Steve and I returned home from Chicago around 5:00 p.m. this evening. We had a nice time despite the heaviness in our hearts. Here are the highlights of the trip... Wednesday We packed and left for Chi-town around 3:00 p.m. Luckily, the weather cleared so we travelled on decent roads. We were grateful and surprised with the light traffic. Steve and I arrived at the entrace to the Sheridan Towers around 5:30 p.m., Steve parked the car, I called Dad (who was already at the hotel) and we all met in the lobby to carry our luggage upstairs. Our room was on the 18th floor with a spectacular view of the cityscape, the Chicago River, and the Lake. After we left our stuff in the hotel room, Dad, Steve, and I ventured downstairs for a light appetizer in a venue called the Java Cafe. The bar/cafe was decorated in a modern style with large, comfortable chairs. After appetizers, Steve and I had to rush upstairs to get dressed for Dad's birthday dinner at Shula's, which is also located in the hotel. We met my sister and brother-in-law in the lobby and then we enjoyed a nice dinner. Shula's is definitely a guy-oriented restaurant: the steak menu is etched on a football. Also, my brother-on-law received a certificate for finishing a 48 oz steak! Amazing. After dinner, we ventured up to the hotel room and Dad opened his birthday gifts. (We gave him a Wii with games). And after chatting, everyone left for the evening. I couldn't sleep, so I finished a book and started another one. It rained all night. I slept in late. Thursday We checked out and met up with Dad at my sister and brother-in-law's place for Christmas brunch. They provided a wonderful spread of cheese, crackers, an egg souffle, pomegrate seeds, and fruit. Before brunch, we opened gifts. After a couple of hours, we left for home. It was a nice time and great hospitality. I think my New Year's resolution will be to turn on the oven and the stove and learn how to cook.