Adventure #13 – Chicago Full Moon Jam

We attended our first Full Moon Jam on Monday, August 27th. We were not sure what to expect, but I wanted to make sure we found a parking spot. So, we got there about an hour before it started, which was supposed to be 7:30pm (ending at 10pm). The Jam takes place south of Foster Turf Fields (which is south of Foster Beach), in between the Lakefront Trail and Simonds Drive. Parking is free in this area and the Full Moon Jam is also free. We ended up bringing some sandwiches and having dinner while we waited.

“Chicago Full Moon Jam is a monthly, family-oriented, and free gathering for the community from May to October that centers on a public display of fire dancing.  The Full Moon Jam is a fully permitted event through the Chicago Parks District and Chicago Fire Department, and part of the Night Out in the Parks event series.” – FullMoonJam.org

As we ate our sandwiches, we watched the crowd increase around us and tried to predict what we would be watching. The kids were a little concerned about the windy conditions. I repeatedly reminded them that the performers knew what they were doing and those organizing the event would not put anyone in danger. The show started around 8:00pm and we were all filled with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. I mean, it’s fire and we all grew up learning that it can be dangerous.

A very large oval was roped off, separating the performers from the spectators. Numerous performers would enter the oval and spread themselves out in different sections, making sure to give everyone in the crowd a great view of the show.

FMJ2

FMJ3

At times we were not quite sure what we were seeing and how it was even possible.

FMJ4

FMJ5

Around 9pm, the kids were getting tired, so we headed out. Before we got back in the car, we walked over to the lake to see the Full Moon. It was a very magical night.

FMJ1

City Life | Maggie Daley Park

Chicago Professional Photographer | Sharon Gaietto Photography

Maggie Daley Park opened in December of 2014. Our first visit was in the summer of 2015. Actually, make that our first, second and third visit. There was just too much to do and see.

mdp1

Plenty of things to climb, slide down and swing on.

mdp2

The Enchanted Forest is a great place to find some shade and to see yourself surrounded by a familiar face.

mdp3

If you like a little friendly competition, then check out the mini-golf. The kids love the course and you’ll love the view.

mdp4

There are plenty of opportunities to cool off.

mdp5

But if you’re looking for more, then just take the bridge over to Millennium Park.

mdp7

There you can really get a soaking at the Crown Fountain.

mdp6

 

You will also have to make sure to check out The Bean (Cloud Gate).

mdp9

So much fun, all in one place.

 

Chicago’s St.Patrick’s Day Parade

On Saturday, March 16th, I headed downtown for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This was my very first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I have had my share of parades on the south side, but this was my first downtown parade. I accompanied my daughter so we could march with the Girl Scouts. I decided to make a day of it, and head down early to watch the dyeing of the river.

The cold weather didn’t stop the masses from attending the festivities. They came by bridge, by boat and car (just to name a few).

St.PatBlog1

After about 15 minutes of waiting, the dyeing commenced.

St.PatBlog2

We moved a little closer to the action, to get a better look.

St.PatBlog3

When it was all over, it was parade time. We got in line for the parade at noon and didn’t get moving for another hour and a half. While we waited we saw a few celebrities, Dan Hampton and Bozo!

St.PatBlog4

Even though it was cold and it turned out to be a very long day, Sydney remained in good spirits and enjoyed our march in the parade (all ten minutes of it).

St.Blog5

On our way back to the car, I got a few last shots of the Chicago River in all its St. Patrick’s Day Glory.

St.PatBlog6

Come Fly With Me

I would never consider myself an airplane enthusiast. However, I can remember being a child and looking forward to seeing the planes go by and finding a trip to the airport pretty exciting. Even as an adult, I think the coolest intersection to get stuck by a red light is 63rd and Cicero. If you’re lucky, you might get the feeling a plane is about to land on you, without that unwanted crushing feeling.

As much as I have enjoyed the sights and sounds of airplanes, nothing compares to the thrill of the Chicago Air and Water Show. It wasn’t until I moved to the city did I realize how cool this event really was. And even then, I watched from afar, not wanting to deal with the crowds.

I finally attended my first show in 1998 (give or take a year). My sister and I brought my nephew and nieces. We planned so well. Parked the car right by the beach the night before the event, packed with everything we were going to need for the day. Then we took the bus over the morning of the show. It was perfect! Up until the time it started raining (all of about 20 minutes into the show) and the event was cancelled for the day. To say the least, I was very disappointed.

My second attempt came in 2007. I took my parents. It was going to be an enjoyable day at the beach. But wouldn’t you know it, it rained. We were able to see a little more than 20 minutes, but before it could really get going they cancelled the show. At this point I was convinced that there was some kind of supernatural force that did not want me watching the Chicago Air and Water Show.

Four years later I was willing to give it another try. However, I was going to do things a little differently. My two previous attempts ended in cancellations, so this year I was not going attend the “Official” Air and Water Show. I was going to check out “practice day”, on the Friday before the big weekend. I thought I could trick fate and guess what, it worked! We had the most beautiful day. Bright blue skies, warm temperatures and the best view on North Avenue Beach. My husband kept an eye on the kids playing in the water, my Dad sat back and enjoyed the show, and I snapped over 700 pictures.

This year I was hesitant in going. I was going to be on my own with the kids and I wasn’t sure if I could do double duty. Keeping one eye on them and one through my camera’s viewfinder, seemed a little tricky. However, I knew if I didn’t go I would be kicking myself every time I heard the planes go over the house. The thought of missing out on some great shots was more then I could bear. So I packed the kids up and we headed to the beach. Once again, practice day was the place to be. A beautiful day, a reasonable crowd, a bigger lens and I didn’t lose any children. It was truly a picture perfect day!

I thought I would share a few of my favorites from the day.

U.S. Navy Parachute Team – Leap Frogs

U.S. Army Parachute Team – Golden Knights

Sean D. Tucker and Team Oracle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S.N. F18 Super Hornet 

Dave Darcy in the Super Stearman

Matt Chapman Aerobatics 

The Firebirds

Bill Stein in a custom made Zivko Edge 540

The Heritage Flight – P51 Mustang from WWII and F4 Phantom from Vietnam

Lima Lima Flight Crew

Kirby Chambliss in the Red Bull Edge 540

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

If you would like to see more, you can check out my video on YouTube.

The 54th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show was absolutely AMAZING! Can’t wait until next year!!

Come Fly With Me, Come Fly, Come Fly Away