The Ghost Story of “The Italian Bride”

Most of us enjoy a good yarn spun around a campfire, or these days, by the light of our cellphones. I was intrigued when I heard this story because of the proof they had to back it up. I can tell you that every ghost story I have heard, there is always a lady in white, walking a road somewhere, and ALWAYS after midnight. And when you hear them over and over again, you become kind of numb to them. The excitement isn’t really there anymore because there are SO MANY out there now, that you can’t keep straight half of them anymore…until her.

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Her name was Julia Buccola Petta, born March 17th, 1892. She would go on to marry in her 20s and become a house wife to her beloved husband, Mattew Petta. Unfortunately, she would die during childbirth at the age of 29, giving birth to a stillborn son. She was buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL, in her wedding dress (with her son), with a picture on her tomb of her in it on her wedding day. The story goes that her mother, Filomena Buccola, starting having nightmares where her beloved daughter was telling her that she was still alive! After 6 years of these dreams, Filomena got permission to exhume her daughter’s body. When they brought the coffin up, they could see it was disheveled and decomposed. BUT when it was opened…. she was in pristene condition except for her son and the arm that held him. Her mother actually took a picture of her daughter and what she saw….and it is ON THE TOMBSTONE!!!! They don’t have any real explanation for such great condition of the body but that they think back in those days that with the right ebalming liquids and an air tight coffin, decomposing would move at a slower rate. OR she’s a vampire. Who knows.

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Whats also interesting is that she was buried under her maiden name, not married name, and no mention of the child’s name that she had bore and eternally slept with. Rumors are that there may have been some beef with mom-in-law and the son-in-law, as happens, and once he got remarried, I’m sure Mom didn’t want any trace of him on her stone. The Mother also rests next to her now.

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And with any ghost story, they said you can see her walking among the stones in her area, or along the drive inside the Cemetery. Her stone is a full-size statue of herself in her wedding gown, along with her “live” and “afterlife” pictures on the stones. I can say looking at the photos I was creeped out, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she was hanging out in there, maybe chatting it up with Al Capone, who knows? To find her for yourself and pay your respects, you can find her in the Northeast corner of the cemetery, coming in from Harrison Street and taking an immediate left. She is right across from the offices and can’t be missed. Enjoy your visit!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Neighborhood that Frank Lloyd Wright Designed

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The goal was to see the home in which Frank Lloyd Wright designed and lived in from 1889 to 1909 with his wife and children. A beautiful home, see it in pictures and read about it HERE. After my hour long tour, I saw a map in the gift shop that mentioned the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. I had no idea he had designed so many of them! So purchase in one hand, and cellphone in the other, I was off to find my adventure in this Oak Park neighborhood!

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First off, the homes here are just gigantic. I can’t imagine what it takes to clean them, furnish them, and make them feel homey when there is just so much space to occupy. What was interesting though is how each home definitely had his feel, but yet they were all so different. He definitely likes using either very firm lines, or he goes completely the other direction with curves and arches. It is literally outside his home, so make a morning or afternoon of it and see the home, then walk the neighborhood. Also there is a sweet park at the end of it, complete with a dedication to the man himself. Check it out and enjoy the pictures.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio… Chicago, IL

 

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Some of my travels have taken me to the most beautiful of places, one being Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal home found in Oak Park, IL (a suburb of Chicago). Located at 951 Chicago Avenue, it was built in 1889 in a shingle style architecture, and the man had an eye for using space as necessary but making it also a work of art to behold. One cannot enter any of his properties without a gasp of “How did he do that” or “WHY did he do that?” Maybe most of us have become immue to the imagination it takes to make these homes of wonder, or that it’s just to much time and energy to do so in the first place. This was his passion, his passion project to be more precise. Here is where he raised his children, family moments made, kisses with his beloved, and also where he would work in the Studio that was inside his home until 1909. A masterpiece, a work of art, a home.

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Tickets will cost you $20 per person for the “Home and Studio Guided Interior” Tour which is what I signed up for on Thursday, August 6th, 2020. I highly recommend for any travels during Covid times that you do your research, call ahead, and pay online- some DO NOT update their websites and you don’t need to pay for something, invest the energy into going, only to find out that it has been closed during Covid and never bothered to update their site. (Yes, it has happened to me). For now, their hours are 10 am- 3 pm, THURSDAY through SUNDAY ONLY, so plan accordingly. Children under the age of 8 are not permitted, and I am just going to assume because it’s a Museum of sorts now and little ones want to touch everything. Nothing here is behind velvet ropes or glass, you are truly walking as a guest into his home. The tour takes about 45 minutes, plus or minus a chatty person who has lots of questions OR someone who takes a ton of photos like myself.

