Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 82, Vacation Day 14

Home. Whew.

We finished off Nebraska and Wyoming, finally making it home about 9 p.m. Lori drove most of the way, though I handled Rawlins to SLC. Dinner was at McDonald's in Rawlins. Ran into some thunderstorms. We finished listening to Jurassic Park and moved on to Tex. Such a fun trip, but so happy to finally be back.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 81, Vacation Day 13

The long road home began today. We took a little time in the morning before leaving, and of course, Ben was sad to go. We stopped in Iowa City for lunch at Stake and Shake, then had dinner at CiCis in Lincoln near our hotel. We listened to the audiobook of Jurassic Park along the way today. Even though it wasn't the longest day of driving, the boys didn't feel like swimming when we got back to the room. We watched a James Taylor/Carole King concert on PBS and then an old Bee Gees concert, then turned in.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 80, Vacation Day 12

Our last day in Chicago. We leave for home in the morning.

Today turned out to be another mellower day, which, after such a jam-packed trip, was acceptable. The highlight for me was taking the boys on a bike ride, on the trail up to Golf Road past Chick Evans Golf Course. We rode about 14 miles, and the stunning part for me was that Dad still has my old Schwinn from the 1980s. Michael rode it, and I swear, I thought I was watching myself from 30 years ago. Ben rode well too, and we went to the McDonald's on Oakton for McFlurries.

Lori hadn't had SuperDawg yet this trip, so we ordered from the carhop for dinner. We came home and played Pandemic with Kate and Exploding Kittens with the family. I also watched an SNL Weekend Update special with the fam before turning in for the night.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 79, Vacation Day 11

On almost every one of our vacations, there seems to be a day in which we have hit our activity limit and start winding down. This was that day.

I walked about 4 miles in the morning, and Ben and I went to a game store. Michael, Lori and Susy went for a long bike ride. I napped. My dad picked up Lou Malnati's for dinner. That was about it for the day. And that's OK -- these relaxing days are important. I don't want vacation to end, but I also am looking forward to getting home a little bit.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 78, Vacation Day 10

Today the boys and I ventured downtown. We took the train to Union Station and walked toward Michigan Avenue. The wonder of downtown Chicago is not lost on Ben, who marveled at how "beautiful" it looked (obviously overlooking the smell ...). Downtown Chicago does have a certain appeal to it for someone who spent his whole life in Utah. I still love it and I grew up here. Our destination was the Art Institute.

Our time at the museum was incredible. I hadn't been to the Art Institute since, wow, maybe 1993 when Lori and I went. And for some reason, I don't remember seeing as much art as we did this time. I have no recollection of the Jackson Pollaks, the Georgia O'Keefes, the Picassos and the Matisses -- only Mary Cassat and the impressionists. We started with a Gaugin exhibit, then wound our way through 20th century American artists, the impressionists, medieval armor (that was fun), contemporary artists, and the surrealists and post-impressionists. After three hours, we still hadn't got to everything (missing renaissance and photography) but had to leave to meet up with Lori at Susy's office. After a quick visit to Dunkin' Donuts, the four of us headed back to Edgebrook.

The evening was spent with Mike and John and SuperDawg. I used the last hour of my day to relax on the front porch, listening to music. This is what vacation is all about.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 77, Vacation Day 9

After the busiest vacation week I can remember in recent vacation memory, we needed a day to rest. Blessedly, we got one.

We all slept late and took naps. The only time I got out of the house was with the boys to vacuum out the car and go to Taco Burrito King for lunch. I got sidetracked by some soccer stuff, but that was my only stress for the day. My dad and stepmom invited people over for dinner, and I feasted and drank a few beers. Currently, I'm on the porch writing on a cool night.

We'll be more active tomorrow, but for today, we needed the break. Already on the back half of our trip ...

Summer 2017: Day 76, Vacation Day 8

There was a hangover today. Not a bad one, but I'm definitely too old to be drinking too much at weddings ...

Fortunately, I cut off the hangover at the pass early, and my headache was gone by 10 a.m. We met the boys and Lori's family at a Croatian church's festival on Milwaukee's west side. We hung out there for a little while, and the boys went with Lori's sister and new brother-in-law to Great America while Lori and I got the rest of the day mostly to ourselves. We drove by her old house and hung out at a Collectivo coffee shop in Wauwatosa for a while, then drove back into the city. I managed a two-hour nap at Sara's house (dozing off listening the Cubs' game; they were winning when I fell asleep and losing by five when I woke up ...). The rest of the evening was spent hanging out on Sara's porch, eating dinner (Sara grilled some steak and vegetables), and playing Settlers of Catan.

Through a driving rainstorm to leave Milwaukee, we drove to Kenosha to pick up the boys, who had a blast at Great America. We got a bite to eat with the in-laws and the cousins, then headed back to my dad's house in Chicago. The long weekend finally came to a close.