Summer, Day 65; Vacation, Day 1

Tuesday morning, 6 a.m., and I'm the first one awake in the house (Lori is already in Milwaukee). Vacation is here.

We groggily said goodbye to the pets and were driven to the airport. Ben's mood perked up as soon as we got to the airport, and Michael was eventually full of energy as well. The flight went well, with Ben chattering for most of the flight (when he wasn't playing his DS) and Michael watching a movie ("Scooby-Doo") on the DVD player. I actually nodded off for a couple minutes -- rare considering I usually can't sleep on airplanes. I wish the nap was longer because the day was just beginning.

My father picked us up at O'Hare and took us back to his house. We didn't have too much time to rest, as we needed to drive to Milwaukee to meet Lori. We got the rental car -- a Nissan Altima with push-button ignition that intrigues Michael -- and made good time to Milwaukee. We picked Lori up from her hotel room, then walked to the Harp -- a bar/restaurant where Lori's agency holds a dinner for its employees who attend the company's convention every summer. Michael and I played darts, I enjoyed three full-strength beers, and we ate dinner before walking to the Bradley Center to see Maroon 5.

The concert was fun -- Maroon 5 practically played a greatest hits show -- though I think I liked Earth, Wind and Fire more last year. The boys had fun, but they looked tired; Ben wasn't quite his ebullient self at a concert. The floor was so packed that I was apprehensive to put Ben on my shoulders, so I was awkwardly holding him on 1 1/2 knees for most of the show. Lori held up Michael for much of the show as well. The concert ended, we walked to back to our car, and Lori drove back to Chicago. The boys fell asleep in the car. We made it back to my father's house before midnight. Our busy first day of vacation finally was in the books.

Second day of vacation here ...


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