Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Hometown Favorites

Today I want to bring to you a collaboration piece from two totally different hometowns one is the big city of Chicago and the other my small town of Burlington, NC. 


Kendra Thornton is from Chicago and is a stay at home mom to three boys.  She is formally Orbitz Director of Communications and travelled a great deal.  She wanted to share her hometown favorites as did I. 

A Few of My Hometown Favorites

Because Chicago is my home city, you'd think I would have experienced everything that it has to offer by now, but one of the most enthralling things about Chicago is that the city is constantly evolving. Even the same wonderful landmarks, restaurants and museums aren't the same each time you visit them. While it would be impossible to list all that Chicago has to offer, this is a list of some of my favorite things Chicago has to offer.

Grant Park

Grant Park is the best all-purpose destination that Chicago has to offer, as there are attractions that appeal to those with many different interests. You'll find the world-renowned Millennium Park here, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Buckingham Fountain and the Museum Campus. First designated as a park in the year 1844, the park has been evolving ever since. It is located in the heart of Chicago, allowing you to take in the beauty of the city while still enjoying the arts. Further, with an abundance of park space, it is a great place to spend an afternoon. I often bring a lunch and enjoy a picnic!

Chicago Pizza

One of my favorite parts about Chicago is our pizza. The deep-dish pies here are completely different than a regular pizza you will get anywhere else in the world. One of my favorite places to enjoy Chicago-style pizza is at Gino’s East. A staple of Chicago, Gino’s East has been around for some time, and while it may be very popular now, it still maintains its deep Chicago roots! When going to the restaurant, they allow the patrons to write on the walls, and my family has enjoyed leaving our autographs there!

Great Day Activities

Chicago's Magnificent Mile includes the Historic Water Tower, where you'll find a sight for the eyes with a Chicago-focused photo gallery. Open year-round, you can really see straight into the heart of the city while perusing the works here. Because it's located in the midst of the shopping paradise known as the “Magnificent Mile,” you can also quench your shopping urge here.

Experience Chicago Even As You Sleep

While it is easy to forget how incredible a big city is from an architectural and historical standpoint when you live there, I love to marvel at the sites. In order to truly experience the unique ambiance of the city, be sure to use a hotel reviews site like gogobot to book your stay in one of Chicago’s historic hotels. This will help you find the place that best suits your individual tastes and preferences, all while being able to experience Chicago firsthand.

A few of my Hometown Favorites
Alamance County is fairly small, but surprisingly there is a lot to do here!  It is my hometown and it has changed quite a bit over the years.  From parks, children’s museums, restaurants and shopping, we pretty much have it all!  I just want to share a few attractions that are some of my favorites.
Burlington City Park
The City Park is an amusement park with rides for little ones including a fully restored Dentzel Carousel.   It is said that the carousel attracts thousands of visitors each season.  One interesting fact is that It is in the National Historical Register.   While the carousel is great, there is also a train, which is my favorite for kids and adults.  The park has 75 acres of ball fields, walking tracks, rides and concessions.  
Children’s Museum of Alamance County
Originally built in downtown Burlington, they have relocated to a brand new building in Graham, NC.  There is 14,000 square feet of play space with eight exhibit areas for kids to play.  The age range for kids is birth up to 10 years old.  This is a great place for a mommy’s day out; the kids can play and you can interact with them.
Farmers Markets and Co-op’s
Alamance County is still a farming community and following that there are more and more farmers markets popping up.  Most Saturdays you can find at least one or two, with several being during the week.  We also have a community co-op grocery store that has opened which families can buy into.  They have organic, local produce and many other products that you can not find in other stores.  You do not have to be a member to shop, which is good for anyone just wanting to check it out.  They also have a cafe where you can get food to-go or dine in.
There is a vast array of restaurants across Alamance County.  We have everything from fast food to fine dining.  There are many chain operations that have made their way to the town including the newest craze Krispy Kreme.  Although many restaurants are new there are some that have been here through the years.  One of my favorites is the Village Grill.  One of their signature dishes is the marinated key west grilled chicken.  Along with the Village Grill, another favorite is Jims Tasty Freeze in Graham, NC.  They have the best ice cream around with my personal favorite being the reeses cup freeze (with extra reeses)!  
Graham Cinema
This movie theater has been around for many years.  It sits in the heart of Graham.  They show movies for only $4 per person and you can get popcorn and a drink with refills without being robbed of your wallet.  It’s more than going to see a movie, it’s an experience!  After all, getting to use the old popcorn shooting machine to refill your popcorn is pretty thrilling!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our hometown favorites and we would love to hear some of your favorites as well! 
-Kendra and Miranda


  1. Interesting! I've never been to Burlington, but I actually went to Chicago 3 times over the summer - what a great city! And that pizza is to die for! I kinda miss it.

  2. I've lived within 3 hours most of my life and I have yet to see most of it. I'd love to spend a long weekend in there just soaking it all in.
    Your hometown sounds wonderful. In our last town, Grundy Center, Iowa, we had a theater owned by the city. They showed movies for $3 for adults and $1 for kids. $4 3D movies for all. It was such a great place to be able to take the kids and not go broke doing it. The city also owned a water park with a wading pool, splash area and a diving pool with lanes open at certain times of the day for exercisers.
    For a town of 2600, there were so many things to do including a very active library, a small satellite YMCA in the high school, bike/running trails within walking distance from downtown, and a couple festivals throughout the year put on by various organizations.
    One of our favorite things was the old fashioned soda fountain in the drug store.
    The county courthouse takes up a whole square block. There's even a pretty decent county hospital.
    For me the crowning glory of our time there was helping the local Community Garden Committee develop, build, and open the Grundy Center Community Gardens.
    We will always consider Grundy Center home, even if we did just live there 2.5 years.

    1. Sounds so similar to my town!! Thanks for reading!

  3. I haven't been to Chicago in forever!! I do love their pizza :)

    1. Everyone talking about their pizza is making me hungry! Ive never been and prob never will go?! :)

  4. Miranda, these are some of MY favorite things about Alamance County too!


I love reading your comments!