Now that we live in Florida, I was pretty sure that we’d go back to the Midwest to at least visit Chicago as tourists. I was right about that, as we went in 2017 for a show or more. I would like to visit other Midwestern cities in the future, though. I think the Upper Peninsula of Michigan would be nice, and maybe even St. Louis. Of course, there are other parts that might be nice as well.

The Midwest

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June 2017—Chicago

This was our first chance to go back to Chicago and enjoy the city. We got show tickets for Aladdin at the Cadillac Theatre and spent most of the week near O’Hare, catching the Blue Line into the City. I actually worked quite a bit while we were there, but I did get to play one day and we ended up getting tickets to Hamilton. Madeline and Dana enjoyed the City more and then when we moved out to Schaumburg, we spent a day at Marie’s and went to church at CHS.


Madeline even returned the following week to be a part of the 40th anniversary of Family Fest.

August 2008—The Dakotas

I needed to hit all 50 states by the time I turned 50. When I was 46, I booked us a trip to hit my last two states: South and North Dakota. We started in Rapid City, spending a couple of days visiting the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and the Badlands. We then finished off my list by going up into North Dakota and spending the night. I’m sure some parts of North Dakota are nice, but what we saw was boring. I achieved my goal nonetheless.

July 2010—Dayton

I had my class reunion in Greensburg and a business meeting in Dayton a couple days later, so Madeline and I drove down and while I was working, she went exploring the town. She found Jungle Jim’s north of Cincinnati and then the National Museum of the US Air Force. It was a short trip, but it counts as the Midwest.

May, Sep, Dec 2018—Chicago

We were invited to Michael Harris’s Confirmation, so we turned the opportunity into a long weekend trip. We spent a few hours in Morton Arboretum one day, but mostly we just had visits with different friends. We also went back to CHS for Sunday Mass, seeing lots of folks there, too. It was a beautiful weekend in the suburbs, which was a pleasant surprise after they had such a cold spring.


We went back in September while I was working on a project. We returned again in December for the Zonatherm Christmas party.

JUNE 2018—Indiana

The last couple of times we tried to go to Indiana, luck was not on our side. We missed one wedding due to a hurricane and then the next one due to someone getting sick the night before our flight. We were bound and determined to get there this time for my father’s 86th birthday. We accomplished our goal and had a great time with family at a few different meals. We took my parents to the casino and came out richer than we went in, and also played the required round of mini-golf, which is a Navarra family tradition.