Okay, Kim beat me to it, but here's my post about finally getting to meet my second blogger! After months and months of making plans only to have last minute disruptions we finally made it a priority to meet, even if only for a few hours. I had the day off work but had a doctor appointment in the morning so suggested we just meet in Deerfield, Illinois for some lunch and a walk. Kim doesn't live far from the neighborhood I suggested but had never had lunch at The Italian Kitchen before so it was a date. If you live in the area and haven't eaten there before you've got to stop in. Everything on the menu is delicious, the staff is friendly and they serve a killer lunch buffet during the week too. Oh, and Whole Foods is just across the street - score! If you're really looking to sin, you just have to cross the parking lot behind The Italian Kitchen to get to Deerfield Bakery. Be prepared to go for a run afterward to work off those calories.
|Kim and her daughter Chablis|
Kim's daughter Chablis joined us and we had lots to talk about. She went to the Smokies not long after Wayne and I were there in the fall so there was that, and we ended up discussing how economical house renting was compared to the hotels as well as the never-ending choices for hiking in the area. Chablis and Kim both work in the family business, but Chablis is trying to figure out how to get going as a photographer. I gave her a few tips to help her get some more answers, but since I'm just an avid hobbyist didn't have much in the way of advice about how to make money doing it. I have seen how some others are doing it and passed it along. Hopefully she'll get there, luckily she's young and has plenty of time to figure it out.
|I'm a thief, I stole this from Kim|
Can you believe I didn't bring my camera? Seriously. Looked at my big orange backpack that morning and said to myself, "need to put that in the car". Then I promptly forgot. It's hell getting older. Luckily I had my new iPhone with me. Got it this weekend, and when I was so excited about being able to check my email my son said, "Welcome to 2003, Mom". I picked the iPhone model due to everyone's great pictures I keep seeing from their phones, it's all about the pictures for me and my plan to always have a backup worked.
Even though it was the hottest day of the year in our area, we braved the heat and humidity to go check out Ryerson Conservation Area. The property and the trails were beautiful. There was a surprising variety of wildflowers and critters for a spot just minutes from I-94.
|Chablis at work|
Unfortunately the critter that was the most plentiful was the mosquito, a pest that those of us in the Midwest are getting a little too familiar with this year. How about a swarm of cicadas instead? Anything else, please!
|"Magicada" by Don Rambadt, 2007|
Kim posted about the meet-up on her blog already, and they got some nice snaps of the flowers. They were so pretty that day that I came home and braved the heat and humidity for another short walk on the McHenry County Prairie Trail. The section I walk is just a toe over the Wisconsin-Illinois border and is a short 5 minute drive from my house. Folks living in Crystal Lake can hop on the old railway bed and bike 26 miles to my neck of the woods if they like, or they can see the photos of the flowers in my post tomorrow.