The week between my birthday at the end of September and our wedding anniversary at the beginning of October became Birthversary week four years ago when my adorable husband Jim and I got married. Every year we try to do something fun — like have a mini adventure or two — for my birthday. Then we finish up the week with a nice dinner out (dressing up required) for our anniversary. This year our mini adventure was a trip to Chicago. When we happened upon the bronze couch in the park, we knew we had to try and recreate our favorite wedding day photo. I think we did a pretty good job considering the couch was a bit stiff and I had no pillows to prop myself on.


Our adventure began at Chicago’s Navy Pier. We didn’t spend much time walking around the midway, but I did manage to cross one more thing off my bucket list: eat a Chicago style hotdog in Chicago.


Check and check. Oddly, there was no ketchup on the Chicago dog — it was a hot dog with onions, mustard, pickle relish, hot peppers and a slice of dill pickle across the top. I’m not usually a hot dog person, but the combination of hot peppers and pickles made the dog go down easy. I was happy to see they offered a Milwaukee dog, which was a bratwurst covered in sauerkraut. That’s more my speed.


We took a few more photos before heading to the day’s main event — an architectural boat tour of Chicago. Yes I got my seasick husband to go on a boat tour…and no, he didn’t lose his Chicago dog during the ride. The river was actually very calm.  A birthday miracle!


Our tour guide was fantastic. He was an architecture student in Chicago and called himself an architecture nerd. 


I quickly discovered my favorite buildings on the tour — which coincidentally were built in 1959 — the twin towers of Marina City


We had a rare treat during the tour — the Van Buren Street bridge went up just as we were going underneath!


Here are some midcentury homes on the river. No one knows exactly how much they are worth because all of the original owners still live there. I suppose if I had such a great spot in the city, I wouldn’t move either.


The weather was absolutely ideal for the tour. Sunny, about 70 degrees and beautiful fluffy clouds that were reflected in the buildings as we passed.


I’m not sure you could ask for a more perfect day to take this tour.


Since I got my adorable husband Jim on a boat, I let him pick the restaurant for dinner. Jim picked well  — his love of noodles led us right to The Slurping Turtle.  All of us thoroughly enjoyed being allowed to slurp our food — especially my 7 year old nephew. The food was delicious and another birthday miracle happened — my mother-in-law who doesn’t like fish at all — ate sushi and liked it! As dinner went on, we all started trying to take photos of each other slurping noodles…that’s when this happened:

That’s what I get for daring her to try sushi!


23 thoughts on “BIRTHVERSARY WEEK 2013

  1. I’m glad you liked the Chicago style dog. Just and FYI: a Chicago style hot dog NEVER, I mean *NEVER* has ketchup on it. You’ll get thrown out of some places (Gene and Judes, for example) for even asking for it!

    The architectural tours are the best! I always recommend them to people on their first (or tenth) visit here! Every docent has a different take on things!

    Happy Birthversery Week!

    • My father-in-law specifically told me not to ask for ketchup. I didn’t even consider it because I wanted to try the authentic version of the Chicago dog before I “messed” with it in any way. My verdict — didn’t need ketchup!

      My in laws had been on 2 architectural cruises before but said the one we took together was the best one yet because of the great weather and awesome tour guide. The guide’s name was Victor, he was AWESOME!

  2. Happy birthversary! It looks like it was a great week. I love the re-creation picture, you should do that every year. Hope this is a great year for you! I can’t wait until you finish your bathroom remodeling! 😉

    • Thanks Nicole! It was a great week. If I can find different couch to use every year, we might just have to make it a tradition! I’ll start the search for next year’s couch…. 🙂 Also, I can’t wait until I finish the bathroom either! I am feeling a bit paralyzed by the vanity build at the moment. Still in the planning stages! Hopefully I can get up the nerve to start this weekend!

  3. Happy Birthversary! There’s nothing like a Chicago “dawg”…I’m originally from Chicagoland and even ‘tho I gave up red meat 30 yrs ago I still crave the Chicago style hot dog…luckily, there is one little place out here that makes them that way and with turkey! They have to have celery salt, too…yum, oh, I’m craving one now. It’s sacrilegious to put ketchup on a hot dog…that’s what I’ve been telling husband forever and he won’t listen! 😀
    BTW, I came across some pics of the C. Jere pom pom sculptures:
    …I’m making some with all those juice straws and styrofoam and 14 Karat Gold spray paint (this stuff is covers a multitude of sins). Can’t remember if you did anything like these last year for the ‘RR blog crafting club’ but would be fun for holiday decor.

  4. My husband and I got married a week after my birthday too! It also happens my birthday is in late September and our anniversary is in early October. I agree it’s a great time of year

  5. Congrats on another great year! The architectural boat tour is one of the very best things about Chicago – of course, modern architecture & boats are two of my favorite things. The architectural tours are one thing I do miss since we left Illinois. Closer to home for you would be Wright in Wisconsin’s annual Wright & Like Tour. We lived close to the border, which made it doable for me. A long day of driving, but such wonderful homes to see.

  6. I did the same boat architectural tour when I visited Chicago in 2009 – it was a lot of fun and very informative. There is just so much great architecture in Chicago and it is very accessible, much more so than most other cities I’ve been to.

  7. I like your new word, birthversary. How nice of you to include other family members on your trip. I guess it was a fambirthversary!

  8. Kate,

    I’m missing your blog entries…It’s been over a month…hope all is well and that you’ll be blogging again soon enough!

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