Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vacation Time (so far)! June 27th- July 11th

My outpatient procedure on Wednesday went so well!  I couldn't believe how good I felt afterwards!!!  We left the house around 8:00 AM, we were home by 1:00 PM, and at the pool by 3:00 PM.  I took my prescribed pain medication that day just in case, but honestly I felt great and I could BREATHE!!!! 

By Thursday, June 28th,  I decided to pack up the car and get ready for our long drive.  We said goodbye to Dave, Zamboni, and Fred (the turtle) and left around 3:00 PM... and then got stuck in traffic two hours later.  We were stuck for over two hours and barely moved....  the kids were fine and great travelers... it was just me that was frustrated.  Apparently some bridge was out somewhere (not many signs giving us directions or detours)... so my GPS took me on a detour that eventually got us around the mess.  We didn't make it as far as we wanted but at least we were five hours closer by the time we stopped for the night. 

The next day we got up and had a great breakfast at Bob Evans.  Brennan LOVED that place!!!!  It was a long day of driving (for me- again the kids were great)...  we hit a few more detours, heavy traffic, a very dark storm, and more detours but finally arrived at Leah's house in Aurora, Illinois by night.   I was so happy to get out of the car!!!  I don't think I want to make that trip by myself for awhile again!!!  Driving it five times by myself in the last year is more than enough!!! Dave will be helping me with the drive home, so now I can rest easy!

Leah and DeAnna
Friends since seventh grade
We had a great visit with Leah and her family.  Brennan ran off to play with her two youngest boys (Matt and Chris) and I barely saw him the two days we were there.  Kate hung with the girls.  She had a huge fussy moment the second day, but after a long talk about it, the rest of her vacation (so far) she has been sweet and easy and fun!  I think she was just "testing" to see what she could and could not get away with on vacation.  She is a smart little girl!!!

We love Leah's pool!

We enjoyed Leah's small pool, watched some movies, and went to a great place for pizza in a nearby town.  We also walked around this cute park that was built along a small river.  It was beautiful! 

Brennan, Chris, Matt, and Kate
It was a relaxing weekend and by Sunday I was ready to get back in the car for my short drive to Madison which is only about two hours away.  Both kids slept on the way and so when we arrived they were a little caught up on their sleep. 

Brielle and Kate

Kate and I stayed with Britt and her family in Madison and Brennan stayed with Wendy, Dan, and Norman.  We were all together for the daytime fun though!  Kate was so excited to see Brielle and the two of them were as cute as ever! Baby Alyssa (17 months) was so cute and I enjoyed playing with her! 

In Madison, we enjoyed some pool time at a pool that Norman has membership rights to.  It had a super kiddy pool that Kate especially enjoyed. Our pool day was mostly Norman, Kate, Brennan, and me and then later Wendy joined us.  It was a great day!  In the evening we met up with Britt and Brielle at Ella's Deli for dinner and then the girls rode the carousel.  We said goodbye to the boys (and Wendy) and Britt and I took the girls to Dream Park in Madison.  Next to the park, there just happened to be a small carnival complete with a few rides.  We let the girls choose two rides to go on and their favorite was the small roller coaster.  By the time we got home, it was time for bed.  On Tuesday we went to the zoo.  This time it was Norman, Kate, Brennan, Brielle, and myself at the zoo.  Brielle showed us around and we got some cute pictures.  After we were all melting from the extremely hot day, we went to the beach across the street where Britt and Alyssa joined us.  Kate and Brielle played, Alyssa splashed around and loved the water, and Brennan and Norman attempted to catch fish by hand (with a little toy net).  Brennan actually caught one and was the talk of the beach!  The lifeguards couldn't believe he did it!!!
Brennan and Uncle Dan
Uncle Norm and Brennan
At Ella's Deli in Madison
Sweet Brielle

At the park- these are their dance moves

More fun at the park
The fun roller coaster ride!

Fishing in Madison with Wendy and Norman

And more fishing...

