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Travel Log - Chicago
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Chicago, April 20, 2002

Got downright nervous when it came time to drive the roadster from Berwyn to downtown Chicago.  Pretty soon I had butterflies the size of vultures.  Did the only thing I knew to do:  I called Gracie (4-year old grand daughter) and I said, "I'm supposed to drive Seno into downtown Chicago....do you think I can do it?"  and in her typical 4-year old way, she said:  "Yeah."  So I got in the car and did it.

The Red Hat Society convention is being held here at the Westin Michigan Avenue across the street from the John Handcock building and I can see a sandy beach and Lake Michigan out my 21st story window.  It is freezing cold and blowing a gale, but quite honestly I prefer that over the 90 degreee weather they've had the last few days.  You can be neck deep in a mud hole and still die in a duststorm here.  It snowed Easter!!  Then the heat, now this. 

The Chicago Tribune is here, Senior Style TV, Modern Maturity and they said People Magazine too.  Anyway I've been photographed more in the last 24 hours than in my whole life all together!  Makes me still wish I had stock in Kodak.   It is such a shock to see a huge banquet room full of RED HATS!  Because each one is on a different head the visual effect is like looking at the surface of the each--a sea of red hats--and the undulating and waving of net, flowers, bows, feathers, rhinestones, satin, lace and even birds, lights and things you never thought possible on a hat--it is very much a SEA of red! 

Did my stand up comedy routine this morning:  THE WAR BRIDE.  I do a character who reports on the war zone of American life--Battle of the Bulge, War Between Men & Women, etc.  Gosh, went over great!  They are such a responsive audience--laugh at all the right times and are just generally crazy, happy people.  Businessmen staying here at the hotel have remarked that the Red Hat Society is the happiest group of people they've ever seen--everybody always smiling--and they say, "Go, girls!"

I am the banquet speaker this evening and then pack up and leave tomorrow morning about 6:30 am.  Off to South Bend and Notre Dame swap meet!  Now that ought to be interesting!  Think I'll go shop at Marshall Fields while I've got 2 hours before I turn into Alyce Cornyn-Selby the speaker-person.  (Some of the ladies swear they are going to send photos to this web site--hope they do!)
 

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Nancy Rhodes sent this picture in of how Seno looks from the front.  Parked here in Chicago while attending the Red Hat Society Convention. Thanks again to Nancy Rhodes who has documented that Alyce has made it to Chicago, here parked and waving to you outside the Westin Hotel.
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A Nancy Rhodes close-up of our driver, no worse for wear in Chicago, ready to go in and speak at the Red Hat Society Convention.  Can you imagine driving from Pacific City, OR to Chicago with windshields like that?
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Alyce holds "I did it!" award ribbon for successfully driving the roadster into downtown Chicago. Grand Exalted Queen Mother SueEllen Cooper and her Vice Mother welcome Alyce & Seno outside the Westin Michigan Avenue.
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Red Hat Society Convention goers used a lot of film shooting the roadster's arrival. Artist Denise Sperry inadvertently discovered the purple roadster driving along State Street & came to get a better look.
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A banquet hall full of Red Hatters there to fulfill the conference theme: PAINT THE TOWN RED in Chicago. Friends met, friends discovered -- when you wear a red hat you have many happy sisters!
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