Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chicago Visit 2016

Conrad and Grandma
When you grow up in Chicago, you don't usually think of it as a vacation destination, especially in the winter (even the 'end' of winter). Add to this the fact that we have spent the last several years in places dominated by beaches and tropical weather and you can see why I found myself cringing at the idea of intentionally subjecting ourselves to long pants, possible snow and--the horror--shoes.

Sliding down the Picasso statue in Daley Plaza
We were looking forward to spending much-missed time with family and land-based friends but weren't necessarily super-thrilled as we envisioned shivering in a place that is as familiar an old shoe. Turns out that Chicago is a pretty great place to visit--even more so through the filter of young kids who don't remember that much about it. The time with family and old friends was the highlight of our trip but we definitely enjoyed the sights. It didn't hurt that the weather was mostly fantastic.
Seeing the Chicago River being dyed green with Uncle
Andrew and Uncle Art, who made a special trip to come see us.
Mark and Conrad at karate lessons that were a gift from Nana.
The grandparents did their best to make sure the kids never wanted to leave by filling their time with fun activities, generous gifts, and other various goodies. I believe they may have succeeded. Of course the 'amazing' normality of land-based living may have contributed: 'Mom! There's ice and water...out of the fridge!!' and 'Dad! There's internet here...and it's soooo FAST'.
The boys working on their Lego cars at LEGOLAND Discovery
Center (the visit was a gift from their Grandma and Grandpa).
'Sue' at the Field Museum.
Nana treated us, Uncle Andrew and Uncle Art to the visit
to the Field Museum.
IMAX Galapagos. It was well done but the real Galapagos
was better, says Mark.
Part of the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the Field Museum.
The boys had read about the Terra Cotta Warriors and
were really interested to see them in real life.
We finally made it to one of those trampoline places.
Mark and Conrad were the first ones on this ride.
The sparring was their favorite activity. Go figure.

Matt and the boys with Nana under 'The Bean'.
Nana demonstrating her balancing skills on the shaky bridge
at Maggie Daley Park.

Conrad and Mark with Francesca, Marcello and Macy
(most likely a couple of future speed-skating Olympians).
Photo courtesy of Michele Gaus-Ehning.
Egg hunting with Conrad's bestie Nolan and his sister Zoe.
We borrowed my parents' car to drive to Detroit to visit our
good friends Jeff, Laura, Alexis and Nicky. Alexis did these
portraits of our boat.
Now that we're in New Zealand again, we're back to the reality of boat projects. Ugh.  We have probably 3-4 weeks worth of work (if the weather cooperates) before getting afloat again.

We miss you already!
Grandparents don't make goofy faces...


  1. You did not mention all the great food and wine you had at Nana's house!

    Grandpa TE

    1. There was definitely great food and wine--thank you again!


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