CHICAGO (WBBM-TV) — A woman in Illinois is celebrating a milestone, she’s turning 111 years old.

The celebration began early Monday morning when friends and family took Merle Phillips on a bus tour to some of her favorite places around town.

From the Carol Stream fire department to the Cosley Zoo to her old house in Wheaton.

The party on the bus ended with a party at Belmont Village, and Merle Phillips was having the time of her life.

“I’m so grateful,” she said. “I don’t deserve it; I’m not any different than anybody else.”

She is mentally alert, gets competitive, bikes every day and has made a lot of life-long friends at the retirement community where she lives.

Phillips says she owes her longevity to her faith.

Phillips got an iPad last year for her birthday and she used it to read her bible every day.

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