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Ukrainian sounds & Kayaking

After the game, we ended Sunday with finally making it out to the World Music Fest at the Cultural Arts Center. From the time the plane landed all I wanted was to hit up this event! I had read about it through and was happy to hear it would still be going on during my stay. Timing plays a crucial role in our lives so I made it when I was supposed to. I saw only one band, DakhaBrakha, and that is all I needed. I sat completely still, emotion coursing through my veins drawing out an articulating transient tone, the music climaxes to full range of vocals & instruments, then, just then, a whisper, “mom I’m bored.” Dylan was not on the same train, haha. 🙂 He did not dig the Ukrainians, but he has a mind all his own and he preferred the french speaking band that played next. DakhaBrakha has amazing talent! Check them out. I loved them so much that I bought two cds and shared them with friends immediately upon returning home.

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I have not gone kayaking before, so I was equally excited and nervous. I did not want to risk the potential regret of damaging my electronics, thus I have no kayak photos 😦 Dylan and I shared a kayak with him in the front. Chicago’s Urban Kayaks (  is the name & I would recommend this tour to anyone. The tour guide, an aspiring actor with that one day recognizable face gave fabulous illustrations of information along the way, giving insight to the local architecture and some of Chicago’s ghost stories.

One of my first thoughts walking across the bridge that first night was how grand it would be to transport back in time to see this very spot of this grand city in the late 20’s. Like most, I am fascinated with the roaring 20’s decade, thus am even dedicating a whole party on it by hosting a flapper themed holiday party near the end of this lovely year. For this intrigue into America’s past, I have spent leisure time on “Boardwalk Empire” lately. My goodness, I am addicted!  If you also have an obsession over Prohibition like me check out the film, “Lawless”(, just a side note since I got started on bootleggers depicted in film.

Chicago skyline in the 20’s chicago skyline in the 20s

Modernized Jazz Age music of the 20’s :

I cannot wait to hit up ATX kayaks & do it again and AGAIN and again!!! Right now there is a super cool art piece hovering Town Lake. Here is a brief article as to why there is a giant white tree dangled upside down over the water.

Remaining photos from the last day and maybe some lingering ones that belong from one of the five days:

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Wrigley Field

Some may find this surprising, but this was not my first baseball game to attend. I spent most my childhood  playing with other kids underneath bleachers, on empty fields or awaiting the next sugar rush from “Sour Punch” stringed candies during my brother’s baseball games.  Sometimes, the best of my imagination was spent near the beaming lights and echoes of cheers or pushy parent hollers. I jotted down notes or memorized license plates, exercising my Nancy Drew detective talents during those long nights. One day it was my turn to swing the bat. I joined in, wearing a pink shirt labeled “Lady Hawks”. I was horrible at softball, loving the practice of the skill more than the challenge of performance on game days. I wanted the glory of a thigh bruiser like the ball players I idolized in “A League of Their Own”. That movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” characterized my pre-teen interests as being my favorite films for many years.  I left the fields of softball and soccer long ago. This Cubs game was my first sports event to not be the player, but the drinking bystander. It was paid for, provided variety, and was unlimited. Needless to say I had a grand time. When my mom said we would go to Wrigley Field on Sunday I did not know she meant a bleacher seated rooftop with bottomless food and drinks.  We met some great folks down in Wrigleyville of course. My new Colombian friend (the old man in the photo of us all) immediately developed a crush on me.  As he walked by the first time he kissed his hands to the air claiming me as “bella”.  Age nor attractiveness matters for this shy gal to blush at the thought of a compliment. I laughed and began to practice my spanish. He shared a sad moment in his pain of not seeing his son grow up from his decision to move to America, sending only his love home to Colombia for the last 18 years. Sin remordimientos, Felix, la vida es siempre bella. Wiping away his aging tears, he said “vamos, ven conmigo” leading us to the merchandise room where we kindly accepted the hats you see our smiles under during the game.

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20130920_233447_2The ROOF !! the roof! what R mean to youAraceli took me to a cool “rooftop” bar after I had asked if there are any rooftop bars. Once in the elevator I realized how my version on rooftop was very different from Chicago’s. I can only bring forward my schema of “roof” and “bar” where I imagine a bunch of people literally on the roof of bar, accompanied of course by live music. We proceeded to an improv show at IO.  We closed the night in Boys Town at a club called Hydrate, that should have been called Sauna. To hydrate was the correct goal to have after dancing in that sweaty mess.              IMG_20130920_203941_edited20130920_231010_edited

Saturday I went straight outside to take photos! Let’s see what was brought into the Finn’s focus…IMG_2036_edited sunking IMG_1933_edited IMG_1452_edited IMG_1444_edited redbicycle IMG_1448 IMG_1430_edited glowing IL flag_edited iDreamOfpAriS IMG_1432

Dylan loved the escalators! I love my tablet! We loved our hotel!

