California Wine Country

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Oh Napa Valley, how I fell for you! Your sexy, curving roads thrilled. Your warm October breezes, heady with eucalyptus, rosemary, and grapes intoxicated. Your wine sated and delighted. And your food. Oh, your food! Each ingredient shining but not overpowering, casually lending just-yanked-from-the-garden character. And your insouciant beauty, from vista to vineyard lunch, aroused both inspiration and envy. Don’t tell Chicago, but I’m dying to see you again. Continue reading

This Weekend: Best of the Fest Children’s Film Series and The Antiques & Garden Fair

 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the first installment of Best of the Fest Children’s Film Series, produced by Chicago’s Facets Multi-Media and presented at Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.  Milos Stehlik (pictured above), founder of Facets, travels the world to find films for children that engage, entertain, and empower.  Last Sunday’s short films carried themes of persistence, music, love, acceptance, courage, and the environment that were told mainly from children’s perspectives but loved by viewers of all ages.   The familiar sounds of children’s chatter, wiggling seats, and rustling popcorn bags came only in the moments between short films.  During the showings, kids in attendance were completely engrossed in the films, letting out bursts of infectious giggles and sometimes shouting enthusiastic proclamations of plot discovery.   This Sunday, April 13th, Facets returns to Gorton at 4pm to present three book-based short films, including the Oscar winning “The Gruffalo.”  Seating is limited but tickets are still available on Gorton’s website (link here).  Tickets are also available on Gorton’s site for the last installment on April 27th.

Also this weekend is one of my favorite Chicago Botanic Garden events, the Antiques and Garden Fair.  Friday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm each day, gorgeous floral displays surround 120 booths filled with treasures from around the world.  Year after year I walk out with a lighter wallet and a heavier trunk (remember this goody from last year?)!  Tickets available on the Chicago Botanic Garden’s site (here).

Happy Early Weekend! xo

Bagpipes and Bonfire

DSC_0418Each year when September comes to a close, Lake Forest families gather in celebration of autumn and our community’s dedication to preserving open land.  Set against the serene backdrop of Middlefork Farm Nature Preserve, this year’s Bagpipes and Bonfire included Highland games, fiddling, fly casting, wagon rides and a delicious harvest dinner.  As the sun began to set, a 100 member bagpipe and drum band performed until one piper summited a giant brush mound in the center of the field.  The crowd was still as he played a chill inducing version of Amazing Grace, and after the last notes were played, the band marched off with drums beating in unison as the twilight bonfire was lit.

DSC_0111 DSC_0169DSC_0257 DSC_0197 DSC_0350 DSC_0391 DSC_0437 DSC_0524 DSC_0548_2 DSC_0602 DSC_0639Funds raised from Bagpipes and Bonfire support Lake Forest Open Lands Association, an environmental education and advocacy group that maintains over 800 acres of open space in our community.