Posts Tagged 'travel'

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.


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


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.


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


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


I can do it:


But Zach has better…style:


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

Temporary Hat

Here’s I am wearing a quickie hat I knit up for my recent visit to cold Washington DC.

pink hat

This bright, bulky, super-girly yarn was a gift from my mom and sisters! I loved working with it. Here’s a picture in progress at my local beach playground, before I left the warm weather.

Pink Yarn

My niece loved the hat, and begged for it unrepentantly every day. So, when I departed, I left it on a chair with a note to say “I love you!” It looked better on her, anyway. Here is the Boogedy and his cousin Miss M on the Metro.

pink hat on metro

For knitters, the technical specs: Araucania Calafquen, color 1501, needle size 15.


Photos, some more than a month old, of our travel to SLC to visit my family and friends.

Kirikou helps pack the suitcase.

The Boogedy “does stickerin” on the plane. These are also the stickers that he and Uncle Craig put all over the coffee shop “where they don’t belong”. He and Craig are still giggling about this vandalism.

Flying over the Rockies, with snow.

Windmills on an ill-fated camping trip with Kristin. This is the point in the car ride where I started feeling carsick. I’ve NEVER been carsick and it was AWFUL. I’m sure it was compounded by altitude sickness. An hour or so later I was green and migrainey and begging to turn around and go back to Salt Lake. No desert redrocks on this trip, I’m afraid.

Mountains on the way to Brigham City to visit Aunt Sue. For a short few days I was granted shotgun after that miserable bout with travel nausea. Once my sisters figured out that my stomach was back to normal, I got wedged in the backseat next to the Boogedy’s unyielding carseat.

Riding Trax with the Boogedy and gawking at the sky-scrapers in the Big City of Salt Lake.

At the end of our trip, a beautiful lift-off from SLC.

The Boogedy noticed some stripes and I realized we here following someone else’s contrails!

Home at last. Look at that turquoise water! I would have made you look through stacks more pictures of my little island, but I didn’t have the window seat. I could only lean so much over the cute tourist from Buffalo.

Chronicle of a Cross-Country Move

Sunday, May 23. Clean until my back hurts. Then stop and watch guiltily while others do the rest.

Sunday/Monday 1:20 am. Depart in the middle of darkness on I-80 toward Chicago. Weather is harsh, damp, cold. I’ve thought only of our ultimate destination and packed shorts and flipflops for the roadtrip.

5/24, 2am, Zach drives us through a scary, white-out blizzard up Parley’s Canyon.

Monday 5:20am. Stop, exhausted, in windy, frigid Flaming Gorge. Sleep for a few hours.

Monday mid-morning. Another horrid blizzard in Wyoming. Ethan navigates the white-knuckle pass. Can’t stop…no where to go but forward. Finally find an exit with a little coffee shop…

Monday. Decide to skip Chicago and the tornado warnings on the Plains, instead head south toward warmth and calm skies. Another night sleeping in the van somewhere.

Two days through Texas.

Almost lost Ethan and Jess’ dog, Koda, who decided to herd cattle while out for a potty break. She came back an hour and a half later, when she got tired.

Sleeping in Dallas at my sister’s house. Restraining myself from stealing all her gorgeous cookbooks. Knitting all the way.

Camping near a lake, cat attacked by a raccoon around 5am…rescued from a tree covered in her own pee.

Next morning, a horse back ride, a treat from Ethan and Jess.

Tire was going to blow out, Zach noticed. Tire shop just down the road! Temperature? 95 degrees. Humidity? unbelievable.

Camping in a swamp? Who does that? We do, and the dogs get ticks and I get irritable.

The Boogedy is thrilled to find a playground in the swamp.

The A/C in the van is NOT up the the challenge of driving through the South (supposedly this was fixed by the mechanic before we left town). Mosca monopolizes the vent.

Marathon drive to our new pink house in Sunnyside, Florida.

Unpack the van and then take a midnight swim.

Current daily  goal: spend as much time as possible in the water before the oil arrives.

Things not mentioned or photographed above:

not getting enough sleep. hearing the ABC song a hundred times. discovering that the vcr in the van works, but that we only have one movie, toy story. watching dvds on the portable player…over and over. getting eaten by bugs while camping. eating tons of junk food. shelling sunflower seeds to keep me alert while i drive. the sheer grouchiness of traveling that long with anyone. the memorial day weekend traffic in mobile alabama. all the varieties of sweet tea. the dirtiest bathrooms I have ever seen. gorgeous sunsets along the way. realizing that I have the best kid in the whole world, and I couldn’t have asked for a three-year old to be better for 5 days of travel!

Airport cruelties

We spent two gorgeous weeks in and around Rosemary Beach, Florida. My skin cleared up and I looked 10 years younger. I got a nice tan, but got out of shape just laying about on the beach in a bikini, with my most strenuous activity being playing “Jump Like a Kangaroo!” with my kid in the surf.

After I whine a bit about my 3.8 mile ride to work today, I will regale you with a miserable tale of my 4-day airport adventure. Ok, the ride to work today was grueling. It should have been a piece of cake, it’s been too easy all summer! But leave for two weeks to relax at sea level and suddenly Salt Lake City doesn’t have a lungful of air for a poor commuting biker. Whew. My head hurts.

Ok, the Airport. Here’s how it went. On Thursday afternoon we enjoyed lunch with our friends in Rosemary Beach before heading to the Panama City airport.  We managed to convince the Boogedy that going through airport security was an adventure (rather than the fit it usually causes when he is subjected to a change of shoe status). We checked only our carseat and had our allotted carry-ons carefully arranged, even managing to fit in a brand new life jacket we bought for the little guy down there. Our toiletries were in their plastic ziploc bags, even our dirty closes were folded neatly.

The ticket agent announced that the flight to Memphis was overbooked and so we volunteered to give up our seats in exchange for lots of airfare vouchers plus hotel and food for the night.  It was a kitschy hotel there in Panama City…I’m planning to post pictures separately. It was fun and felt spontaneous and “worth the trouble”, even though we found out that our carseat had lost its tag and was probably living it up in Memphis without us.

We came back to the Airport the next afternoon, returned the carseat the airline had loaned us, and went through security again. This time we were booked to go to Atlanta, but weather was terrible, Atlanta got shut down,  and that flight got so delayed we would have missed our connection to SLC. So we rented a car (on our own dime) and drove back to Rosemary Beach and played with friends and swam in the ocean one last time. We also bought a huge bag of Cajun spiced boiled peanuts…so yummy!!!

The next day we went BACK THROUGH SECURITY (please raise your hand if you’ve done this even once with a 2.5 year old). By this time all the security guys were chuckling with and pitying us. Our flight to Cincinnati was so delayed that we missed our connecting flight to SLC and had to spend the night there. They gave us food vouchers, but no hotels were giving up rooms because of a big jazz festival in town. I couldn’t face the thought of sleeping on the Cincinnati airport floor, though, so we paid for a hotel in the industrial zone beyond the runways.

We got up the next morning at dawn and went back to the airport, where Cincinnati security personnel take their job VERY seriously, and stood in long lines. We finally flew out of there and landed in SLC 20 minutes early, so we had to sit on the tarmac waiting for our gate. In those last 10 minutes of waiting, the Boogedy finally had his only huge airplane nervous breakdown, which ended as soon as we were let out of the plane.

We needed this travel drama so that we would be glad to get home, rather than just wishing we could stay longer on the beach.