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Navy Pier

I was not excited about going to such a largely known tourist attraction and was only wanting to be a part of the World Music Fest, but photos speak a thousand words hence Navy Pier was definitely worth spending the day at. My son benefited most by overcoming fear. First he tackled the Ferris Wheel and was feeling brave enough next to try the swings. My mother and I laughed leaning on the fence watching his horrified face and stiff body on the swings, but to our surprise once the ride came to a stop he jumped off and proclaimed, “that was the BEST!” Then rode it 5 more times, eventually taunting the machine to go faster.

On the way there photos: IMG_1537_edited IMG_1530_edited

1379711464643on the waterfront IMG_20130920_165554_edited IMG_1697_edited IMG_1708_edited IMG_1617_edited IMG_1586_edited IMG_1625_edited IMG_1720_edited IMG_1740_edited IMG_1757_edited IMG_1640_edited IMG_1589_edited IMG_1598_edited IMG_1614_edited IMG_1648 IMG_1616_edited IMG_1635_edited IMG_1680_edited IMG_20130920_170353_edited IMG_1569_edited IMG_1568_edited IMG_1576_edited IMG_1523_edited IMG_1563_edited IMG_1553_edited IMG_1547_edited IMG_1550_edited IMG_1564_edited IMG_1587_edited IMG_1609_edited


House of Blues

First thing i did after getting set up in the hotel was went down to get one of my favorite beers now that I was back in town to do so. I am up on the 15th floor with a scenic view of the Chicago Riverwalk salivating over my favorite Chicago brew…and…they don’t have it!!! The keg had recently runneth over 😦 so I got a replacement drink, some basil liquor lemonade of some kind. Once the quench was over, it was time to hit the street! House of Blues was in walking distance and we were both hungry for blues and food sooooo HOB was the house of choice!

IMG_1240_edited IMG_1415_edited IMG_20130923_185356 IMG_1391_edited chicago river IMG_1469 IMG_20130921_145244 1379615414216 1379624983694 1379625225278 1379625298221 1379625398283  1379625631385 1379625505682 1379625667928 1379694921951 1379695010098 IMG_1414 IMG_1418 IMG_20130918_203632_edited IMG_20130918_203727_edited IMG_20130919_091555 Such a goodd helper 🙂 IMG_20130919_091624 IMG_20130919_093120 IMG_20130919_143458I heart Southwest.IMG_20130919_143430_edited IMG_20130919_130532A small layover in Kansas. IMG_20130919_121048 IMG_20130919_093224_edited IMG_20130919_160713 IMG_20130919_161919yolo IMG_20130919_093037_edited IMG_20130920_193052Our Groovy hotel flooring 🙂  IMG_20130919_200131 IMG_20130919_195501_edited IMG_20130919_194747_edited IMG_20130919_204428 IMG_20130919_201337 IMG_20130919_204847_edited IMG_20130920_104821_editedI snuck this photo at Subway on the first day because I felt they represented Chicago….industrial hard hats on a lunch break looking out to the city. IMG_20130922_012659 IMG_20130922_013652

Chicago Trip #2

I am thrilled to be back in Chicago! I really love this city and hope to be ambitious enough to take more trips here. My first trip was amazing but too short. This trip has allowed for much more exploring with 5 days to utilize. For now I only want to post flight photos because I didn’t bring my laptop and still need a keyboard for my tablet. I have really enjoyed traveling with my son because he is a sponge and sees everything with fresh eyes. I love watching him experience the new and gather the confidence and independence that travel gives you. I love the way he says Chicago and I try to take note of his quotes. A bit of honesty here, I love this city so much that my heart skips a beat when he calls our hotel our apartment. Sitting here in the lounge, I am recalling that I enjoy a challenge, particularly in travel adaptation. Something that keeps me from feeling anxious and caving into tourist mode is that I tell myself I will come back. This city has too much to offer leading for no reason not to return again and again. 1379608375424 1379615255581 1379608484437 1379615078835 IMG_20130919_230321 1379625112225 IMG_20130919_112348 IMG_20130919_112854 PicsArt_1379614605079 PicsArt_1379625186967 IMG_20130919_120946                                                                            So I feel I test myself in travels, leaving and taking the first step is always the first hurdle, but I realize now that this trip has become me testing my son. I can’t fear change for his sake anymore. He has a beautiful ability to adapt and has been quite the pro. He has loved every minute and keeps moving forward with me, just like a good sidekick should.

