Posted by: marymarthatours | April 23, 2010

The Sue’s Day Girls Road Trip to Chicago


Jo, Mary, Sue, Barb W., Barb Y.

We call ourselves the Sue’s Day Girls. The name took hold when we began meeting on Tuesday afternoons at Sue’s house to work on centerpieces for the 2004 N.A.M.E. (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) Convention in Minneapolis. We still gather every Tuesday, though now we meet at Jo’s house, to work on our various projects, to talk, and to laugh together. Every so often we declare that it’s time for a “Road Trip”, and off we go for a day of exploring and shopping.

And once a year we head to Chicago for a long weekend of miniature shows – the Chicago International Miniature Show, the IMA (Independent Miniature Artisans) Show, and the Three Blind Mice Show, all held on the same weekend in April. This year, for the third time, we took the train instead of driving. We boarded the “Empire Builder” in La Crosse, WI, for the five hour ride to Glenview, IL. Since we left home on a Tuesday (how appropriate) this year, the train wasn’t very crowded and we found seats together in the observation car. I just love the route across Wisconsin with its views of farmland, lakes, and wonderful small towns.

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Spring in bloom at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare Hotel

We stayed at the Marriott O’Hare Hotel where the Chicago International Show is held. We think the accommodations and staff there are fabulous. All the other gals had registered for classes on the days following our arrival. They all took Suzanne and Andrew’s quarter-scale Stone Briar Manor class on Wed. and Thursday — even working on their houses in our rooms in the evening.

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Hard at work in class and with their homework

While the rest of the gals were at class, I had a marvelous time relaxing. I read books, worked on my mini needlepoint rug, and chatted with lots of folks about the upcoming England in Miniature Tour that Martha and I will be leading in September. And, can you believe it, I spent one afternoon out by the pool, swimming and relaxing in the 80 degree sunshine. Too bad I neglected to bring my sunscreen. Guess you can get a sunburn in April just as easily as July.

On Friday, Jo, Sue, and Barb W. took the quarter-scale Honeymoon Cottage class from Bruce and Judy Steinke. Barb Y. and I headed off to visit the other two miniature shows on the very convenient shuttle-bus. We had fun reconnecting with our friends from American Miniaturist Magazine at the IMA Show.


Kelly, Eric, and Sara at the AM booth

Friday evening was the big opening night for the Chicago International Show. It was great to see the big crowd and even better to learn from our vendor friends that sales were up from last year. Evidently, for lots of shoppers, we’ve only had a mini-recession. I was sorry to see that several of my favorite vendors from England had not been able to get to the show because of Iceland’s unpronounceable volcano. I missed having my annual chat with Neil Carter who does amazing statues and sculptures in bronze.

I did talk to the folks at the English Kitchen about sticky toffee pudding. When I didn’t see one among the other tasty English desserts on display, Lesley told me that she didn’t think sticky toffee pudding was very attractive — and besides, she didn’t care for it. I extracted a promise to have one waiting for me when we visit the English Kitchen booth at the Birmingham Miniatura in October.

One great thing about miniatures is that you can buy a lot and still be able to pack them up to bring home. By Sunday afternoon, the Sue’s Day Girls were shopped out, broke, and ready for the relaxing train ride home. And we’re already talking about next April in Chicago.


Check out these vendors from the Chicago miniature shows

Suzanne and Andrew:

Bruce and Judy Steinke:

American Miniaturist Magazine:

Neil Carter:

The English Kitchen:

Birmingham Miniatura:



  1. GREAT STORY!!!!!!

    It was a joy to read.

    See you Tuesday.

    Barb Y

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