WOW! Seems like we were gone forever this past time. And we did it without any internet access at all. And we didn’t die! Actually, I didn’t even really miss it all that much. It was nice having the time away from it all.
We left last Wednesday for a trip to Wisconsin. The weather was horrible. It rained the entire way there for the most part. So, instead of enjoying the nice fall foliage, we watched the rain dull the colors. But it was a nice trip and we made great time. We haven’t made the investment yet in a DVD player for the van, but we’ve decided that it really is worth it after borrowing one this past time.
Thursday morning, we woke up to the sounds of Gram in the kitchen making us biscuits and gravy. The woman really overdoes it when we come home. We got ready for our day and made the first stop we often do when visiting Kenosha – Target! ROFL! It seems inevitable that we’re going to forget something – or a couple somethings – when we leave home. Lunch was spent with my mom and aunt at Burger King. We let Seth crawl up into the tubes for the first time and he had so much fun. Our little monkey quickly figured out how to get up there all by himself and spent the entire time climbing up and sliding down BY HIMSELF!!! I’m just not ready for him to be that big yet!
After lunch, we drove up to Racine for a trip to Toys R Us since Gram gave the kids money to spend and a trip to Barnes & Noble so Chip could look for a book. (He ended up buying some moleskine journals instead). On the way back to Kenosha, we stopped off a Jerry Smith’s Pumpkin Farm. I grew up going to this pumpkin farm (although in a different location) and my kids enjoy it just as much as I did. They take pumpkins and make different heads for various children’s characters and then make bodies and such for them out of strawstuffed clothing. You’ll see the pictures tomorrow and know what I’m talking about. The thing I love most about it is there are really no scary monsters or anything – unless of course you could big purple dinosaurs names Barney.
For dinner, we went with my mom and sister Janet to Pizza Hut with their families. Nothing special, but it was nice to spend time with family. We went back to Gram’s and ate some homemade cookies before going to bed.
Friday was a great day. We got up in the morning and drove to Chicago and the Lincoln Park Zoo. Does it get any better than a zoo within spitting distance of the downtown skyline? I love that zoo! We’re beginning to know our way around Chicago pretty well without having to get on the tollway. LOVE Chicago – HATE the tollway!
We spent the day at the zoo and took lots of pictures. We got to see all of the animals except the ones the kids really wanted to – the meerkats. We’ve become addicts of the show Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet. Kait’s favorites were the leopards and tiger – which we got pretty upclose and personal with. Elijah’s favorite were probably the giraffes. Noah and Seth just loved it all! We drove home via Sheridan Road and past mansions of days past. Those houses were huge by todays standards, I can’t imagine how they must have compared back when they were first build.
Saturday, we got a slow start. We went and spent some time at Gurnee Mills Mall. The kids love that mall. We got there just as they were feeding the fish in the Bass Pro Shop. Some of those fish were actually jumping out of the water to get the food. We didn’t visit much of the mall – we went to see the “crocodile” outside the Rain Forest Cafe and GameStop. We went to the kids favorite store – Serpent Safari – where some crazy couple were getting a picture taken with a GINORMOUS SNAKE on their shoulders. A guy came up and said, “Can I help you with anything?” I quickly replied, “Trust me, they are not taking home ANYTHING from this store!” Apparently in the back of this store, they have a guided tour with alligators and other reptiles and snakes – including a 300+ lbs anaconda! And it’s like $7!!! TO SEE SNAKES!!! Um, no thanks! I can think of better things to spend my money on – like ANYTHING ELSE! ROFL!
We left the mall and made our way to my aunt’s house where we had real Italian food. Now, I know people like to think of Olive Garden as real Italian, but these are people who have lived a very sheltered life. If you are looking for GREAT authentic Italian food, a trip to Kenosha is a must! We had mostaccoli, gnocchi, lasagna, fried ravioli, meatballs, salad, Italian bread, etc… I know gluttony is a sin, so I stopped *just* short of hitting that point. I can still taste it all and have decided next time we go to Kenosha we’ll be bringing back a cooler of pasta for the freezer!
Sunday was a slow day. We got up and went to Calvary Harvest Church in Gurnee. It was a bit more traditional than we prefer and they were in the middle of a capital campaign so it was just a little different. I think we heard every cliche out there about giving – “You can’t outgive God.” “People say they can’t afford to tithe, I say you can’t afford not to”, etc… The kids had a great time in Children’s church and preschool church. Seth was fine in the nursery until he saw us and then that little bottom lip of his stuck out so far I thought he might trip on it. Poor guy does NOT like going in the nursery apparently.
We went back to Gram’s and Chip watched football, the kids played board games and Seth & I napped. Gram made chicken wings (football food) for lunch and we ordered pizza for dinner. After dinner, we went to Target so the kids could spend their money. Noah & Seth had already spent theirs, but Elijah and Kait had money burning in their pockets that they couldn’t wait to spend. They ended up combining their money and buying Over The Hedge. It was a DVD/music CD combo – Elijah gets the DVD, Kait gets the CD. My mom called while we were at Target and took us out to DQ for ice cream. It was a fun treat.
Monday, we got up and ready to go. Gram made bacon and toast for breakfast – even though she swore she wasn’t going to cook anything. We got on the road by 10:30 and were home by 4. We weren’t even out of the van yet and the kid’s friends were already coming by. We got stuff carried in the house and the kids went to play while Chip and I collapsed in the house – thankful with every fiber of our being to be home!
Pictures will be coming soon, I promise!