Thursday, July 26, 2012

Road Warriors, Part Two

After we enjoyed our free breakfast and loaded up the van, we set out for the last leg of our long drive to Illinois.  Madi had been keeping a travel journal along the way, and Trevor wanted to join in the fun.  He pulled out his little notebook from Miss Sandi and determinedly wrote down the states we had traveled through.  When he got to Tennessee I thought I might go just a little crazy.  I had to spell it for him about, oh, ten times or so!  But he was absolutely precious making his own travel journal.  And Madi's is priceless and filled with details!  She is a good little writer.

Since we were in Indiana, we saw a lot of this outside our windows.

(All I could think of for miles was a song about corn that I used to hear the Backyardigans sing around my house when Madi and Trev were smaller!)

The midwestern heat wave temporarily broke for the first couple days we were there. It would return with a vengeance, but when we rolled into town that first evening, it was breathtakingly beautiful.  We arrived at Grandpa's house just in time to see the sun start to make its descent. I love to stand on new ground, breathe in different air, take in fresh sights.

I was mesmerized by the way the light danced on the water behind the cattails.

We were hungry from our journey, and we ate our first meal in true Chicago fashion at Portillo's.  Let me tell you something, our family can eat us some Portillo's.  We are no joke.  That would be the first of several Portillo runs during the week!  If you are ever in the Chicago area, go get you a wet Italian beef sandwich or a burger that tastes like it came off the grill in your backyard, and some perfectly crispy and salty crinkle fries. Oh, and save room for the chocolate cake.  It is perfection on a plate.

We had a great first night with family.  It is always wonderful to be reunited.  The next morning I was the first one up and marveled once again at the beauty in Jim's backyard.

And enjoyed some quiet time for a few glorious moments.

Then everyone started congregating on the porch as they woke up.  We spent much of our trip visiting out there!  So peaceful.

Jimmy's dad had to do some work and his sister had Driver's Ed in the morning, so we took a walk and found a park for the kids to play in.  It was a gorgeous summer morning!

The kids played hard...

And we sat in the sunshine!

Honestly, I think my husband gets more handsome every year!

After Taylor was done with Driver's Ed, she took us to a very neat place called Pottawatomie Park, which is right on the Fox River.  The kids had more fun playing...

And then we climbed this lovely tower!

It reminded us a little of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse at Disney!  Lots of steps to climb!

The day was definitely starting to heat up, but we still enjoyed the beauty.

On the ride home, Jimmy humored Madi and me and let us stop to try some treats at a local bakery and coffee shop - we can't resist trying little bakeries! 

And then he made another stop when Tay told us we could get free Slurpees at 7-11 since it was July 11th!  That was free fun for all!

After an already active day, the kids decided to run through the sprinkler when we came home to Grandpa who was watering the lawn.

Definitely one of summer's simplest pleasures!

When everyone was worn out and bathed, we ate a lovely dinner at home and enjoyed another evening visiting with family and friends, looking at old photos on the porch. Jim didn't know that we were collecting some for the power point at his upcoming surprise party!  And let me tell you, there were some winners in those old piles of photos!  We laughed and laughed.

We were all tired from a super active day and turned in at a decent hour. The next morning we would be up very early for more fun, this time downtown in the Windy City, a city we love...


  1. Looks like great fun! LOVE Jimmy's Dad's back porch!!! Beautiful!

  2. Beautiful pictures of you and your husband! No wonder you have such beautiful children!! Wow, the sunroom looks soo welcoming with a view like that. Sounds like a wonderful time!