Christkindlemarket Chicago

It’s that time of year again. Grab your warm attire and get ready to celebrate Christmas in Chicago, German style!

For those of you who are not familiar with one of Chicago’s most popular traditions, Christkindlmarket is located in Daley Plaza for a few short weeks in November and December. Vendors from Germany, the United States, and other areas of the world set up shop and create a holiday wonderland.

Christkindlmarket is an old German tradition that began in Nurnberg, Germany. Vendors sell their specialty items from their stalls at these Christmas markets. Patrons walk the market admiring goods and purchasing items to add to their holiday decor and traditions.

Chicago has adopted this tradition and invites vendors from all over to participate. It’s a wonderful experience; you can shop and also speak to the friendly vendors who love sharing stories about their home town and how much they look forward to coming to Chicago to show off their goods. I love coming here and truly enjoy it. I do understand how overwhelming it can seem since it’s in the heart of Chicago during a busy time of year, so here are my tips to making your visit an enjoyable one!

1) Tanya’s Parking Tip

If you are traveling from the suburbs and you have kids under 7, I would suggest skipping public transportation and park your car in a nearby garage. A way to save money ahead of time at a nearby garage is to download the Spothero app. This will pin point areas with affordable parking, for any budget. I was able to find parking a block away for $13 and was able to stay parked for over 10 hours. Make sure you download this before parking in a garage. Sign up with SpotHero and save $5.

2) Christkindl with Kids: Kinder Speil

Kids can play a passport game. Before, you begin stop by the information stand and grab a passport for your kids. This is an awesome experience, you get to look at all the vendor’s goods and your kids are looking for the stands with the passport sign marked. It’s a win for all.

3) Staying Warm

Drink the traditional Gluehwine with or without alcohol. This always reminds me of when I was a kid growing up in Germany and going to the local Christkindle Markets. I had the Kinder Gluehwine (non alcoholic) and would walk the area trying to find an ornament for myself.

4) Eat up

I understand it is a little scary trying different food and it’s tempting to go somewhere else to eat, but I recommend eating at the market. There are lots of items to choose from; it could be a traditional Bratwurst on a bun, or something more extreme like a German favorite Mett (raw pork or beef minced with bacon on a bun). I am not a fan of Mett, but I remember my Mother eating this on occasion growing up in Germany. I decided to have curry wurst with fries. The portions are great and my four year old and I shared the dish and then went to get some dessert.

5) See where the vendors are from?

Take a moment and look outside the stall. There you will see where the vendor is from. I was so happy to find one from my birth town!

I was able to speak to them in German and get to tell them how I came to the United States and how I know the language. The vendors are so happy to be there and love talking about their hometowns. It is not often you can get the authenticity of certain country traditions, but Chicago got it correct by having Germans come here from Germany and showing a little piece of their world with local Americans.

6) Say Danke

Have a little bit of fun and say Danke (pronnounced dahn-ka) which is Thank you or say Hallo (prononnuced hollow) which means Hello in German. It makes the shopping experience more fun.

7) Shop until you drop!

Take notice of all the handmade trinkets and ornaments. My Son and I bought some wood ornaments from Munich and a glass blown ornament from Poland.

I love Christmas and how magical it is, and Christmas time in Germany was really special. I am beyond thrilled that Chicago has brought a piece of home close to me and allowed me to show my son how I grew up, and also share memories of doing the same thing with my parents. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Fröhliche Weihnachten! (Merry Christmas)

Advertisements

Immersion Virtual Reality Center Opens Today at The Abbey Resort

I am happy to share this press release courtesy of The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa!!

Lakeshore resort announces all-new virtual reality gaming experience, cinema and eatery open for the weekend 

FONTANA, Wis. – October 13, 2017 – The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa is thrilled to announce its all-new Immersion experience center is open to the public, featuring a cutting-edge virtual reality gaming center, big-screen cinema and eatery.

