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My yuccas are blooming this year...


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Photo 187/365


Photos 183-186/365 (series: Chicago!)

Another family tradition: Chicago for the Fourth of July. I guess the good news about being home only 12 hours between trips is that really you don't have to unpack very much. Actually, we folded up all our Chicago clothes and left them on the bed before we left for Stratford, so when we got home from Stratford Sunday night we emptied the suitcases into the laundry bin and just replaced them wit the Chicago clothes. Toiletries stayed packed, and we were ready to bed. 

Chicago is a slightly longer drive than Stratford for us, but both drives come with a variable that cannot be measured ahead of time. For Stratford that's the border crossing into Canada (sometimes those lines are loooooong), for Chicago it's the city traffic. Stratford won this year for ease of passage, Chicago was in rare form! 

Weather was great this year, especially on fireworks night. Fireworks for us in Chicago means going up on the rooftop, grilling delicious food and sipping delightful wine while watching the horizon just errupt with color all around us. We don't see any one display—that would mean crowds, more traffic, and less food—instead from our rooftop position we see dozens of displays all over the parts of the city. It's beautiful, and this year it was set against the backdrop of a far away but still approaching storm, and the lightning was stunning. About an hour after the sun went down, when we'd really had our fill and had a lovely time, the rain reached us and we dashed inside to enjoy the natural fireworks. 

Oh, and it's my dad's birthday. Happy birthday dad, and thanks for throwing such a wonderful party every year!


Photos 180-182/365 (series: Stratford!)

One of our favorite places to visit: Stratford, home of Canada's annual Shakespeare Festival. This is another family tradition going on seven years now, including the best old style motel with pool, Shakespeare and musicals, and ice cream every day from the sweetest little shop in town. This year the weather was perfect for swimming, and that's about it, other than seeing shows inside an air conditioned theater, that is. With a daily heat index in the triple digits (yes, even in Canada!), we weren't doing much of our usual wandering around town. Our 2018 line up? Shakespeare's TempestTo Kill a Mockingbird, and Music Man.