Saturday, November 29, 2014

Day 86 Treasures/Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago(AIC)  was art heaven to me! We  did not go until the second day of the trip and I have to admit that I was thinking about  going  the entire first day. I have been to the Metropolitan in New York but the AIC is the  second largest art museum in the U.S , known for  its impressionist, and post-impressionist art, with a collection second only to the Louve in Paris!  I could not wait to see my favorite artist’s works up close  but as Little Golden Books recommends I had to “be discriminating” so I could see the most  art in the time that I had. That morning I  went on line and had a plan of attack! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 85 Happy Thanksgiving/Chicago finest food

If you're tired of turkey then your might enjoy thinking about Chicago ‘s finest foods.  

I wanted to try everything Chicago  and this girl loves to eat so I was ready to  indulge in Chicago's finest foods. My first  stop- Deep Dish Pizza at Bella Bacino.  Chicago invented the stuff  and it sure was not like the pizza from the chain restaurant UNO.  It was over an inch thick and stuffed with spinach and cheese-yum.  One slice filled me up but I had two anyway and one more for breakfast the next day!

Day 84 Visit Chicago( getting there)

Most people go south in the winter so it seemed  a little backwards to go  to the “windy city” were it is even colder than Pittsburgh.  Maslow says that a self actualized person does not always follow the norms and  so I packed a good warm coat and some cute hats (see Try A Hat, Day 51) and headed to Chicago, where  deep dish pizza was invented, cracker jacks were introduced,  and  Batman’s Gotham   City was based.  I had never visited this 3rd largest city behind  NYC and LA (both of which I visited several times). Therefore it seemed like a perfect  place  to explore in this journey of trying new things  and  I had a bonus feature –a  tour guide that used to live there!  

Flying into Chicago you realize the enormous size of the city because the lights seem to go on forever. I usually drive to NYC so this was a beautiful sight. Ironically, I had a touch of the beach  when I entered the W Hotel.  The lobby had flashing lights, an art deco style and  Miami sounding music playing. I felt like I was in South Beach and ready to go dancing.  This place screamed "have fun", which was I intended to do! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Day 83 Royal Ballet of Cambodia


Little Golden Book "Daddies" 1953

I love to watch dance and I have a passion for the ballet so it easy for me to “take in some culture” as Little Golden Books recommends.  My running joke is that, “ I will marry the first guy who willingly goes to the ballet with me.”  I have  not found that one guy yet but  luckily some go and  pretend to find it interesting.  I had no idea what to expect when I decided to try the Cambodian Ballet but  to obtain self -actualization I thought I should behave as Maslow suggested and “try new things instead of sticking to safe paths” (Maslow Theory) .

This was truly  an immersion in Cambodian culture. The dance was so very different from how we dance  in the United States. The costumes were uniquely beautiful as were the dancers.  The movement was like watching a movie in slow  motion with every move being  precise and isolated.  The women had memorizing eyes and just a slight turn of there face or head changed the feel of the dance. It reminded me of a cobra in a snake charmers basket, relaxing and hypnotic. The music was nothing like our music and after a few songs, I must admit, the music was a bit too

Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 82 Visit a Memoral 2 (West Park)

USS Mane-Spanish American War Memorial

A few days before Labor Day I enjoyed what may have been the last of the warm Pittsburgh  weather  and found myself in West Park, the park on the North side of Pittsburgh near the Aviary. I discovered that there were quite a few monuments  in this park.  In this new journey, I vowed  that I would no longer just walk past them ( Day 5) .  I found an interesting looking cannon which  was a tribute to the lives lost during the Spanish American War  and  a Civil War Monument in the distance.   I decided to “be patriotic” as  Little Golden Books suggested and explored these monuments, learning about the USS Maine.
Civil War Monument  - West Park

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 81 Give in to a Good Cry

Little Golden Book "About God" 1956

My son is sick and he is seven ( 7) hours away.  I am looking at the mess in the spare room, boxes in the game room, the papers stacked on the table and I am asking “ how am I going to clean this house,  get the decorations and lights up, and cook the perfect dinner in two weeks. How am I going to have the perfect holiday. It's hopeless!”  On top of that I am starting to feel a scratch in my throat, a drip in my nose and a cough starting. But - MY SON IS REALLY SICK AND HE IS SEVEN HOURS AWAY.  It is now time to cry!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day 80 Overcame the Steps-Fineview Step-a-thon

19th annual Step-a-thon Oct 18, 2014

Life is one step at a time and boy, what a good view you have when you reach the top!

The thought of trying the Finview Step-a-Thon which is a 5mile run/walk careening up and down 14 different city steps and hills  started in September (see Day 52 ) .  At first  I thought that this race would be as much fun as sticking a needing in my  eye because I am not in that great  of shape but after a month of exploring Fineview and making it a personal challenge, I was excited when the race day finally arrived. 
This race gave me a reason to explore an area of Pittsburgh that I knew nothing about.  Since I did not want to have a coronary, my cousin and I  walked the steps  weekly the month before the race, passing familiar streets, making friends, and realizing that this place was a little “gem in the rough” with a fantastic view (See Day 53). (I must admit that my cousin who is in great shape, joined me as my supporter since he could have  easily tackled this race without any preparation. Thus we laughed our way though most of our “training” walks).  A resident that we met  talked about Fineview this way, “people come up here for only three  reasons: 1) they live here, 2) they are visiting someone that lives here or 3) they are lost.”   

Monday, November 3, 2014

Day 79- Elmo and Cookie Monster Pumpkins

Who doesn't love cookies!

(Got to smile back at that) 

I was going  to a pumpkin carving party and since I am no Martha Stewart  and since in the past I left the carving to others, I solicited ideas  that would involve minimal carving from my co-workers. I am not one for scary things even though the day before(Day 78) I went to the Scare House.  Therefore as  Everything I Needed to Know I  Learned from A Little Golden Book instructs, I “expressed myself "   by creating my Elmo and Cookie Monster pumpkins.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day 78 Scare House

I am one of those “chickens” that do not watch scary movies. The few times that I have watched a scary movie was with my teenage son because I was desperate to have some time with him.  (I am not sure why  all teenagers seem to love horror flicks).  However, I had to sleep with the hall light on for a week after each movie and so  going to a haunted house was a huge challenge for me. I am not sure how my friend talked me into going but I was told that it  was  “good creepy” fun so I pretended to be brave and went to Scare House on Halloween night.