I'm typing this from Chicago having just completed a 3-day celebration of my mom's 90th birthday. We arrived on Wednesday and quickly made a pilgrimage to White Castle for lunch. It was then off to Costco to order mom's cake. The rest of the day was spent chillin' and talking with Mom. The next day was her actual birthday. The only thing we had planned was to take her out for a nice dinner. We ended up at a mid-range Italian place in the western suburbs that perfectly fit the bill. The next day Kitty, my sister, her husband, and I went to a Polish market to stock up on goodies. The 3 places we typically go to when we're in town have all closed over the years. We found a new place a little farther south. I usually get sausage and pierogi, but not this time. I just didn't want the hassle of taking it on the plane. Next time! On Saturday we had the big family reunion at a Polish restaurant. I was a ball of worry since I was the one who put the whole thing together. Would it work out? Would everyone be happy? The answer was a resounding "Yes!" Mom was moved to tears by the outpouring of love. She was so happy to be surrounded by family and friends. Kitty and I gave ourselves a big high five for getting all of the invitations taken care of and having everyone compliment us on the venue and the overall good feeling that everyone had. Everyone also loved the cake from Costco. Booyeah! Nailed it! At home we spent 2 evenings watching all of my Dad's old 8mm films which I had converted to DVD. One day we laughed at the antics of my sister, and the next it was my turn to be the brunt of the MST3K'ing. It was great to relive memories and see long-dead relatives again. About the only downer for the whole trip so far has been the weather. It has been total shit over the past 4 days. Hopefully we'll get a little sun tomorrow and we can take a trip downtown.