(pretty nice view.  this is mimi’s “backyard”, and mom got to witness a huge lightning storm roll in one night)

friday the 13th. mom knew when she made the plane reservation that it could be a good or a bad day to fly.  leading up to our trip, she would have told you it wasn’t looking too good. she’s not at all superstitious. but, 2 days before we left, she didn’t know what to make of the situation when driving home from picking us up from school as dad (who she was following) mouthed to her “transmission!!!”.

looking back it was a good sign. then we woke up the day of the trip and mom commented, “did i wake up in florida??” it was HOT, rainy and muggy.  it was 5:30 in the morning.  in california. it’s not supposed to rain until november. not a bad sign, but another sign that the day  and this trip had plans of its own.

we landed just nearly missing a thunderstorm in chicago.  darn thought dad… he’s a fan. well, he’s a fan when he’s inside. with power. and air conditioning. and if the satellite tv feed hasn’t gone out. mom is too. so she and dad were *excited* when another storm rolled through on our way home from the airport. colin and i loved seeing the lightning FLASH! then waiting….. BOOM.  fun.  well, for most of us. asking colin if he’d like to take a trip on the highway for the rest of our trip and he got very nervous… thunder storms aren’t waiting for us to take a drive to make an appearance, tickle. (oh, did i mention that’s my new nickname for colin? just go with it…)

to add to our weird day mimi gets a call from her agent (real estate, sadly not hollywood).  a couple was just going in for their SECOND viewing  of her house TODAY and (gasp) she may be getting an offer tonight.  PEOPLE. this is serious stuff.  and by the time everyone went to bed that night, mimi’s house was officially “IN ESCROW”.  like i said. this was all planned out.  what a way to start our trip.

the first weekend in we got to make a trip to see mom’s college friends, and there was a pool, lots of girls (future wives, yes?) and lots of fun.

this sadly is missing little will, i didn’t want to forget him!  so with all these girls at least there were 4 of us boys… it couldn’t have been more fun that day!!

the annual trip to mimi’s big huge park was next on our list.  sadly we had to go there at 8am. it was already 85. it was almost 95 when we left just after 9am.  yes mom pays attention to this stuff. the bright side?  we were the only ones dumb enough there!

i really didn’t care where we went, as long as it had swings. you see robert (my new friend at school) taught me at to pump my legs (you say mom and dad have been telling me that for months now? huh??) and now i can’t get enough.  if i could sign up for a sport “swinging” , i’d be there. if they have trampolining in the olympic, they should have swinging. really.

colin came home to a 103 degree fever. but really you’d never know it from how much fun he was having at the park.  mom is thankful for doctors that are willing to call 2000 miles away for a prescription to fill. phew.

then the annual train ride, this just to deerfield and a park and some lunch.  colin and i sure love them, but they could maybe invest in some noise reduction equipment….that would be great.

we came home and pulled out the slip and slide…

it lasted only these 2 slides. there really is something to the saying “the don’t make things they way they used to…”

two train rides in two days? yes please.  “take me to  chicago union station” colin and i said.

*mom sniffle* this is literally colin’s first view of the skyline of chicago. really people, other than new york, no city can match chicago’s skyline.  it just feels like home to see it.

and aside from the cute faces, this was dad’s view every day at work. he used to work just 2 blocks away.

our quest, like always: do anything but walk in this city.  and we did. we took the water taxi out to navy pier, lunched at harry “ho0-ley COW” caray’s with aunt leeann!.  so much to do there, but all i wanted to do was ride the bus to the EL and ride the loop.  done.  back on the train home and we were satisfied.

then it was off to nana and papa’s house to see them and cousins in wisconsin!!

this is our annual cousins picture… it’s the best.

we went over to cousins for dinner.  people this is what people live in the midwest for.  yards. and dogs go great in yards. we love ginger.

yay for smores!!!

did you know that jelly belly has a factory in kenosha, wi?  well, we went there, and toured the place. don’t you think mom didn’t ponder jumping off the tram and snatching a box 😉

l and c.  the tallest 10 and 8 year old cousins you’ll ever meet 😉

back to mimi’s and some nostalgic picture taking… this is our beloved pappap’s wagon. he built with his two hands. it won’t make the pilgrimage to CA, but that is ok.  mom and aunt sarah had many a memorable ride down our backyard hill.  rides that mom would never let me do, not in a million years… at least she survived!

then the prize colin and i had been waiting for.  the infamous “blue comet” train that has sat on the mantle. colin and i got to help mom pack them up in boxes.  they WILL make the trip out to CA. hooray!

but first we get to play a little…

another successful trip!!!


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