GENEVA – “Going on vacation was my job,” Geoffrey Baer told a crowd in Geneva.
Baer, popular host and senior editor of WTTW’s “Chicago on Vacation with Geoffrey Baer,” hit the road and recently stopped by GreenFields of Geneva senior living community to talk about his adventures, a news release stated. The event was part of GreenFields’ guest lectures and cultural events to promote lifelong learning.
Baer has explored almost every inch of the Chicago area in TV specials for more than 20 years, profiling 20 of the best vacation destinations within driving distance of Chicago. He recounted how his series used archival film, old home movies, testimonials, interviews and footage to showcase tourist towns in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Baer said he and his crew packed a 1973 Chevrolet Caprice station wagon to spend 7,500 miles on the road and 46 nights in hotels to produce the series.
In response to a question about future projects, Baer said he is planning a “Chicago on the El” series. To gather material, he is researching neighborhood churches and other landmarks while riding Metra trains.
“I’m young at heart,” Baer said. “But rides on roller coasters, water slides, snowmobiles and water skis the project has involved has made me realize I’m not so young of body anymore.”
Baer recalled that the project took him back to the former George Williams College Camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, now the George Williams College campus of Aurora University.
“My family vacationed there every year until I was 9 or 10 years old,” he said.
The Chicago resident interspersed his presentation with three-question quizzes featuring facts and fiction about popular destinations.
To conclude, he drew raffle-prize winners’ names with help from Nanette Falcone, GreenFields’ move-in coordinator. Prizes were DVDs of Baer shows. After his presentation, he greeted audience members who crowded around with comments and questions.