Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The fabled long lost second trip of the summer

Way back at the end of July, we made a trip up to the great north to escape the Texas summer. What follows is the tail that I have intended to tell for a while now. I even wrote about half of it out before it got lost (note to self: the iOS Blogger app likes to lose posts).

In any case, our trip kicked off with an exciting trip to the airport. I booked the tickets back in the spring and we had plenty of time till our 8:30 flight so we stopped and began to eat dinner at Chili's while I checked for the flight. Or at least, tried to check in. The flight didn't show up. After some digging, it turns out that the airline canceled our tickets and re-booked us on a flight leaving an hour and half earlier, and failed to notify us about it. Our leisurely dinner changed into a rushed dash to the airport. We skidded to a halt at our gate just in time, only to find out that the flight had been delayed two hours.  To burn some time, I took the kids on the train around the airport a couple times. So we were both late and early for our flight out.
My parents picked us up in Chicago and we spent a day checking out the museums in the Chicago area. The museums up there are part of the same museum association as the Perot Museum in Dallas where we have a membership, so we were able to get into all of them for free. Well, all except the aquarium. Apparently, the aquarium felt that it was too special to be associated with other museums, so we didn't go there.
We saw the bronze statue of an alligator and asked the kids to get a picture with it. Sara Beth kneeled down next to it and gave it a sweet pet to the head.
Hudson, however, decided to wrestle it.
After spending the day in Chicago, we went on towards San Souci and meet up with my brother, sister and sister in law. While playing in the hotel pool, Hudson, Sara Beth, and Jill gave me traction I needed to chase my brother around.
The next morning we got up and started driving somewhere in the direction of the Dunes State park. We drove around all morning until we found it, but once we found it, we had a lot of fun hiking for miles up and down all of them.
Finally, we got on to the family reunion at San Souci. One morning, my Dad, Hudson, Sara Beth, and I took the boat out into the pond to go fishing. But once Sara Beth realized we were going to use live worms as bait, she put an end to it and demanded the we release the worms back on dry ground. We then proceeded to go around the pond drowning bare hooks in an attempt to catch some fish, but apparently the fish were not biting that morning.
As part of the reunion, Chris and Wally put on a contest for the kids with climbing and diving. Sara Beth joined.
Wally said of all the contestants, Sara Beth put in the most effort, overcoming her fears to do the diving.
One thing that both Heather and I noticed as the Siewert family reunion: our kids were normal sized. Most of the time when we hang out with other families, people comment on how much taller Sara Beth and Hudson are. But at the reunion, everyone was tall, and most had blond hair. You could tell they were all related.
After the reunion, we went back to my parent's house in Wisconsin. The lake is higher than it has been in years past, so my dad was able to take the boat further up the river across the road from their house. The downside to the water being higher: it makes the bridges lower.
We walked though downtown Algoma one morning and stopped at one of the coffee shops for something to drink. Hudson got some lemonade and Sara Beth got something blue,.
My parents found a spot on the Green Bay shoreline that they named shell beach. All the zebra muscle shells are pushed up every year by the ice creating 3 foot tall dunes of white shells.
While on our way back from shell beach, we had to stop at the cherry store to get some chocolate covered cherries.
My dad decided that launching and pulling the boat out of the river caused too much wear on the mini van so he bought a vintage tractor do help. Both my dad and I gave Hudson nearly the same warning about the dangers of getting close to the flywheel and then Hudson had a great time helping my Dad drive.
To celebrate Sara Beth's birthday, we decided to use sparklers. We started with letting the kids play with a few on the grass.
Next, instead of candles, we put some on Sara Beth's birthday cup cakes. Sara Beth's apprehension about  about our alternative celebratory lighting ended up being well founded. Most of the decorative tissue paper ended going up in flames and several of the cup cakes got a little charred.
Fortunately the presents were a safe distance away and none of those were damaged.
After eating his cupcake, Hudson decided to taste the Styrofoam base for the cake decoration. He decided it didn't taste all that great.