Thursday, October 18, 2007

Minneapolis with Julie & Dan Huiskamp Oct., 2007

Scottie with Julie & Dan Huiskamp (and Mary Tyler Moore)

Purcell-Cutts House, 1913, now a house museum of the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Louie & I flew to Minneapolis on Friday, Oct. 12, for my annual Oberlin Group meeting of liberal arts college library directors. Dear friends from northern Iowa, Julie & Dan, drove up to have dinner and Saturday morning with us before the meetings began. Dinner at Lucia's Friday was terrific (all of us had day boat scallops, YUM), as was the tour of the Arts & Crafts house designed by an architect, Purcell, for his own family in 1913. It's not huge, just two bedrooms, but it is full of beautiful craftsmenship and clever space-saving ideas. WHY he and Frank Lloyd Wright insisted on flat roofs in northern, snowy climates is a mystery to me, but the house is lovely. The built-ins everywhere are especially appealing for us today. They had a central vacuum system built in, too! Not much new under the sun, eh?
The meeting began Sat. night at the Windows on Minnesota restaurant at the top of the IDS tower. Louie & I had Walleye pike. Another fine meal. Sunday noon 65 of us drove about an hour south to Northfield, home of Carleton and St. Olaf colleges. This is one of my favorite professional groups, and this year's meeting was another big success.
The horrible and typical airline delays (both ways this time on American Airlines) threatened to force us to stay overnight at O'hare in an exorbitant hotel room, but we got lucky. A sympathetic counter agent found us a direct flight from Minneapolis to Columbus on Northwest Airlines....thank heavens. That solution was available from the beginning, but the first 2 or 3 agents didn't offer it. Geez...........
As planned, the 12 Thai librarians were in Ohio by the time we returned. I'll put up a blog of their visit here in a few days. Right now, we're busy as one-armed paper hangers!
Much love,

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Chicago overnight Sept. 29 with Chuck Vernon and his colleagues from Romania

I know this photo is fuzzy, but it's the only one we have from the top of the John Hancock Building. It's Chuck Vernon, his two office managers/attorney colleagues Maria and Diana, plus me. Christie would've approved us raising a glass of champagne to HER!

We flew on Southwest to Midway for an overnight visit with Chuck Vernon and his two attorney colleagues, Maria and Diana, from Romania. They were in town for a conference of international law firms which finished around noon Saturday. The weather was perfect, and all flights were on time and efficient. When air travel works right, it's just great.

In the afternoon, Chuck & the ladies took the architecture boat tour, while Louie and I had lunch at one of the places Christie and I went to many times, Bistrot 110, then saw an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art - "Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967." Will & Stacey would've LOVED this, so I took a few photos to share with them.

Despite a long line, we went to the Signature Lounge at the top of the John Hancock building for champagne and the terrific view before dinner. This spot was also one of Christie's favorites, so we raised yet another glass to her. Louie and I are so grateful she left us Chuck, Alina, Christie, and Andre. And now we get to add their friends to our circle, as well.

The high point of the trip was dinner at Topolobampo, one of our long-time favorites. We've been visiting here for years with librarian friend, Bob Daugherty of Univ. of Illinois-Chicago, who also knew Christie. Chef/Owner Rick Bayless is the premier American chef for Mexican food. He has a show on PBS, and actually cooks in his restaurant most of the time....rare for celebrity chefs.

After a quiet morning Sunday, we met at Mother Hubbard's for brunch and NFL football - Green Bay vs. Chuck's favorite Minnesota Vikings - on huge screens, with good junk food and draft beer. Sports bars and US football are rare in Romania, so Chuck just loved this, and we had lots of fun, too. Home in time for an early-to-bed.

Louie visits State College Sept. 21-23 to see Dick O'Keefe and the Roths

Hi, Mom,
The start of school has been extremely busy this year, thus the gap in a new post to your blog. I hope to catch up today on a hot, quiet Sunday at home. The sheets are on the line, and breakfast was yummy and filling.
Last month, I decided to stay home for a quiet weekend, while Louie went to State College to see his old friend, teacher, and colleague, Dick O'Keefe. Dick is retired in State College now, having taught English and written poetry at Carnegie Mellon and Penn State his whole life. His apt. is in a nice, new building for seniors just down the block from where I lived in 1970-71 at Holiday Towers on Beaver Ave.

Louis and Dick were joined by Ted and Jane Roth, dear friends from Pittsburgh when Teddy and Louie were in grad. school together at Pitt. They've long lived in Connecticut, where Ted teaches and Jane is a musician (bag pipes, etc.). The foursome hadn't seen each other in 30+ years, but picked up the conversation where they'd left off. They had a fine visit, and we hope to repeat it before too long when I can join them.