Virtual reality – a type of unique, on-trend and cutting-edge gaming technology – is quickly gaining popularity, and Immersion is the first of its kind in the Lake Geneva area. Resort guests and visitors alike are welcome to go beyond reality and experience the future of gaming in this cutting-edge virtual reality experience center known as Immersion Virtual Entertainment that is located within The Abbey Resort. They can also enjoy movies and games on the big screen in the new Immersion Cinema that comfortably accommodates 30 guests for movies, games and even corporate presentations, or relax with refreshments at the Immersion Café that will serve beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks. These three components – Immersion Virtual Entertainment, Immersion Cinema and Immersion Café – together make up The Abbey Resort’s all-new Immersion experience center.

Immersion uses high-powered gaming PCs and fully immersive VIVE head mounted displays by HTC Corporation that put users right into the gaming action with precise, 360-degree controller and headset tracking, realistic graphics, directional audio and high definition haptic feedback for realistic movement and actions.

Immersion will feature four ten-foot by ten-foot gaming stations, each with its own headset(s) and access to a user-friendly gaming library allowing users the ability to select a variety of games and experiences throughout   their session. For the grand opening, Immersion features games and experience for all ages including outer space explorations, surviving among dinosaurs, trying various professions such as being a chef, virtual 3D painting and more! Immersion will regularly update the gaming library as new games and experiences are made available.

Immersion is open to users ages eight years old and older who are also at least 48 inches in height. Gaming sessions may be purchased in 15-, 30- and 60-minute periods for $15, $25 and $45, respectively. The virtual reality center will be open within The Abbey Resort every day of the year on weekday evenings, as well as afternoons and evenings on weekends and holidays. Additionally, Immersion may be booked in advance for private parties.

For more information about the all-new Immersion Virtual Entertainment and experience center or about The Abbey Resort, please visit http://www.theabbeyresort.com/immersion.aspx.

About The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa

As the only full-service resort located directly on the shores of Geneva Lake, The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa caters to guests ranging from families and couples to weddings and corporate groups. Continuing in its commitment to constant improvement, the resort recently completed major property renovations upward of $50 million, including updates made to guest rooms; restaurants, bars and coffee shop; meeting and banquet facilities; Avani Spa; common and lounge areas including the entryway and lobby; the exterior and A-frame and; outdoor pool amenities. Located just 80 miles from downtown Chicago and 50 miles from Milwaukee, The Abbey Resort boasts a breathtaking setting on 90 acres of beautifully manicured grounds, award-winning dining and banquet facilities, nearby championship golf courses, a wide range of outdoor activities and the on-site 35,000 square-foot Avani Spa.   

   img_8749                                                                                          

The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa is managed and operated by Hostmark Hospitality Group of Schaumburg, Ill. For more information or reservations, visit http://www.theabbeyresort.com, join Abbey Resort and Avani Spa on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/abbeyresort or follow @AbbeyResort on Twitter www.Twitter.com/abbeyresort.

Tickled Pink To Raise Awareness 

I recently had the had the pleasure of attending Tickled Pink for Bright Pink event, which was held at Morgan Manufacturing .

Cancer,pink,chicago
Raising awareness

Tickled Pink is in honor of the founder Jodi Fyfe’s cousin, Carrie Kenney, who lost her battle to breast cancer at the age of 55. Throwing a fun event was the best way for Jodi to keep her cousin’s spirit alive. It is one of the hottest parties for a great cause and this year they were celebrating 12 years.

#tanyatries, tanya abbey, cancer, pink, bright pink
Raising Awareness

All participants share the common goal of raising breast cancer and ovarian cancer awareness.Throughout the event there were silent auctions, raffles,and firefighters walking around giving out beads for a donation. All the proceeds benefit Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.

Chicago, bakery, cake, cupcakes
Vanille Chicago

All attendees and participants were dressed to impress in their formal attire and made sure to show respect by wearing pink. There was food showcased from restaurants and bakeries in the Chicagoland area. The entertainment was fantastic, including drag queens and a live band. Jodi made sure the night was successful and that Carrie’s legacy lived on.

img_2132
Top Chef Katsuji Tanabe

Here is how to do a breast self- exam from nationalbreastcancer.org:

1) In the Shower

Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

2) In Front of a Mirror

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

3) Lying Down

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.