At the Dane County Zoo

Train ride at the zoo

rain ride after the carousel ride

Two adorable flamingos

Not quite tall enough...

We especially loved watching the giraffe!

The fish Brennan caught with his toy net

Britt and Brielle

The polar bear at the zoo

Brennan's net of fish
 It was hard to say goodbye to Madison but we were excited to get to Eagle River. We said our goodbyes and headed out around 5:00 PM on Wednesday, July 3rd. Apparently everyone headed out at that time because I got stuck in traffic (again)! I hit detour on my GPS and took a route that went through a few small towns but at least traffic was moving! I was so happy to have my GPS! It ended up only taking us about a half an hour out of the way, which was great! We arrived in Eagle River in time for bedtime (and a little fishing by Brennan first). 
A close up view of the fish
he caught!
The fourth of July is always so much fun in Eagle River.  That morning Brennan woke up around 5:30 AM and went fishing!  He must have caught about 60 blue gills!  We cleaned him up and headed to the parade around 10:30 AM.  Kate was so excited to collect candy and had help from Brennan and some of my mom's friends.  The parade was cute as ever!  After the parade we walked down the street to eat some corn on the cob and pulled pork sandwiches.  In the afternoon the kids attempted to swim in the river... which they did for about five minutes.  Brennan would have stayed in if Kate would have...  I truly have some city swimming pool type of kids!  Hopefully we can get them to try again!  We enjoyed a wonderful and lazy afternoon, a delicious lunch at Sweetwaters, and then went out in the boat for the fireworks.  There were about four different areas of fireworks we could see- Sweetwater's beat out the city's fireworks once again!  We love the place we found to watch them up about two lakes from us!

My mom with two of her really good

Kate with grandma and grandpa- ready for the parade!

 Watching the parade in Eagle River

The traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall-
It was 3/5 of the original size and so cool
that Eagle River had it on the fourth of July!

Getting ready to swim in the river

On the boat going to see

Where's Kate?

More fish...


On July 5th, we got back in the car for our short two hour trip to Rothschild to meet a great college friend (Janice) and her kids.  We went to the Cedar Lodge Grand Resort Water Park, which was beautiful!  Our room was so spacious and the park was great!  Brennan and Adam ran off together and were fast friends once again.  It's been so nice that we've been able to meet up for the last three summers!  Kate enjoyed time with her youngest, Logan, but Kate was a little more cautious and spent most of her time in the kiddy area while Logan was ready for the big water slides that he was tall enough to ride!  I especially got a kick out of Logan (who is only four years old- although almost five) and his determination!  He hauled his own inner tube up the five flights of stairs and wanted to ride the big slide all by himself!  He was amazing!  Kate enjoyed the smaller slides and was so proud of herself.  Lisa and her son Brady joined us the next day.  It was great because we all took turns hanging with Kate, or going with the bigger boys on some of the slides, or even a few times all in the same pool for short periods of time. We decided to take a little break from all the water fun and went to see the movie Brave in the afternoon.  It was a really cute movie and Kate was so into it!  Poor Brennan may have fallen asleep in parts because he was so tired.  Lisa bought some delicious sandwich makings and salads for dinner and we enjoyed every morsel of food.  The kids then enjoyed some time in the arcade.  We got our money's worth the next day with a delicious buffet (thanks Janice) and some more water fun, arcade fun, and ice cream.  Kate took a nap both days in the very loud water park- she loved taking a break and having me rock her to sleep. We had so  much fun!!  I love my friends and their kids!!!  We've been friends since 1986 and still have so much fun together and laugh about our college years!

Having fun at the Wausau
water park

Taking a break for dinner

Kate sleeping in the very
loud water park

Crazy Lisa always makes us laugh!


"Here- hold this Brady!"


