Rockford Illinois Trip 2017

Diary of Roger Zellmer's trip to Rockford, Ill to attend Mike Winter's Retirement Party - June 2017

06/08/17 Left in morning at 11:15 am via American Airlines to see Charlene and Mike in Rockford Illinois. Arrived at Chicago O’Hara airport at terminal 3 and made a long walk out to the Transportation Center to pick up a Van Galder bus to Rockford. I made it with only 10 minutes to spare. Charlene and Mike picked me up in Rockford and I got to their house around 8:00pm. The purpose of my trip was to attend a retirement party on Saturday for Charlene’s husband Mike Winters. Got my electronics all set up and unpacked my clothes and was in bed by 9:30pm.


06/09/17 Got up at 9:00am for quick breakfast and helped Charlene and Mike with the party setup of chairs and tables under their large outdoor tent which they borrowed from their church. We then went out for lunch at Portillo’s an extremely popular Italian fast food establishment serving hotdogs and Italian sub like sandwiches of all types. I had a pulled beef and Italian sausage sub that was very delicious. Next we started picking up food and supplies for the party tomorrow. Went back to Charlene’s and stored the food in refrigerators until tomorrow. Charlene made spaghetti with homemade red meat sauce for dinner. YUM YUM At sunset I flew my DJI Mavic Pro quad drone taking high altitude video footage of Charlene’s house, back yard, and the large white tent for tomorrows party.


06/10/17 This was the big day of the party. Got up about 9:00 am to have Charlene’s lite rhubarb torte cake breakfast. Then went with Char to pick up more food for the party. It turned out that way too much food was ordered and there was lots of food left over. The food was brought home and iced down in large plastic boat like inflatable containers filled with ice. I was kept busy helping with set up of all the food. It was a beautiful sunny day with strong wind. We carried out a lot of bricks from the garage to hold things down. People started coming about noon. Mike’s retirement party was a great success everybody having lots of fun enjoying the good food, beer, and congenial socializing. I did photography and met several new interesting people to talk with. About 75 people showed up for the event. Mike received numerous cads and gift certificates. It was obvious to me that Char and Mike were well liked and appreciated by their work and church friends. I helped Char and Mike with the left over food and clean up afterwards. Went to bed early dead tired and had a good nights sleep.


06/11/17 I attended church with Charlene and Mike this morning. We then drove to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin to the Fireside dinner house and theater. We had a nice brunch and then attended a 2 hour musical review called “Back to the 50’s” which was excellent and very entertaining. I have been going to this theater since my high school days, loving it back then, and enjoying it just as much today. The quality of the food and entertainment has remained very high all of these years and the establishment attendance keeps growing. Drove back to Rockford through pretty green farm country side. Had left over pulled pork sandwiches for dinner tonight.


06/12/17 Stayed home today catching up on sleep, diary updates, and photo processing. Charlene made a fillet mignon steak dinner to night that was yummy. I had one of Mike’s gift bottles of an experimental Frontenac dry red wine that made and bottled in the mid west. It was quite sweet for my taste.


06/13/17 My last day in Rockford. I took Charlene and Mike out to celebrate Char’s birthday and Mikes retirement tonight at Franchesco’s Ristorante a very nice upscale Italian restaurant. The free desert of Bananas Foster made table side at the end was the highlight of the meal.


06/14/18 I picked up the Van Galder bus at 9:30am from Rockford to O’Hara Airport arriving at 11:00 am. My American flight 998 left on time at 1:35 pm. Arrived in San Diego at 4:10 pm. For a change all flights and transportation went as planned. A very pleasant trip to visit my sister and brother-in-law.

Last updated on June 16, 2017