Photos up finally!

I have been browsing website options in the past few weeks. Taking notes, tips, and new sites to look into from friends and think I found the one I prefer. I still have watermarking to conquer, but luckily the greatest graphic designer/artist/photographer/web designer I know of has taken the task to make me a watermark 🙂 Feeling lucky in feeling out my purpose today.

personal GOALS:

Step one: present a portfolio – check!

Step Two: learn an instrument – check to 2 chords on the guitar so far 😉 A minor and F. Of course my favorite song right now would dominate in power chords that have my initials, AF 🙂

Step Three: put these lyrics to work with music!

Step Four: record those bitches – kind of check mark 😉 A friend of mine has access to a recording studio at all times & we briefly discussed me going down to check it out today. This I am not ready for at all! Yet, I don’t want to put it off so *sigh* i have lots of writing ahead of me and I hope to start voice lessons very, very soon.

Off to work! The little man is asleep so, time to start my non paying jobs, my beloved hobbies that I thoroughly enjoy dedicating time to but hate when I am pressed to organize my thoughts. Some days I awake feeling inspired and ready to write or  photograph all day, but sadly I must sell the day to making money pshhhh like that is the most important thing we navigate our lives around 😉

Fortune Forecast

Some of us have this unexplained gypsy blood within us causing for a feeling of restlessness at certain times in the course of life. I am happy to have found a home in Austin but still itch to get out on the open road with no expectations of where the road leads. I idolize anyone who actually does live on the road and understand the challenge of leaving people that have touched your heart behind. Lately, I fear the bug biting me again. Clearly, this travel bug is a pest in my brain because everywhere I go I get some sort of sign. Here are a few I have received from this last week.

A. The Alchemist found me. I read it and the moral of the story is we yearn to leave everything behind and take a huge risk in change. We travel far and find stories of love and friendship to return home to realize in the exploration we set out to find something valuable like treasure, what we find instead is ourselves. We return home to find what we left behind was already valuable but could not be seen unless challenged.

“Everybody, when they are young, knows what their personal legend is. They yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them. But as time passes, a                                                        mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their personal legend. The mysterious force is a force that appears to be negative,                                        but actually shows you how to realize your personal legend. It prepares your spirit and your will – It’s your mission on earth. To realize it is a person’s only real                                                        obligation. And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

B. One of my favorite bands that sings to my gypsy soul is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Finally, the concert day had come, but the night before was rough which lead into a horrible day, so naturally I began to think of calling it off. I shook off the blues and put my ivory dress on and thick eyeliner to hide my puffy, tired eyes and began to drive. Before I even got to the first light I noticed that a rainbow might guide me there. Indeed, the rainbow remained to my left the entire drive and disappeared as soon as I parked. On that drive was also a beautifully silver lined cloud to my right and so I drove in between a pathway of hope .  This tunnel of signs told me that I should never lose sleep over a heavy heart again. What makes this a good story in my opinion is that when I checked my horoscope for that day this is what it said, “There are opportunities for achievement, so stay open to new energy coming your way, Pisces. If you don’t turn at these fortuitous junctions, you may never find this spot in the road again. What comes your way may not be a pot of gold, but it will certainly be the rainbow that leads you to it. If nothing else, you’ll find opportunities that strengthen your spirit, preparing you for adversity later.” Pretty cool, huh? 🙂rainbowA photo from the morning of:IMG_20130904_080114_edited

C. Today’s fortune cookie slip relays a similar vibe fortune says 🙂 thanks fortune, I approve this one!

The signs lead the way, my heart will figure out the path. I will realize my dream, my “personal legend” when the time is right and trusting that will give me strength when I doubt.

It is only the beginning now and I do indeed feel the tides changing. My next post will speak more on what I mean by this.

Dedication to blogging for the day – check! Now I need to find which of my photos best represents the theme of “dream” for a photo contest. 🙂 Too bad this one is not mine.




I found the beer I had while at the art museum here at my local grocery store. I am enjoying it tonight for Labor Day celebration time. Cheers!

More photos!!!!

if i was a bird IMG_0414 Let's Get Lost let's meet under the buddha soulsky on fire statue sunlight the bean A Modern Sky bird