Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally.....our Windy City recap

We've been home for almost a month now and I figured it's past time we get to our Chicago Vacation Blog. Things have been a bit crazy and I'm a little disappointed that it's not going to be the blog I wanted (because quite frankly, I'm just too damn tired and it's been too damn hot - over 110 this past weekend) but a blog is a blog.

So here we go.

Week One - June 24th to June 28 (that's the kids at the airport)

Tuesday afternoon Skippy drove us to the airport. Our bags were packed, our DVD player was charged, backpacks were stuffed full of snacks and crayons and play-doh for the plane, and we were ready to go. Skippy was melancholy for a good part of the trip. I think it really hit him that he was going to be "bachin' it up" for over a month without the day to day craziness that is life with three small kids.

We pulled up in the kiss and fly lane at PDX and got the kids out. Then the bags. Then the car seats. Then we shuffled the whole mess over to curbside check in and got ourselves all squared away. Then the kids said goodbye to Daddy. Then *I* said my goodbyes. I swear that for a split second I thought he was going to pull a Banana and start sniffling. But then he hopped back into my minivan and peeled away from the curb, so I may have only been imagining that part.

We landed at Midway around eleven o'clock Chicago time. Mom, Jack, and Jax were waiting for us and I was never so happy to see their smiling faces. My children had defied the laws of nature and multiple time zones by NOT sleeping a wink the entire flight and I was exhausted. After sitting in traffic for two hours, we finally made it to my Mom's house where we promptly crashed and crashed hard.

(Aunt Jax with Chunk at Mom's BBQ)

The rest of the work-week was a flurry of unpacking, settling in, and preparing for Mom's BBQ bash with family and friends, which took place on Saturday. THAT was a fun day. The weather was beautiful and there was tons of food and tons of visiting. My grandparents were there along with lots of family and even though a lot of folks had other plans that day, almost all of my closest college friends made it over, including my girlfriend Jen (she arrived and surprised me with Jax), who I hadn't seen in years. Even after my family trickled out, Jax, Jen, and Seth continued to hang out and visit and it was really the perfect day. We went to bed that night feeling like our visit was off to an awesome start.

Week Two - June 29th to July 5

(Banana and her Popsicle)

The day after Mom's BBQ we were up bright and early again for a day at Blackberry Farm in Aurora. The hospital where both Mom and Jack work was hosting their company picnic and it promised to be another full day for the kiddos and me. After a quick breakfast out with Aunt Jax and Aunt Jen, the kids and I met up with Jack and we were off to meet Nana (who was helping to set up) at the picnic.

Blackberry Farm has been around forever - I can remember going there with my little sister Sarah's preschool class! They have a merry-go-round and pony rides and big old historic buildings with actors giving demonstrations of life in early America. So we ate ice cream and got the girls' faces painted and rode the ponies and went on the merry-go-round at LEAST four times and had all sorts of exhausting fun.

After that the remainder of the week passed in a complete and total whirlwind of shopping for my cousin Erin's wedding, which was the original reason for our whole visit in the first place. There are eighteen grandchildren on my Dad's side of the family and even though I adore all of my cousins, Erin and I have always been especially close. There was no way I was going to miss her big party. So after days of combing the mall (only to finally borrow a great dress from Jacquie), we finally wound down our week with the arrival of the Fourth of July.

Growing up, the fourth was always one of my favorite holidays. It was always just a day off when everyone stuck around the house, there was no question that we'd be grilling, and about an hour before dusk, we'd troop out to the high school to watch the fireworks. When we first moved out to Oswego, they didn't even HAVE their own fireworks but once they started, they got better and better with each passing year. I used to go every year with my folks, and then later with Skippy and eventually it's where we took both Banana and Kbear for their first fireworks displays...which I believe both of them slept through! So true to form, everyone stuck around during the day, we grilled, and then we trooped out to the high school to watch the big show. The kids and I made some awesome firecracker hats too and I only burned my fingers once getting a sparkler going for Kbear - one of those many moments on vacation when I missed having Skippy with me!

And after yet another late night, we were up early on the fifth for Erin's big day. If I had to sum up her wedding in one word, it would be.....I don't know. Gorgeous comes to mind. So does elegant. Flawless. And beautiful. She and Jon threw a hell of a party and she looked absolutely stunning. The girls attended the ceremony with us (where Kbear whispered in awe that Erin "looked like a princess") and then Jacquie saved the day as she always does and took all three of them back to Mom's house for the night so that I could enjoy the reception. I had an opportunity to visit with my family from all over the place and with the exception of a few very emotional moments related to my Dad's absence, it was an amazing night. I was incredibly happy to be there and to be a part of it and I am so grateful that I didn't miss it.

More to come!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

blog! blog! go update your blog!

oh yeah... that whole first day of first grade thing ;-)

kat xx