I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Didn't we all have to write an essay on this subject right after school started back in the fall? I remember sitting in a stifling hot classroom listening to my classmates recite harrowing tales of being stuck in the back of a station wagon with their kid brother/sister during the drive to Disney World or some other far off destination. I could just imagine the 14 hours of poking and pinching each other, counting cars, and incessantly asking, "Are we there yet?" Ahhhh, family vacations......those were the days.

I can't believe it's almost time for school to start again - the summers seem to fly by. Heck, time in general seems to fly by! I don't have children myself, but I know when I start seeing all those brightly colored notebooks start lining the shelves of Walmart that very soon, every third grader in America will be nervously standing in front of the class reading from a Blue Horse notebook.....

What I Did On My Summer Vacation
by Alison Sturm

I went to Chicago for a long weekend with a friend of mine. But first, a little back story on said friend. When I was about 12 or 13 years old, I was given the gift of a subscription to a magazine called Teen Magazine. One of the issues had a questionnaire that you could fill out about yourself and when you mailed it in with 50 cents, you'd be matched with a pen pal with similar interests. Now, I'm sure they just took all the entries, threw them into a hat and pulled out two at a time and declared them a match, but either way I was matched with a girl named Toni who lived in Saginaw, Michigan.

Toni and I started writing to each other very frequently (this was way back in the time that people actually used pen, paper, and a 15 cent stamp to correspond with each other) and we shared secrets, stories of boyfriends, best friends, and growing up in general. We met in person for the first time in our early twenties when Toni came to Tennessee to be in my first of many wedding. Soon after, I went to Michigan to be in her wedding and we continued to visit and correspond with each other during the years. We eventually lost touch with one another as our lives took different paths and nearly 10 years would pass before we reconnected and decided to meet in Chicago for the weekend. Our lives have changed in many ways over the years but at the core we are still just two friends who have grown up together over the years.

We had a fabulous time in Chicago...walking, talking, shopping, eating, and catching up on the last 10 years. You can view all of my photos by clicking here. We went to the top of the John Hancock building and took in the view of the city during the day and then we took a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Chicago and had an awesome view of the skyline and fireworks at night. This being a food blog and all, I figured my essay should touch on the "eating" part of my summer vacation. We had a great lunch at the Park Grill in Millennium Park and a sinfully rich dessert at the top of the John Hancock, but it was our experience at a place called Oenology that is most memorable. The word oenology means the art and science of making wine and this place specializes in pairing wines, cheeses and chocolates and allows you to experience different tastes, varieties and regions individually or in flights (sets of three). It was definitely a fun experience for the both of us and one of the many highlights of our trip. We've decided to commit to meeting once a year during our summer vacation, so stay tuned for next year's adventure!

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Lis said...

That is so cool how you met! I love that! :)

I'm glad you had a good time and will be making it a tradition each year. Yay!