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Due to Covid, they only allow 8 guests per tour, and that worked out wonderfully for me. I checked in under a white tent where they checked my ticket on my phone, got the small group of us together, and that’s how simple it was. Everyone stood far apart, and when we walked around I would make sure to hang back and be the last one so I had my space. Masks are required at all times, and they do have rubber mats on the floors to show you where to stand in certain rooms. I had no problem finding the home, and was able to park on the side in the neighborhood that he also designed several homes for. That area is MUCH QUIETER to park in, the main road of Chicago Avenue was VERY busy and wasn’t worth trying to park on. Also this was a beautiful suburb of Chicago, the neighborhood alone was worth the trip! After the tour, I highly recommend a walk through the gift shop (who doesn’t like a gift shop?) and grab yourself a $3 map of the area where they show you each home that he also designed-it’s really cool and I will share those photos in tomorrow’s blog post! The tour was DEFINITELY worth the money, and only took under an hour to complete ours, so it’s worth the stop to or from Chicago. Check it out and thanks for stopping by!

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The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL

RoadTripLogoMost of my 2020 summer travels have been to roadside attractions and haunted places simply because  they have been away from crowds and have been free to enjoy. Museums were one of those “tricky” ones to try during these Covid days, but being here this summer, I really wanted to see the Museum of Science and Industry again.  LOVED it as a child, lots of school trips here from WI, and many with my own kids. I knew that it wouldn’t be the same with Covid, but I am learning that NOTHING is, and you just have to find the good in each day and then run with it. So that’s what I decided to do, booked online my date, Saturday, August 8th, 2020. Ticket were free during this time (just needed to make a reservation for the day and time), as they were just in the process of reopening, but alas parking inside their connected garage still cost me $22.00 The Garage entrance is located right in front of the Museum and was easy to find. Before you leave your car, remember your mask, its required at all times!rsz_img_8507rsz_img_8592Now, let’s get the uglies out of going during these Covid times, everything that you probably enjoyed before, is more than likely closed.  Just accept and know that ahead of time, so you don’t have upset kids the rest of the day.  What’s closed? Well for me, the Submarine, the Coal Mines, Finnegans Ice Cream Parlor, and the Café inside. They DID have set up a tent just outside the front steps where you could buy hotdogs and hambugers, along with chips and drinks. Tables were spaced away from each other, and it was a nice option other than nothing.  I have noticed the more touring I do, the hungrier I get, go figure. I mean, who looks at a Fairytale Castle and says “Boy, I could use a hot dog right now.” But alas, this is how I was imperfectly made!

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Speaking of the Fairytale Castle, THE best thing in this Museum and my ALL -TIME FAVORITE thing to see here, it WAS open and I was more than happy! I skipped in, I stared, I squealed with childlike glee at all of the tiny, elegant furniture. They used to have phones that you would pick up at each station around it and hear the stories of each room- they have now modernized it more to be told in speakers above you with motion sensors. It was a nice touch, and Im sure a happy one for them now with the virus concerns and the phones. It’s something NOT to be missed!!rsz_img_8554rsz_img_8587rsz_img_8547rsz_img_8543rsz_img_8515 (1)

There’s so much to explore here, from the real live Tornado, to the full size Sub, to the room full of stages of pregnancy, this Museum is rich with science and I LOVE that! With every turn inside this Museum, it’s goosebumps and excitement. I mean, how cool is it to see a Tesla machine making lightening while you stand feet away? Or see right inside the human body with real examples? I just love this Museum and I think it’s so vital to share with our children on the whats and whys of how life happens and exists.  Check it out, even with everything closed, it’s still worth the stop! Enjoy!SCIENCEtornadorsz_img_8624

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Lincoln Visits Strevel…An Historical Moment

Over the summer, I have figured out that I have several categories of travel that I truly enjoy checking off.  One of them being History, but more specific, Lincoln and his travels.  Having spent some serious time in the Midwest lately, it has given me a really cool perspective of this President and his life and times.  So when I visit a city, I look up if there was anything Lincoln did or saw there to add to my digital scrapbook of travels. This was one of those places, a diamond in the rough, and unless you knew where it was, I doubt most would make it a stop. rsz_img_1070

Yes, it’s a red house on a corner, 401 Livingston Street.  But it’s the Gothic Style architecture that gives this house a very spooky vibe, on top of the fact that Lincoln himself spent time here visiting and celebrating. Built in 1854 and located in Pontiac, Illinois, sits this interesting home where Lincoln visited his good friend, Jason Strevell. Why is it so significant? Because it is here that Lincoln penned a letter to his son on the evening of January 27th, 1860, that he predicted he would be nominated for the vice-presidency of the Republican Party.  The Strevels would also host a celebration for Lincoln here after one of his speeches at the local church. It is the ONLY and LAST house standing in Livingston County in which Lincoln visited. rsz_img_1068 (2)1LincolnDwightHomersz_img_1069 (1)rsz_img_1067Anything with Lincoln gives me the goosebumps…to know the man walked the same steps I now took in 2020, the same pavement, the same view of this home.  The home wasn’t open, due to Covid, but I was able to get a shot of the inside through the front door. To see him walk down the stairs, to know he walked and thought about where his foothold in history would be. Maybe he had no idea how he would shape us, but it’s pretty incredible to see these places and feel that amazing, historical energy.  I encourage you or the family to road trip to these spots around Illinois, it’s a great learning experience and it’s important to keep the history alive. Want to see more of my Lincoln Road Trip? Check it out HERE. Enjoy!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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