The boys


The gang is all here!
Janice, Lisa, Dee, Brady, Adam, Kate
Logan, Brennan
When we got back to Eagle River we were so excited to meet up with Norman, Dan, Wendy, and their two great friends from Amsterdam (Maartje and Ivo).  We made a campfire and enjoyed some S'mores and good stories.  We decided to go to Bond Falls the next day after a delicious breakfast cooked by Norman and Brennan (with a little help from Kate and Wendy).  We stopped at Subway to pick up sandwiches for a picnic later and then drove the hour to the Falls.  It was just as beautiful as we remembered and grandpa and Kate walked to the half way mark with us (well actually Kate got to go in her stroller).  Grandma wasn't with us because she needed to rest her back a little.  While we hiked the other half which was very steep in parts, Grandpa and Kate played all kinds of games.  Wendy drove to pick them up when we completed our hike.  Brennan was excited to go fishing and of course caught fish, although they were very little.  We enjoyed our picnic in a beautiful spot next to a small river.  On our way back, we stopped for ice cream.  Kate fell asleep again and I transferred her from Wendy's car to her pop up camper where Kate slept for another two hours.  Once we joined everyone else, it was time for dinner and then some Karaoke fun on the patio.  What another perfect day!

Campfire fun

Our marshmallow roasting champ!

Ivo's first S'more

Bond Falls

Did Brennan actually see the Falls
or was he too busy looking for fish?


Norman and our good friend
Maartje from Amsterdam

Grandpa and Kate at the Falls

Bond Falls in Upper Michigan


Kate and Wendy




And of course Brennan
went fishing!

 Ivo, Steve, Norm, Kate, DeAnna, Wendy, Dan
Brennan, and Maartje at Bond Falls

Ivo and Maartje (brother and sister)


And he caught a fish

And another one...

On July 9th we went out on the boat for most of the day.  Kate stayed behind with Grandma and Grandpa.  Brennan and Norman tried catching fish again at Eagle Beach and were both successful!  We all enjoyed a lazy day filled with sunshine, a little reading, and great company.  On the way back, Brennan went behind the boat in an inner tube for the entire ride home (which was about four lakes).  He LOVED it!  We were all sad to say goodbye to Maartje, Ivo, Norman, Dan, and Wendy who had to head back to Madison. The house seemed so quiet after they left!

On July 10th, Brennan was so excited to go fishing with Dave who is a friend of mom and Steve and lives across the street.  They must have fished for about seven hours and had a great time together!  Brennan caught a big northern and many other types of fish.  They didn't get back until after 10:00 PM and then wanted to talk fish for another hour!  I think Brennan has finally met someone who loves fishing just as much as him!!!  While they were fishing, Kate stayed with Grandpa and mom and I headed downtown to try to get some raffle prizes for a friend.  We were successful and got six more prizes that can be raffled off on Sunday.  After we were done, we stopped at the Tipsy Turtle for a snack and a drink and then Grandpa and Kate joined us so we decided to go ahead and have dinner. 

Today (July 11th) we've all been lazy.  Brennan went to help "Fishing Dave" install an air conditioner so they could go out fishing again.  I updated my blog, paid a few bills, and organized a little. Kate and I walked to the store and then Steve, Mom, Kate, and I went to the VFW for their $5.00 hamburgers.  After hamburgers we went to get our 49 cent ice cream cones from McDonald's and then took our nightly drive looking for deer.  Brennan came home around 7:30 PM happy with his day's catch.  Life is great in the north woods... although we wish Dave and Zamboni could be with us!!!  We miss them so much!  Kate got teary eyed several times today because she missed her daddy!  So sweet!

Norm was captain for the day!

 Looking a little sleepy...

Wendy is freezing while Maartje
thinks the weather is perfect!

Still looking sleepy...

Waking up a little...

Totally awake and ready to try
to catch some fish!

Tubing back to the house


A quiet moment spent on the porch

Singing Karaoke on the porch

Our favorite bartender and
good friend Bobbi who happens
to be 93 years old!

Fishing Dave with some of the fish
Brennan and he caught