We spent Labor Day weekend visiting the fam in Wisconsin. Now, I know Minnesota is right next door to Wisconsin, but I have the distinct honor of being from a town on the very Eastern side of the state, right next to Lake Michigan. While it's a nice place to grow up and a beautiful place to come home to visit, it's a helluva drive with two little ones in tow.
Luckily our drive over went amazingly well - 6 1/2 hours total, only one meltdown. We arrived just in time for some sidewalk chalk drawing, and for Grandma "Loud" (as Lindsey says my mom and stepdad's last name) to bring out toy after toy. Finally at one point, after all the new toys had been dragged out, Lindsey says, "Grandma, may I have another toy?" At least she's polite in her greed.
Saturday we went to the South Shore Festival, or whatever it was called, right on Lake Michigan. Big surprise, the rides were the biggest hit with Lindsey. But Kristi and I had quite a laugh, too, riding the Tilt a'Whirl until we were almost sick. (It only took one ride.) We were spinning quite fast and laughing so hard that I nearly peed. The ride operator was chuckling at us as we got off. We also rode "The Scrambler" -- remember that thing?? I felt like I was in a big mixing bowl.
We got the biggest kick out of the warning sign on "The Scrambler". Check out the frownie face on the guy who stood up during the ride! Bummer for him.
Kristi said something to me about always looking at the people in the crowd, wondering if she'll recognize some old classmates. Then she realized that she was looking at all the high school kids before she realized she should be looking at the middle-aged people with the families! Ain't that the truth! I'm just a FEW years out of high school, right? Still look like I could pass for a senior, eh? Ummm....yeah, not so much.
That evening we had a visit with my friend Chuck, his wife Kerri and their little baby, Claire, all of 9 months old. She is about the happiest giggliest baby I've ever seen, who justly earns the nickname "Porkchop" with her rolls of fat on her legs and arms. What a cutie!
Sunday morning Michelle, Steve and nephew Paul came to visit for a few hours, as did Grandma Janet. You would think that with Marissa and Paulie being a few weeks apart in age that they would play together more. But I think the sister/girl thing was a bigger draw for Marissa, and Paul was just too enamored with his cars! It's just amazing how different boys and girls play! They finally all had some together time in the sandbox in the back yard.
Sunday evening we enjoyed a dinner out with Kristi and Ned, at a restaurant on the lakefront with outdoor seating. It was so beautiful out, and the breeze was just perfect. It was a fabulous break from kid-dom.
The one scourge of our weekend was, as it seems to always be when we travel, getting the girls to sleep. Lindsey only napped one day, and every day she went to bed well past her normal bedtime, usually around 10 or 11. One night it was nearly midnight before she finally passed out, while in mid-sentence saying, "Can I just have one more......" I almost wanted to wake her to ask what she wanted one more of, but thought better of it.
You would think for all that tiredness that we would have a quiet drive back home with two sleeping girls catching up on some shut eye. But alas, they were both up for most of the drive, though we did get a good hour-long respite when they both finally konked out at the same time. The drive home took us about 8 hours due to unscheduled stops, crabbiness and general chaos. Traffic was great, kids were not.
We got home at about 8:30 Monday night -- both kids were sleeping by 9:30. Aaahhh! Sleep, oh wonderful sleep! I got 9 hours of it myself that night...in a row.