Ever wanted to visit Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures in exotic locales? How about taking a trip to the sites where Ernest Hemingway wrote? Well, thanks to Wright Way and MILA tours, the wish isn’t so far-fetched.

Wright Way Tours offers curator presentations, tours by Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust guides and special private showings in locations around the world where Wright-designed structures exist.

Upcoming tour opportunities this year include Vienna, Austria in March; Central Michigan in April; Japan in July; and separate tours to upstate New York and California in October.

Ernest Hemingway Travel Destinations, meanwhile, run through MILA Tours, takes interested travelers to locations of relevance to Hemingway, whether he traveled to or wrote about them.

This month, a college professor and Hemingway expert traveled with a group of tourists to Kenya and Tanzania in Africa, with optional post-tours to the beaches of Zanzibar or Mount Kilimanjaro.

MILA has a tour to France scheduled in May; a Pamplona, Spain tour in July; and an Andalucia, Spain tour in July of 2008. They are also working on a future tour to China.

For more information on Wright Way Tours, call 708/848-1976 or go to wrightplus.org.

For information on Hemingway Travel Destinations, call Scott Schwar at 847/625-3529 or visit milatours.com.

Sign Park?

A Wednesday Journal reader called in a few weeks ago to complain about the overabundance of signs in Oak Park, specifically on Chicago Avenue. According to the reader, some 100 signs can be found just on the north side of the street between Harlem Avenue and Austin Boulevard.

If Frank Lloyd Wright were here today, the reader said, he’d call this “Sign Park,” not Oak Park.

By our unofficial count, there are actually 151 signs and banners on the north side of Chicago Avenue, not including signs marking street names.

Parking was the biggest culprit, with 99 parking-related signs marking the stretch, including 29 “No Parking When Snow is 2 Inches Deep” signs; 17 “No Parking Here to Corner;” 13 “No Parking Any Time;” 11 No parking between [various designated times]; and, rounding out the top five, are seven “Permit Parking Only” signs.

What about Petersen’s sign?

Petersen’s owner Daryl Bartelson said he doesn’t know what will happen to the restaurant’s space or its iconic neon sign after Sunday. That’s up to the building’s owner Bob Raniere.

Calls to Raniere on Monday were not returned.

Former cop Adams reports to prison

Former Oak Park police officer Mani Adams, who pled guilty last August to criminal conspiracy for his part in a December, 2004 truck hijacking, reported to the federal penitentiary in Duluth, Minn. last Monday afternoon to begin serving an 18-month prison sentence.

It’s not part of the sentence, but Adams will be serving his time in one of the coldest regions of the country, far from his family, now living in Atlanta. The minimum security prison is located on the former Duluth Air Force Base on the southwestern tip of Lake Superior, near the Canadian border.

“There is nothing like a winter storm in Duluth,” writes one Minnesota native on a website. “The wind screams and shakes the houses, even those made of stone.”

Adams, who will spend two winters up north, is scheduled to be released in May, 2008.

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