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Real Housewife Of The Northwest Suburbs

"Vicki Gunvalson is the only original cast member to return to the Real Housewives of Orange County, which started its seventh season on Bravo last week," the Daily Herald reports.

"But the reality star holds another distinction among cast members: She hails from the Midwest. Make that, the Northwest suburbs."


"Gunvalson lived in Mount Prospect until she was 11, before moving to Palatine. She was back in the 'burbs on Friday at Armand's Pizzeria in Arlington Heights for the surprise 50th birthday party of one of her closest friends, Jeannie Jaeger, of Barrington.

"'Oh, my God, oh my God,' Jaeger exclaimed when she entered the room and saw Gunvalson, before the two embraced.

"The two friends go back more than 30 years, to Fremd High School. They were on the pep squad together and decorated cars before the football and basketball games."


"Some of their high school friends attended the party, including Sandy Bushnick of West Dundee, who said that Gunvalson has not forgotten her suburban roots."


"It was the second time Gunvalson had appeared at Armand's. Her first visit was two years ago, when she attended a party associated with their Fremd High School reunion. A Bravo film crew tagged along and their footage appeared on the show."


"Gunvalson headlined a book signing event on Saturday in Libertyville, for her new book, More Than a Housewife, which includes details about her insurance and retirement planning business."


From her 2010 visit:

"Gunvalson is in town this weekend to do some appearances, attend tonight's Fremd High School Class of 1980 reunion, and visit her many friends and family (brother Billy in Trout Valley; sister Lisa in Cary; sister Kim in Hoffman Estates; mom Joanne in Prairie Grove)," the Daily Herald reported.

Q: Did you grow up in Mount Prospect or Palatine?

A: Both. I was born and raised in Mount Prospect, and we moved to Palatine when I was in eighth grade. I went to Fremd and Harper (College), but I left after 1 1/2 years and went to beauty school. I started working out of my house, doing perms and cuts in my garage. I decided I really didn't like it. I didn't like being on my feet all day, and I think you need to have a creative mind. I'm more of a numbers and sales person . . . the whole beauty industry didn't fit for me. I got married when I was 21, I was pregnant with Michael when I was 23 . . . and I was divorced when I was 29. I remarried and left for California 16 years ago.

Q: In one episode, you brought all the housewives to Armand's in downtown Arlington Heights. Why there?

A: My brother's really good friends with the owner. They have a Vicki-tini on the menu now. (The owner) got a lot of people coming by there after it aired, saying, 'I saw you on the show!'

Q: What do the Northwest suburbs have that the OC doesn't?

A: It has so much that the OC doesn't. The train! The train is a nostalgic thing to me. You're always crossing over tracks here. It's got the ethnicity. California is pretty new where I live. There's nothing that has anything heritage. Everything is brand new buildings, but there's no culture there.



Comments welcome.


Posted on February 21, 2012

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