Return to Castle Black

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Just as season 7 of The Game Thrones begins, we find ourselves back in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn Woods, home of the Castle Black.

Yes, after spending the entire 2016 summer here, we’re again settling in for what seems like a three week summer camp in the comfortable confines of Castle Black. No big screen TV’s here. No Thrones character parties. No episode chit chat. No, none of that. For our ” brief ” stay here, there is work to be done. Shall we begin?

A preview from last summer’s series. . .

Hali and I don’t watch much TV. Never have. We don’t even own a TV. In fact we’ve been here in the Chicago area for almost three months and have yet to go down in the basement and turn on the boob tube. We’re public radio people. That may change as football season is on its way. But, while in Florida we did take advantage of Carli’s comfortable living room catching up on every series of Game of Thrones. Now we’re eagerly awaiting series seven.

From what we understand this won’t happen until Spring 2017. We won’t be here in Castle Black. That’s right, I’ve gotten to know many of the neighbors and it seems Catherine’s house is referred to as Castle Black. The black house on the corner lot along the creek, trimmed in gold. Sounds very much like one of the seven kingdoms of Game of Thrones, and I like it.


Here we have Lady Catherine, queen of the castle, Carlos, and the queens servants, Hali and Woody. Lady Catherine is approaching 80 years of age, still works and travels for work several times a month and it showed on the condition of the castle when we arrived in late June. She’s let the castle go while keeping up with her demanding job.

It surprised us to see overgrown yards, an almost useless kitchen, peeling paint, a dated basement, and clutter galore. So in the time we’ve been here, Castle Black has been put back into much better condition and working order than it was when we entered the gates.

Neighbors now pass by and comment on how wonderful Castle Black looks, and how it’s a joy for the neighborhood to have the castle back .



We feel very comfortable here. Carlos loves the big yards and the A/C. We enjoy the company Catherine provides us. Wish we could stay.


Now that it’s fall, I’m mowing the grass AND the leaves, the roses are done blooming, and the squirrels are busy under the oak tree. With a new kitchen remodel in the works, complete with new floors and windows, we will be sorry to leave Castle Black. BUT, as we have always considered Carlos in the picture for our next destination, we’re still following the weather. We’re heading south to Florida. Winter’s coming. . .

. . . then Summer 2017

. . . Stay tuned as we sort through where we left off.



About Woody

The travel bug is contagious. I caught it in 1985 while traveling with Hali on a three month backpacking trip through Western Europe. Having a passion for geography, local history & culture, and with a journal in my back pocket, I hope to share our experiences through this blog – whether traveling the well worn rail, or off the beaten trail.

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