations on steroids! But in a good way.

Another shot from inside old Marshal Fields building
It's now Macy's but still gorgeous

I had to take a pic from this perspective to capture how massive this was

And there were landmarks and architectural achievements everywhere


Yes, yes, that's Nathan Hale. But look at the building behind him!


There was even a Lego city-scape.

I'd like to see the billion-piece Lego kit for that one ;)

I decided the Windy City was a bit too windy.
(And I wanted to buy something)

Oh yeah. There was deep dish pizza too.
And deep dish pizza cookie pie with copious quantities of ice cream

I've been to Manhattan, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC - and I prefer Chicago over all of them (although San Francisco was beautiful and would probably be a close second). Chicago feels cleaner than Manhattan, historically richer than Houston, more vibrant than Philadelphia, and more varied than DC. The holiday season seems to be a wonderful time to visit Chicago, but I'd like to come back again during warmer weather. Of course all of this is based on a 4 day weekend in the city so take it for what it's worth.

I did love our trip to San Francisco

And the requisite visit to gorgeous Napa...

Now I've got a flight to catch, butter to defrost, cookies to bake, and delicious food to scout-out for Friday's Food Fetish blog. Oh and decorations to hang. And I MUST call my mother!


  1. Awww....I know and understand. Its really difficult to manage making the time for cooking, writing, family and WORK. Hopefully though, you will be able to "git er dun" as we say in the South. Great pics of Chicago. Call your Mother. Decorate. Ice some cookies. Oh and yeah...Call your mother! :P

  2. Yes, you're absolutely right. I must call her :) And I'll get at least some of it done. The important stuff ;)

  3. Oh my goodness you have crammed a lot into this post that my head is spinning - in a good way, of course. I love how those Christmas trees look, real colourful. And I totally adore your Windy Day hat, you would need it today if you were in Scotland. I love those hat cos they keep your ears warm too.

    I say Enjoy December while you can. But do call you Mum!

  4. Oh I wanted to add, when I visited a friend in America, she took me to SanFran too. I have to admit, I didn't take much of it in as it was a huge culture shock - do remember the Golden Bridge and the fog though. I would love to see Chicago someday, Good to see and read that the two of you are having fun!

  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed and I'm afraid I have a habit of packing overly wordy posts with an abundance of unnecessary pictures ;) But I do hope you have a chance to visit Chicago someday (and that I have a chance to visit Scotland!)

  6. I wouldn't call that a distraction from the absence of blog content. I would call it.....delightful! Thank you for sharing your photos and trip to Chicago with us and I appreciate your opinion on it compared to other cities! My sister has been to NYC and Chicago and she, too prefers Chi Town!

  7. Oh, how I love Chicago, too...and now I want to hop in my car and drive up and do some shopping :) Yes, you do need a hat when you visit in December :) Great photos of one of my favorite cities....and now back to my very delayed Christmas cookie baking~ Have a great day!

  8. Ann: Your very welcome and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who prefers Chicago to NYC ;)

    Lizzy: I wish I lived close enough to hop in the car and drive over for shopping - that would be fantastic! Have fun baking something incredible (as you always do!)

  9. Great pics and it sounds like you really are enjoying the holidays in all the accompanying business. That deep dish cookie and ice cream photo actually made me sigh. Mmmmm, I should be sick of sweets, but apparently, I am not. YUM!

  10. Mary, I'm so glad you enjoyed the pictures and the temptation of deep-dish cookie :) It was delicious, even if unnecessary ;)

  11. wat a fantastic it..
    excellent pics..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  12. I enjoyed reading your post and I'm glad you San Francisco (I live there. :-)). I love Napa too! My son will be thrilled if he sees that lego city...


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