Sunday, August 16, 2015

What I Did On My Summer Vacation: HELMET EDITION!

Or no helmet edition, as the case may be. Being in the middle of nowhere, or our on the prairie, makes me feel like it's time to flout rules. Plus it makes for good texting to my lovable and cautious inlaws.

Ellie four wheeling on Hailee's four wheeler at Uncle John's

Many kittens four wheeling with John. And see! Adam is wearing a helmet!

If one cornhole board ramp is good, TWO is better! But heaven help you if you attempt to use Lisa's fossil rocks to sure up the supports.

Uncle John (the younger) helps load Ellie into his trusty wagon, which he took off many sweet jumps in the day.

It really was an amazing trip. David and Candice's wedding was really sweet and very beautiful. Adam had to go home early (with Tim) but Ellie tore up the dance floor with all of the other little girls. She was so happy to once again dance with her Grizz, and when she was melting down about not being allowed to be a bridesmaid (despite many discussions about the fact that David was Hailee's dad, not hers) she was also thrilled that Gigi introduced her to a kiddie cocktail (just don't tell her that it's got cherry juice in it. She HATES cherries, allegedly.) Both kids had a wonderful time staying with Grandma Rosie, and even showed Uncle Emery their favorite books, which he enjoyed (how can you not love Happy Birthday Cupcake, or a book about Mr Peanuts the Squirrel.)

We had a relatively uneventful trip across the state - I really could not have asked for better travelers. They napped, they played nicely, and when things got really dicey, I gave them each a tablet and let them play video games (no complaints - video games do pay the bills around here.) Our cabin in Door County was really nice - slightly more houselike than cabin, but perfect because it easily slept the four of us, Sara, and Brian and Becca. Nice sized bedrooms, a bunk room for the kids (with crib for Adam and a TOP BUNK for Ellie!) and a big sun room with a TV and VCR and old Disney movies. There was a nice screened porch and a hammock in the back, and the front yard had a little garden and a fire pit, and a nice bench on the porch where Becca and I sat and drank coffee in the morning, watching the hummingbirds at the feeder. We were less than a quarter mile from Europe Bay, so most days we just grabbed towels and walked down to the shore in the morning, and then after nap time, headed over to the Center of the Universe for big family dinner with all of the cousins and aunts and Grandpa Charlie and Juan and Renee. What more could you ask for?

We did a lot of drinking, cooking, eating, making fun of one another (and Juan) and working on puzzles. The kids were both thrilled to be with Olivia, and I love that she enjoys hanging out with them (and me. I like being the most popular Uncle Meg around.) At night once the kids (and Sara) were asleep, Brian and Becca and Tim I sat around and played Bananagrams until we lost brain focus, and then we'd delight in playing Sorry! and screwing one another over, all while laughing until we cried. One night when I went to wash my face I realized I'd laugh-cried off all of my eyeliner.

Yesterday we had a good drive back to Chicago, and the kids held together during the late flight home. It definitely benefits to travel with Grizz, not only because he's a nice guy (and his wife and younger daughter are pretty great) but because he has lots of fancy perks. Free checked bags, priority tags on the bags, admission into the Admirals Club with their kid room and free snacks and beers, and extended leg row seats. We didn't get on the plane until 8pm, and Adam did some wailing before falling asleep in my arms (and then waking up every half hour to cry and then resettle) and Ellie actually fell asleep, which shocked me to death. Tim luckily had a whole row to himself, and she curled up in my sweater and slept the last hour. And Mimi and Poppy had picked up our car from the airport the day we left and then parked it for us last night so we could make a mercifully quick exit. They even had the garbage can on wheels washed for me! (the kids will fill it with Cheerios again by the end of the day.)

It's hot as blazes here, so we are definitely missing the lake. And all of our family and friends. Until next year, Wisconsin!

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