Countdown to Chicago’s Eclipse 2017

Tomorrow, August 21, 2017 at around 11:54am, the biggest event is about to happen when the Moon will start to block Chicago’s view of the Sun!

I have seen different eclipses when I was in the Philippines but this time I am so excited because we’re going to witness a total solar eclipse!


There are viewing areas to see the eclipse: at the Alder Planetarium, Daley Plaza, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and in Perryville, MO.

We got our free solar eclipse glasses at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago and there are free outdoor activities like block party and educational talks with experts and Astronomers!



Go to this website for more information about Chicago Solar Eclipse:

You can also watch the eclipse through my blog. Here’s the live feed from ABC7 Chicago.


Make sure your Solar eclipse glasses were purchased from reputable and accredited vendors. I heard fake solar eclipse glasses were sold online. You can verify from Adler’s website if the glasses are safe to use.

A string of thoughts and a stray piece of mind


Instead of lengthy discussions about issues this and that, how about you go back from the start and how you do things back in the day? Can you go back to that? Or do you have something to go back to? Some things start for all the wrong reasons, and thus led to issues being encountered now.

How about we all pause and think back how we do things when we were all starting? It was all about our personal experiences, adventures and whatnots. What happened to that? What happened to now?

How about we do that again? Can we do that again? I know i can, but can you?

And if you can, will you? Because i will and i am doing it now. I suggest you do it to. Take a step back and restart. It’s not too hard. Compared to what’s going on now, taking a step back to step one and restarting is easier and a much wiser decision, not to mention a very needed one.

You might wonder what exactly am i pertaining to. Nothing in particular to be honest. That’s how i initially wanted this to be, but seeing that issues are sprouting here and there, i can’t help but relate this post to anything and everything this could possibly relate to.

Andrea is an Occasional Pastry chef. Occasional Blogger. Full-time Superhero.

Touring Inside Abraham Lincoln’s Home in Springfield, Illinois

Our second destination was to visit  Abraham Lincoln’s House in Springfield, Illinois. You have to get a FREE ticket at the Visitor Center and make sure you arrive 5 to 10 minutes before of your scheduled tour. Tickets are first-come, first-serve basis so plan your visit accordingly.

Before entering the house, the park rangers / tour guide will discuss some important matters and the do’s and don’ts: any kind of food and beverage were not allowed to bring inside, no gums, no flash photography, no touching of decorations, leaning on the wall is not allowed and do not step beyond that blue line. Because the House was built during 180-ish so the materials were very antique and sensitive.


You can also see other restored houses like the Arnold House and Harriet Dean house. The Lincoln Home is open daily from 8:30 am to 5 pm and inside the Visitor Center you can buy memorabilia, books and videos. There is also a movie presentation inside about Abraham’s life.

According to National Historic Site Illinois, Lincoln’s home was opened to public in 1887. His house was resided on the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets. This was also where He lived when during his career as a lawyer and became a politician. Lincoln bought the house for $1,200 and the house had 12 rooms on two floors. His son Robert Todd Lincoln donated the house to the State of Illinois in 1887 and with one condition that the property will be restored and maintained open to the public with no charge.

Lincoln lived a simple life during those years. His daily routine was to chopped wood, lit fires in the morning, milking his cows, and went to work. He would also provide a legal counsel to some needy in the remote areas.

Inside the house:  Sitting Room and Receiving Hall

On this photo, you’ll see the beauty of the house where decorations were color coordinated and wall papers were very vintage and Victorian. The family spent their happy days and nights at the Sitting Room were children play games, read books and viewing photos on the stereoscope (yeah, it’s like the 3D viewer on our time!).

On the other side of the room, there was a receiving area. This where the family welcome their guests and one of the largest room. Lincoln hosted several parties and gatherings.

The Bedrooms
Abraham and Mary had their own rooms. Usually Abraham work late at night and He don’t want to disturb his wife. The eldest child, Robert had his own bedroom and the younger ones Willie and Tad used to slept on a trundle bed at Mary’s room.

The Kitchen
Lincoln’s kitchen was very small and you’ll see a new cast iron wood burning stove and a small working table.

The Dining Table

Outside the House/ Neighborhood
Lincoln family had friends in the neighborhood. Mary used to be good friends with Julia Sprigg.


It was my first time to visit an actual house of a late President of the United States. There were a lot of information about Lincoln’s home and discoveries that made his tragic life became meaningful to everyone.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site- 413 S 8th St, Springfield, IL 62701


Abraham Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, Illinois

We’re on a road trip to St Louis, Missouri and we decided to stop over at Springfield, Illinois to visit the following tourist attractions: Abraham Lincoln’s tomb, his home and the Presidential Museum and Library.

Our first destination: Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery

The Lincoln tomb was his final resting place together with his wife, Mary, and 3 of their 4 sons. The monument was completed in 1874, mostly made of brick sheathed with Quincy granite and designed by Larkin Mead – a fame sculptor.

Inside the monument you can see versions of Lincoln’s statues, plaques, and some excerpts form his farewell address to Springfield, the Gettysburg Address, and his Second Inaugural Address.

At the entrance to the Tomb is a bronze bust of Mr. Lincoln. Visitors from around the world have stopped to rub the nose of the statue for good luck.

Oak Ridge Cemetery
1441 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL 62702
Open Daily: 9 am – 5 pm


Next stop: Abraham Lincoln’s House


Best things to do in downtown Chicago this Summer

As the temperature gets warmer (and hotter!), there’s no reason for us to celebrate! Chicago have a lot of activities and it’s about time for us to take advantage of Summer season. You can go out and start stretching your legs on the trails or parks or have a blast in a beer summer festival or take a side trip to concerts and festivities.

If you are planning to go to Chicago this Summer, make sure you check out of the best things to do:

1. Navy Pier Centennial Wheel
See the iconic Chicago Skyline above 200 feet. Navy Pier’s Centennial wheel has an excellent view of Chicago and Lake Michigan.

2. Millennium Park
Enjoy free outdoor concerts, movies and fitness activities. Millennium Park is one of the best place to visit this Summer.

3. 360 Chicago
Also known as John Hancock Observatory, you can’t miss the view on top of 94th floor. Capture Michigan Avenue and discover the history of Chicago in 360 degrees. Don’t forget to try TILT, wherein you’ll able to stand in a glass floor and tilted you outward in 45 degrees.

4. Willis Tower (Sear’s Tower)
A 108 story, 1,450 foot skyscraper in Chicago. The Ledge is one of the best attraction, this is glass balcony extended outside of Willis Tower.

5. Architectural Boat Tour
A boat ride along Chicago River and discover the history of Chicago’s best architectural designs (buildings and historical places) narrated by your boat tour guide.

6. Money Museum
Learn more about banking system, money history and hands on exhibits. Kids are going to love the activities inside the museum.

7. Magnificent Mile
Shop, eat and walk around Mag Mile. Chicago’s premiere shopping and dining destination. Walk around near Chicago river walk to Water Tower along Michigan Avenue.

8. United Center, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field
Visit Chicago’s sporting venues. Make sure you purchase your tickets to see the Cubs!

9. Lake Michigan
Check out the nearest beaches and relax along Chicago’s lakefront

10. Other destinations include: Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Tech, and a lot more outdoor and park attractions.

There are more stuff to do during Summer so make sure you’ll able to plan ahead of time before visiting to Chicago. I know hotels in Chicago were fully booked during Summer so you have to make advance bookings or stay somewhere near downtown like Rosemont or O’Hare and take a L train commute going downtown.

Here’s the video of  our Chicago adventure together with my Mom, Auntie and Cousins (Venga Girls) from California and Texas!