Archive for December, 2009

After giving this a lot of thought, I’ve decided that keeping up two separate blogs is a bit too much for me right now.  Since my main focus (and much of my free time) is spent thinking about and practicing weight loss, Bella on the Beach is going to be the blog that I concentrate on.

As many of you can tell, I’ve been writing less and less frequently on this blog, and writing on an almost daily basis on the other one.  So, for now (until I’ve completed my weight loss journey, I guess) I’m only going to keep that one going. I’ll still leave this up so that new visitors can read the archives, and I’m sure someday I’ll be back.

This was the blog that started it all, and it will always be close to my heart.  This is my 327th post, and I’ve poured a lot of my heart out onto these pages.  I’ve also made some great blogging buddies, and I appreciate everyone who’s commented.

I wish you all the best, and look forward to seeing you on Bella on the Beach.


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This was the first Thanksgiving that I’ve ever traveled, and what a whirlwind trip it was.  My uncle recently purchased a house in Niles, Michigan, and we wanted to go out and visit him before the weather turned too cold for us wimpy Californians.

His house is so cool, especially the 2-acre grounds.  I imagined huge garden parties in the summer, my nieces running with wild abandon in the backyard, and sipping cocktails in lounge chairs.  At least, that’s what I’d do with the place if I had it.  Not sure if my uncle has those same plans, but maybe I can convince him.

The city of Niles, Michigan is very quaint, especially the downtown area, which is peppered with funky stores, antique “malls,” and old-time businesses.  They city is so much smaller than the one we’re from, so it was very interesting.  My uncle seems to be making some friends which is good.  The main thing that I noticed is that the people are much more conservative there than they are in the Bay Area.  Then again, I think most small towns in middle America are much more conservative than the Bay Area.  😉  The one example I have is that we went to a converted mansion in South Bend, IN for Thanksgiving dinner.  When we arrived in the dining room we ordered two bottles of wine – one white and one red – for the table of four of us.  You should have seen the stares!  The woman at the table next to us nudged her husband and sat there agape, as if we were slugging back wine by the gallon.  I looked around and saw that every other table in the room had either iced tea or water – no alcohol of any kind. So weird!

After a day and a half in Niles, we left for Chicago.  I had seen pictures, heard stories, but nothing compares to actually being there.  Chicago is a stunning, immaculate, architecturally gorgeous city!  I still think San Francisco is more beautiful, but I do love Chicago.  I wish we had more than two days in this fun, lively city.  I’ll definitely be back.

I could fill many more paragraphs with all of our adventures in the two day trip, but for now, I think I’ll let my 200+ photos speak for themselves.  I tried to get some artsy shots, so I hope you enjoy them.

Thanksgiving 2009 – Michigan & Chicago

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