It has been a while, a year, since I’ve taken some vacation time so I am looking forward to boarding my flight tomorrow to spend some time in several states with family and friends.

I start my visit with some time in Chicago, principally to attend a gala investiture weekend with my fellow Dames and Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.  I was one of the keynote speakers last year at their investiture in Cincinnati. I was invested in Rome but was recently invited to be a member of the wonderful, dynamic North Central Lieutenancy of the Order.

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I can never spend enough time in Chicago – so many great memories of growing up in the suburb of Oak Park but going downtown with classmates or with my family to visit museums, the Art Institute, the Planetarium, and to visit and perhaps shop on the celebrated Magnificent Mile.

I always stop by Lewis Towers, built about 100 years ago. A great uncle, Frank J. Lewis, bought the building at one point and it was renamed Lewis Towers.  From the website:

Built for the Illinois Women’s Athletic Club in 1926, the building originally known as Tower Court had a pool, bowling alley, and gymnasium in addition to offices and lodging. During World War II the US Naval Reserve Misdhipmen’s School used the building to train officers and provide cover for a counter-espionage unit. In 1946 philanthropist Frank J. Lewis purchased the building and gifted it to Loyola University. Renamed Lewis Towers, 2,000 students arrived at the new downtown campus for the fall of 1946. Lewis Towers housed offices, classrooms, and the Julia Deal Lewis Library (Lewis Library).

Today it houses offices and classrooms of Loyola University Chicago as well as offices of the Illinois Club for Catholic Women, founded by my great-Aunt Julia in 1958.

In searching for a specific date about Uncle Frank, I came across this great site. I’ve corresponded with officials at Lewis University for years but have yet to visit!

When I think of Chicago, I always think of family – pardon my little history lesson!

Speaking of family, I so look forward to visiting several states, and to seeing my sister, sister-in-law and my dozens of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and -nephews. And maybe a new one while I’m there!

I’ll be back before you know it, se Dio vuole (Lord willing), as the Italians say!