First Lady of Ireland Sabina Higgins visited Chicago with President Michael Higgins in May of 2014. I was honored and grateful to do her makeup for 5 days !!
The President and First Lady stayed at The Drake Hotel, where hairstylist Robyn Tornabeni and I went each morning, and again in the late afternoon. We were escorted by security up to the 6th Floor, where along the long corridor were open doorways, each door with a suited man standing in it. The earpieces they wore were the tell tale sign of the Secret Service.
We were greeted each morning by the warm smile of The First Lady while she was having her morning tea, dressed in her pajamas. Over the course of the 5 days, we chatted, joked, discussed politics, spirituality, our children, and her life as First Lady. The President would pop in each day from his adjoining suite to compliment his wife on how lovely she looked, and our “wonderful work”. Can I call a President “cute as a button”? He is!
I feel so blessed and privileged to meet these two lovely, charming, brilliant leaders. So down to Earth and gracious to Robyn and I, my words can’t express how nice they were to us both. They went out of their way to make us feel appreciated and welcome. No, one does not meet people like these every day. This is a fond memory that will be with me for a lifetime.
As a thank you to Robyn and I, we were presented with a dozen roses, an autographed book of poetry written by President Higgins, and a crystal and silver letter opener. These are some of my most cherished possessions.
Robyn really said it best, “…the quintessential Irish good people who have proper perspective on life and appreciation of the Arts as evidenced by the book of his own poetry that President Higgins gave me as a thank you. Great experience!”
Top o’ the Morning at the Drake Hotel.
President and First Lady meet Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago (whose makeup I did just two weeks before).
A visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Irish-American Heritage Center.
Traci Fine, First Lady Sabina Higgins and President Michael Higgins.