Posts Tagged 'family'

May trip to Chicago

At the beginning of May, we headed up to Chicago so that Zach could go to a work conference. We went early in order to visit his sister and her family over the border in Indiana for a few days. Here are some photos of our adventures.

Our first visit to Lake Michigan. The Boogedy couldn’t believe that water got that cold without being ice.

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Zach and The Boogedy and Cousin J jumped all over the giant dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park.

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We went for a short hike at Coffee Creek, where we found an earthworm and offered Zach’s sister Sarah $50 to eat it. She declined on the grounds of being vegetarian. Later, though, she confessed that worms just give her the heebie-jeebies and it was all she could do not to gag at the mere thought.

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I picked dandelions during a walk through the neighborhood and braided them into a sticky crown for Prince Charming.

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The next evening we went back to the lake with the whole family and searched the pebble zone for perfect “skipping stones.”

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I can do it:

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But Zach has better…style:

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After Zach left for the Windy City, that left me and the Boogedy with a few days to spend with the cousins.  We went to iCream, where you can design your own ice cream. You choose your base (ice cream, non-fat, soy, yogurts), your favorite flavor, your favorite color (it’s very popular to choose the “wrong” color for a familiar flavor), and toppings. Here is the Boogedy, and cousins S and J, waiting for their treats. The little boys are thrilled. Anyone with a teenager knows that the big kid is playing video games.

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Here the worker is adding the custom mixture to the Kitchenaid. On the left you can see the vapor from the addition of Liquid Nitrogen (!), which freezes the ice cream fast.

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I chose Key Lime with graham crumbs on top, dyed purple. You know, because that’s just not right. I got the serious jitters from this snack. And I mean bad. I wonder how much sugar or chemicals this had! Aside from the fun-factor, I wasn’t impressed at the deliciousness.

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After the treats, Sarah and I took the boys to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was very nice. I loved taking a spring vacation. Before I moved to the tropics, spring was always my favorite season. Nowadays, I don’t get to see tulips, daffodils, and chartreuse willow trees. It was lovely!

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Sarah drove us home via the scenic route, along Lakeshore Drive. She used to have an apartment in the John Hancock building, the one with the two antennae.

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These boys are the giggly-est, and did great on all car trips.

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Sarah, Todd, and I hung around drinking Lattes (from Todd’s super-fancy espresso machine) and Greyhounds (fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and vodka) and letting the kids play. We’ve known each other for about 18 years, and it’s always fun to catch up.

On our last day of vacation, we all headed back into town to meet up with Zach and walk through Chicago. We loved The Bean, though I kept losing track of my kid. It was very disorienting.

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Then, we walked along the Magnificent Mile to the John Hancock building, where we rode the elevator to the 96th floor for drinks! I look relaxed in this photo but I was WRECK. I don’t care for heights and the view was, literally, breathtaking.

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I love visiting family. Thanks for hosting us Sarah and Todd! I am looking forward to a big family reunion in scenic Southern Utah later this month, and short jaunt afterward to Texas to visit my sweet mom and sisters.

M’s Mittens

Zach and the Boogedy and I came to Washington DC to visit family for the week. This cold weather makes me want to knit, and I was really glad I brought some scraps of Koigu pppm on the plane to play around with. My 6-year-old niece flipped over the idea that I might make something just for her. I really only had enough to make some tiny, ribbed fingerless mitts.

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She hounded me every day to make sure I finished them! Every little kid should have an aunt who knits something special when she comes to town!

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These mittens were even more exciting than the nutella-filled crepes we made the kids for breakfast (which I forgot to wash off before photographing these mitts).

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Here are some photos of the cousins piling stuff on top of my brother-in-law while he tried to work last night:

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January visit to Disney World

In mid-January, we rented a car and drove up to Orlando so that Zach could attend the National Tour Association conference for work. My plan was to entertain the Boogedy for a few days and after the conference, the family would head to Disney World. Our RAINY drive up made me feel a little hopeless about our plan to visit the theme park:

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However, the rain cleared up and left it merely cold and cloudy. The boy and I killed two days by ourselves. We spent a few hours each morning hanging out at the McDonalsds playland, killed some time at the mall, found an arcade with several bouncy castles, and ate at a buffet (which the kid thought was an Amazing Experience).

We putted 36 holes at the Pirate-themed mini-golf course (which was too many holes, by the way). This kid is pleased about his hole-in-one, but not about having to get another picture taken:

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When the conference finished, we changed hotels and stayed at a Disney resort. They gave the Boogedy his own room key-card, and he was so proud of it. Here we are on Day 1 at DW, on the monorail to go to Magic Kingdom. It was a COLD day (like 58 degrees), so we were all bundled up.

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I’m still dealing with a fascia injury, so we rented a wheelchair and Zach pushed me around. I liked Main Street USA.

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I liked this picture of my boys in line for It’s A Small World.

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We enjoyed sitting around inside the circusy Dumbo tent while the kid played with other children and ignored us completely.

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Zach’s first bought of nausea came from his own foul gluttony. He spotted a man eating one of these Meat Shanks from across a bridge in Frontierland and couldn’t rest until he’d bought his own Giant turkey leg. We split it amongst the three of us, but it was Still too much, and we threw a bunch away before hitting Space Mountain (perhaps it is obvious to observers that this was the wrong order to do things).

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We rode Space Mountain three times on this day and five times on Day 3. All of our pictures looked something like this, but I still wished we’d bought them all.

