I assume that you've seen Sixteen Candles, but if you haven't it's about a girl, Samantha (not Sam!) Baker, who is celebrating her sixteenth birthday, but her family is preocupied with her sister's wedding and totally forgets about it. Meanwhile, she loves a popular boy, Jake Ryan, who she thinks doesn't knows that she even exists.
Sadly though as I got older the movie became less important to me, but I never forgot Molly Ringwald and Samantha Baker. About a year ago, I picked up Jen Lancaster's new book, at the time, If You Were Here. The title is a hat tip to the song at the end of the movie when Samantha and Jake are sitting on the dining room table over the birthday cake. The book is about a couple who by complete luck purchase Jake Ryan's gorgeous home (it actually exists as you'll see below in a moment!).
The memories of the movie that this book brought back was wonderful! I picked up a copy of the movie on DVD and had to watch it after years of not seeing it. Let me warn you though, watching it as an adult was very different from watching it as a teen. Oh my goodness - swearing, drinking, sex, heavy partying, hazing, nudity - it has it all. I don't think I'll be allowing my kids to see it until they are 50. I was horrified that I loved such a movie so I put it away and was disappointed with myself for liking it in the first place.
Fast forward a year and we had an opportunity to visit Chicago in January. I've never visited Chicago before but the weather was going to be ZERO degrees while we were there so no walking around downtown for us. I suggested that in our free time we take a drive out to the suburbs and "OH, while we're there let's go visit all of the famous places in Sixteen Candles."
In preparation for seeing these iconic locations, I pulled out the movie again to watch before we left. I have to say seeing it a second time as an adult/mom reminded me of why I loved the movie to begin with. Samantha is just picture perfect cute, but still a little edgy. Here she is trying to have a fantastic birthday and all of this crazy stuff is going on around her. That's exactly how I felt as a teenager - just being a good girl and trying to get through all of that junk. Always feeling like "I'm a good kid, when was it going to be my turn?" I'm happy to report that I became endeared to the movie once again - the message was loud and clear...good wins all in the end. And the best part is my very own Jake Ryan watched the movie with me this time!
The first stop on our Sixteen Candles tour was to the beautiful town of Glencoe. This town was gorgeous and I immediately fell in love with it. Glencoe is home to the church used at the end of the movie where Ginny, Samantha's sister, is getting married. It is also the location where Jake stands next to his red Porche 944 waiting for Samantha. We parked and I jumped out running over to the spot where Samantha saw Jake for the first time. That's me - the blue blob on the stairs!
Isn't the street pretty? Here's where Jake parked.
At the end of the street that the church is on is Lake Michigan. I was amazed with how beautiful it was. The skies in Chicago are so blue and it reflects off the partially frozen water.
Again, from what I understand John Hughes' used the outside and inside of the house for filming. Here is Jake's house below. It's actually set back further from the street than it looks. I had to zoom in.