Chicago – December 2017 – A Cold Holiday Week

While our visit to Chicago for Christmas wrapped up as one of the coldest ever, it was fantastic. The lights and scenes of the city made being bundled up against the cold worthwhile.

A quick drive over to Burnham Park gave a seasonal perspective of the classic skyline view, minus the boats, but with frozen water instead.

2017 12 27 127 Chicago.JPG

 

 

The Tribune Tower’s Nathan Hale statue was decked out for the season.

2017 12 26 10 Chicago.JPG

 

 

A different view – the Willis (aka Sears) Tower looking north.

2017 12 28 4 Chicago.JPG

 

 

With the extreme cold Lake Michigan iced over in the just few days we were there.

2017 12 28 21 Chicago.JPG

 

 

Meanwhile up at Wrigley Field they had set up a Christmas Market, complete with an ice rink.

2017 12 28 69 Chicago.JPG

 

 

Our final evening was spent walking along the (now frozen as well) Chicago River.

2017 12 28 96 Chicago.jpg

 

 

And a walk along the Magnificent Mile.

2017 12 28 114 Chicago.jpg

Steubenville, OH – December 2016 – Giant Nutcrackers

Christmas eve found us making a quick trip to Steubenville to see a collection of giant themed nutcrackers. But first we made a few stops, starting in the small town of Dresden, where there is yet another giant basket. It was once the home of the Longaberger Basket company, before they moved to their even larger, 7 story basket in Newark.

2016 12 24 2 Dresden OH.JPG

 

Later we made a stop in New Rumney, Ohio to visit the Ohio Historical Society tribute to the native son George Custer.

2016 12 24 21 New Rumney OH Custer Monument.JPG

 

As we reached Steubenville we found a nicely restored 1970s Sohio Gas Station, complete with memorabilia inside. Functioning today as just a garage, with the signs at the pumps pointing out ‘no gas  – just memories’; the garage was supposed to be closed that day but someone was working on a car and let us in to check it out.

2016 12 24 29 Steubenville OH Sohio Museum.JPG

 

Finally we arrived at Fort Steuben to the nutcracker display. A local family, whom we met when we were there, designed and built all of them. With over 100 of them all featuring a famous character or person, it was a very impressive display.

2016 12 24 95 Steubenville OH Nutracker Village.JPG

 

As you entered you came upon the Rat Pack, including Steubenville favorite son Dean Martin.

2016 12 24 34 Steubenville OH Nutracker Village.JPG

 

The hundred characters lined both sides of the sidewalks leading to the old fort.

2016 12 24 83 Steubenville OH Nutracker Village.JPG

 

As we were leaving Steubenville we came upon a sculpture honoring the steel workers, overlooking the valley with the mills still cranking out smoke.

2016 12 24 117 Steubenville OH.JPG

 

Our day to Steubenville turned out to be a really good day, with the nutcrackers easily being the highlight.

Columbus – December 2016 – Chinese Lantern Festival

This holiday season brought something new to Columbus, the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival, featuring 39 beautiful lantern displays ranging from a 200 feet long illuminated dragon to glowing tulip-lined walk ways. The lanterns are created by hand using silk fabric, steel frames, and tens of thousands of LED lights.

In addition there were performers displaying amazing balance and skills as they featured traditional Chinese acts featured include: jar balancing, kicking bowls on a rolling board, Chinese face-changing (thoroughly amazing display of slight of hand), martial arts, and umbrella juggling.

This event far exceeded the Wild Lights at the Zoo, and was one of the best light displays I have ever seen.

2016 12 10 80 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.JPG

 

2016 12 10 128 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.JPG

 

2016 12 10 159 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.JPG

 

2016 12 10 175 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.JPG

 

2016 12 10 189 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.JPG

 

2016 12 10 89 Columbus OH Chinese Lantern Festival.JPG

Columbus – November 2016 – Wild Lights

Each Christmas season the Columbus Zoo has a lighting display called ‘Wild Lights‘. Having never been there, we decided to check it out. Unfortunately we decided to go on a night where you had free admission with canned food, and most of Columbus made the same decision.

The lighting displays were ok, most seemed the same, and it was insanely packed with strollers. I always hope to have a good time at the Zoo and always seem to come home disappointed.

Having said that, here are the highlights of the lights.

2016 11 18 3 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.JPG

 

2016 11 18 4 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.JPG

 

2016 11 18 21 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.JPG

 

2016 11 18 41 Columbus Zoo Wildlights.JPG