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The most terrifying attraction of all, though, was Zach’s Wheelchair Ride of Terror. This crazy ride involved the operator letting go of the handles whenever on a downward grade, or wildly (and unexpectedly) tipping the wheelchair Way, Way back and running erratically. The operator loved the squealing, I think, and startling the onlookers, and didn’t believe it when the rider said “I hate your guts!!”

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The weather warmed up on Day 2, and we went to Animal Kingdom, where they have Everest, the coolest roller coaster. But at some point I forgot that I own a camera, so you’ll have to settle for this one photo of the boy brushing a goat.

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Zach’s second bout with nausea came on Day 3 from this Buzz Lightyear interactive ride (back at Magic Kingdom today). The Boogedy got to spin our car around in circles while we shot lasers at Emperor Zurg. Poor Zach then wasn’t himself for the last few rides on Space Mountain.

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Yay! Who wants more cotton candy and a funnel cake?!

Bad at Finishing

This has been a slow year for me, creatively, with lots of stalled projects and unfinished business. Today, though, I am showing off two things just completed, and only with the help of others!

One year ago I saw my Aunt Lois, who came to Salt Lake City for my dad’s memorial service. I don’t get to see Lois very often, but when I do, I am always impressed by the way her engineering mind interprets and deconstructs art. She has taught me many new skills over the years.

Lois, like many women in our family, cannot bear to have idle hands, so she brought with her the ingredients and tools for assembling these soft, 3D fabric magic cubes. I flipped for them, and marveled at how she figured it out. I later looked up a model, so that I could understand it more fully. Instructions for building one made from wooden blocks can be found here. She gave me an assembled cube with bright fabrics pinned to the foam blocks, and all I had to do was stitch up the seams.  I am embarrassed at how long it took me to finish, but my kid and all visitors are delighted with the finished product! Thanks Aunt Lois!

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Two years ago, I went into a tiny yarn shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. It was near closing time and I rushed to choose the best yarn in the place. I bought an expensive skein of Tilli Thomas Flurries named Chocolate Cherry, a supersoft deep brown merino with bright cherry red beads, with the intention of making a purse. I visited a fabric shop in Panama City Beach and purchased a red-on-crimson koi print for lining and a chocolate brown zipper. I knitted a rectangle, coaxed all the beads to the knit side, watched a youtube video on making lined wallets, sewed the zipper to the lining (incorrectly), and …. stopped. There is sat, in the quilt shop plastic bag for two years. My mind could not fathom what I’d done wrong or how to fix it.

A few days ago I showed it to my new friend Daniela, who knew how to fix it, and was willing to pick out the stitches for me. I took the dog for a walk, had an epiphany about how it should have been sewn, and came home to a completed purse!

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Finally, here is a new embroidered purse my mom made for me! Perfectly timed, too, since I just wore out my everyday purse while camping. It’s still unfinished; my mom only secured one end of the strap, so that I could adjust it to my size and sew it in. I’ll finish in the next day or two, because I need it!

Jungle Jims

While I was in Salt Lake City, I truly appreciated all the great indoor activities there are for children. One night I met up with Joyelle and her two boys, Mr. A and Mr. X so we could catch up on old times (she is my ex-husband’s little sister, and therefore I have known her since she was a pre-teen). We went to Jungle Jim’s Playland for rides and games.

Joy and I got together for fun a few more times, once to go up to Layton to see my littlest ex-sister-in-law Sunshine (now a mom of three adorable girls and a tall boy!). Another day we went to Ikea, where the boys played in Smaland. The Boogedy wasn’t potty trained last time we went, so this was his first visit to the fun part of Ikea. The weather was rainy and cold, and Mr. A said “Sara, why do you always have on the same clothes?!” I replied that I was only expecting to be in town for 12 days, but now I would be there for a month and I only brought one pair of warm pants and one jacket, which got worn almost every day. Who expected bitter cold and rain in May? I should have. I used to live there, I know better. All my skirts and shorts sat unused in my suitcase for almost the whole stay.

Jungle Jim’s was a really easy place to entertain my kid, so we went back once more with my nephew Jake. Here he is, facing a desperate losing battle against the Boogedy.

 

Sugar Skulls and Homesickness

My son received the most wonderful package in the mail yesterday! Three homemade sugar skulls made by his Auntie Noemi in Salt Lake City, along with lots of tubes of brightly colored frosting and foil strips.

(Mosca thought this package smelled delicious). The Boogedy could barely wait for his dad to get home from running an errand to work on “frostume” his sugar skulls! We set out some paper on the kitchen floor.

He frosted the top, added feathers and foil, then some glue for good measure, then more foil and feathers, then more “frostume”.

Then, he turned the whole thing over and started squeezing frosting into the bowl of the skull! Zach and I were a little more reserved.

I almost cried with homesickness, as I remembered doing this activity each year with Zach’s brothers and sisters and their kids (many of whom are teenagers now). I imagined how much fun the Boogedy would be having with his cousins, running up and down the stairs and scaring the crap out of me that he’d fall off the parts with no railings. And there would be Mexican hot chocolate, too!

Thank you so much, Noemi…I miss my family! I can’t imagine a better October present.

Airboating in the Everglades

I hadn’t really considered how LOUD the airboat would be. Deafening even with cotton balls in the ears. No conversation possible.

There were beautiful banana trees in the “River of Grass”

And the most gorgeous, gigantic grasshopper. I wanted to keep him for a pet!

Afterwards we ate fried frog legs and gator tail bites. Undelicious.


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