In December, Kate and I flew back to Illinois to see my beautiful mother in my home town of Lombard. Mom is still active, healthy and independent at the wise old age 94. Weather was accommodating, cold but dry and sunny, making it easy to venture out and explore her old neighborhoods.
We visited Cicero and saw my mom’s original houses she lived in as a kid, like this one above, where she was a sweet 16 back in 1940. Then we went on to see the church she was baptized in back in 1924. St. Mary of Czestochowa. Kate got us into the rectory where my mom was able to get a copy of her birth certificate and also access to the inside of the church, which was just beautiful. Then on our way back we drove right by one of Al Capone’s houses. Really rather shabby, not well taken care of. It was at 1600 So. Austin Blvd. and apparently used as his “Party House” since it was conveniently located near his base of operations at the Hawthorne Hotel on 22nd Street in Cicero.
For dinner one night we went to the Czech restaurant Bohemian Crystal in Westmont, Ill. I had been there for the first time last year and wanted to take Kate. They served amazing roast duck, liver dumpling soup, and dumplings and gravy… all of which are causing my mouth to water just writing about it. Photos below.
Lombard’s famous Lilacia Park is completely decorated with lights for the holidays. Just an amazing spectacle of colors. A huge endeavor to set it all up and whoever does it has to be applauded.
We played lots of “Kings Corner” cards, went shoe shopping, watched the Bears win and just had a terrific time as always. My mom is the best!