Archive for Vacation

A Mini-Vacation with a Few of Our Kids

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A few months ago Travel Man and I took a little vacation to Illinois with our two middle kiddos, one daughter-in-law to be, and our grandson.  This was quite a mix of travelers, and it was grandson Evan’s first time flying in a long time. We were on our way to visit my Grandpa and my Mom.  The smartest thing Travel Man planned for this trip was getting the kids their own hotel room.  They got to play cards and board games at night (yes they did travel with Settlers of Catan, and Phase 10), and we go to enjoy the peace and quiet.  Oh what an adventure we all had together.

My top ten list of fun and sometime humorous experiences went like this-

1. We took up two rows of seats on the airplane.  This required the inevitable discussion of who would have a window seat and who would have an aisle seat.


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2. Even though we were in the air flying we still heard this question, “Are we almost there yet?”  which came from the grandson. On our flight to Illinois we had one stop with no plane change.  So that question was unavoidable.

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3. We are all from Southern California and we traveled to the chilly (I mean freezing) Midwest region.  (We must have been nuts!)  Who ordered the 30 degree weather, and light snow flurries at the end of March?  It was a little blustery on a couple of days.

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4. Evan got to make his first snow angel in the snow near Lake Michigan.  He had so much fun.  He also found it necessary to step in or dig in each and every pile of snow he encountered.  Never mind the fact that the snow pile might be a little black with dirt or asphalt mixed in.11647350_10204559991694178_1914139083_n

Freezing our buns off at Lake Michigan!!

Freezing our buns off at Lake Michigan!!

5. My Mom took us on the “family tour” of all of the places she lived growing up, the house I grew up in, my grade school, and various other meaningful landmarks. The church in the background in the top picture here is the church where my grandparents met.  It is also the church where my parents were introduced to one another at a wedding reception.  A small world. After our excursion on this chilly afternoon Evan proclaimed, “Well that was certainly an interesting family education.” (Evanism 101)


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6. Eating a Chicago style deep dish pizza at Giordano’s. This was probably the yummiest dinner on our trip. There’s nothing like a Chicago deep dish pie!  Evan’s quite the pepperoni aficionado, and he told us the Chicago pizza was on his top five list!

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7. The Sky Deck at the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).  Evan and I did not take the jaunt out on the Sky Deck.  We were too chicken to look straight down at the street!  We did get to take in all of the great views of the city from the 103rd floor, and Evan got to see Soldier’s Field first hand.

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Feet only. Looking straight down from the Sky Deck.

8. Seeing the bean in Millennium Park.  This is a work of art that is nicknamed “The Bean.”  The actual name of this piece of art is Cloud Gate.  You can get some truly cool reflection pictures while standing under or near the giant “Bean”.



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9.  Hearing Evan exclaim, “Grandma I think my eyes are frozen”.  On our chilly day in downtown Chicago.  He was layered with a sweatshirt, beanie, scarf, and hood from his sweatshirts, and he just could not keep his little face warm.  These are some of my favorite pictures of Evan invading the “Windy City”.

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10.  Getting to see five generations of my family around my Grandpa’s dining room table. That is a view that was priceless.  We miss my Grandma dearly, and this was one of those moments when you count your blessings, and are thankful for all of the good things in your life.




Travelling with the kids was really a treat for us.  Joking, laughing, getting out of the hotel on time, etc, etc.  We were lucky to have our experienced “Travel Man” with us.  He always, always makes sure the travel can go as smoothly as possible, and we always have a great time wherever the destination may be.  We’re looking forward to more mini-vacations like this one soon.  One of these days granddaughter Madison will get to go along for the adventures.  For the time being we enjoy keeping the travel/road-trips as a special treat for Evan.

**Photo credits to Travel Man (aka Tom), my daughter Hilary, and daughter-in-law to be Erica.  Thanks everyone for your contributions.

It Was Time to Say Goodbye

IMG_2601This may seem like a strange subject to some of you.  I’m about to tell you the story of a lawn chair.  I’ve been known to write stories about pieces of furniture in my house. My favorite post is my first post for this blog,  That Old Dining Room Table.  Now back to my lawn chair story.  This lawn chair is special.  It’s a love seat, a two-seater.  Have you ever see a chair like this one?  Travel Man bought this chair when he and I had just started dating.  I realize now he was showing me his romantic side, a “love seat”!  He wanted to impress me and actually bought this as a practicality.  We were going to a baseball tournament, and he wanted to be sure there was enough lawn chair seating for the entire family.  I think the romantic side was an after thought.

This old chair has been at so many parties, picnics and family beach parties I can’t even to begin to tell you how many times we used it with our tribe in tow.  I’m sure there was a lot of baseball game cheering from this chair, and a ton of marshmallow roasting for s’mores.  I even think there was an occasional attempt at a curled up kid on this chair trying to snag a nap.

Travel Man and I went camping a few weeks ago and we usually have this chair by the fireside to sit on together.  I do admit it is(was) a cozy little seat.  We sat down to enjoy the fire together and the chair went BAM.  The center support was breaking, and we were about to end up in the dirt.  The next day we met some friendly campers, and tried to get them to keep the chair.  Once they found out the history of the chair they couldn’t do it, they just couldn’t take the chair.  This chair has been with the family for almost 14 years.  That’s a lifetime for a chair!

So on Monday when we were packing up our campsite we made the painful decision to trash the chair.  We just left it sitting by the fireside, all by its lonesome.  That way someone else could throw it in the dumpster, and it would not have to be us.

Goodbye old friend.  Maybe someone picked you up and we’ll see you at another campsite.  If you see our chair when your out on the open road send me a note would you?


This post is linked to the #MidLifeLuv Linky Party! Click to find other great midlife bloggers!


#MidLifeLuv Linky

The Baseball Dream List

Travel Man and I have a dream list item in common.  We both want to travel this great US of A and see a baseball game played in every major league stadium.   Our hometown team is the Anaheim Angels, and if we had the opportunity we’d follow the Angels around the country for an entire baseball season.  That would be in our dream cloud of course.

Last month we took a vacation to New York City and got to see the Yankees play the Boston Red Sox.  A great baseball rivalry.  We had a wild taxi ride to the stadium, as we were running a little late.  We had taken a day long tour of the city that day, and then headed straight to the stadium. Of course there was a downpour when we got there, and we purchased some wonderful dollar store ponchos for a price that we will not mention here.

We entered the stadium from gate 4 I believe, and I was completely mesmerized.  There are banners of the former Yankee greats lining one wall of the stadium.  Names like;   Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Roger Maris to name a few.  Such rich baseball history just in those pictures alone.

Once we made it to our seats, and got to take in the sights and sounds we could not believe we were actually sitting there watching the Yankees playing the Red Sox.  We had to pinch each other a few times to be sure it was real.  The crowd is always completely engaged in the game.  Great music between batters, lots of chants and cheering.  Plus a Yankees fan a couple of rows in front of us shouting, “Boston sucks”.

The bonus for the night was when Derek Jeter made history with his 250th career home run.  Spectacular.  Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter makes history, Yankee souvenirs purchased for the grandson.  All in all a great, great experience.  It will be interesting  to see which stadium we end up at next season.  This may become a new summer tradition for Travel Man and I.

Are you a fan of baseball?   What’s your favorite stadium to visit?

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