Sunday, April 24, 2016


This is what happens when you fall behind with the blog.  just a mess of disconnected pictures.  So here you go!

Here is Gridley in a bird's nest.  She's tiny!

Here we are outside of the Shedd aquarium.  nice view of the city.  there is a little hidden nature trail around the back side of it.

This is our brick at the Willowbrook bird sanctuary.  
Here we are at the arboretum.  They have a "Ribbit Exhibit".  Clever name.  just a bunch of copper statues of frogs in different poses.
Here we are at a performance of children's theater in Chicago.  it is a musical version of a book in the series Magic Treehouse.  pretty cool.  the kids enjoyed it.  Not quite as great as the Frog and Toad musical.  Still worth checking out.
Gridley and Krista went to a friend's house who needed subjects on which to practice Henna.
For Earth Day we participated in the Salt Creek clean up.  we've done this almost every year we've lived here.  good time.  always nice people.  We got a lot of Thank You's by people using the bike path through the forest preserve we were in.

Wandering through the woods sometimes leads to cool graffiti

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Spring Break

Good stuff!!  We planned a spring break trip to florida now that we have a child in school and pretty much have to plan around the school calendar.  We used frequent flyer miles and rented a small guest house in Naples.  We couldn't make it a whole family reunion, but we did manage to get cousins who I haven't seen in 25 years to come.  My parents were there.  and of course my Grandma (who is 92!).

Here is Gridley at the airport.  Can you believe it is like 5:30am in this picture?  the kids did an amazing job getting out of bed at 4:30 and getting into the cab.  Arthur slept in his clothes to help the process.
This is the pool at our guest house.  we stayed in a two bedroom cottage behind a small house.  but we also had free access to this whole pool and lounging area.  it was awesome.  made it real easy to relax and meet up with friends.
Here we are at my Grandma's house where we had our mini reunion.  the kids got their own little lunch table.  We had my grandmother, her cousin Frank and his wife, and my mom's cousin Janet with her husband George.  I had never met Frank.  And I had last seen Janet and George in the late eighties.  So much fun to see everyone!  the kids did great too.  There wasn't a lot to do since the grownups were just doing a lot of talking, but they found ways to entertain themselves.  

Here we are at the beach.  The first couple days were a little cool, but the second half of the week was beautiful.  We tried to get to the beach as much as possible.  the inch of sand throughout our rental car can attest to that.

Here we are at the Edison museum in Ft Myers.  I had been here a long time ago.  such an interesting place.  His lab was probably the best part, but you can only see a little part of it since there is so much fragile equipment in there.  Lots of his original beakers and machinery.

This is a little replica of the Edison lab.

Then after the museum we went to see a pre-season Orioles game!  I was so excited for this part of the trip.  I sold the game to the kids by promising cotton candy.  We missed the first two innings, but everyone still had a good time.  Made it all the way to the end of the game.  Beautiful day for baseball.

The next day we went to the Florida Conservancy in Naples.  Pretty cool place.  Mostly run by volunteers, so there were a couple of bumps in the guidance.

Gridley had to wear a vest because of her age.  Arthur asked for one because he thought it looked like fun.

This was the sort of nap we managed during the vacation.  For the most part we were without naps.  the kids held up well.  no crazy tired meltdowns.  but it was good to be home two days early to catch up.

Sunset picnic at Lowdermilk beach in Naples.

This boy was showing Arthur how little clams will suck themselves down into the sand.  Super fun!

We went to Everglade city for a cool adventure.  We rented a canoe and paddled across the channel into the everglades.  Super fun.  exercise, fresh air, and dolphins.  It rained pretty hard but only for a short time.

We stopped at this island to look for shells but only lasted about 90 seconds due to the insane bug situation.  We all got about 100 bites each.  we went screaming back into the boat.

Here we are back at the rental with Grandma coloring easter eggs.  At one point Gridley dropped her dye.  it was fascinating how far and wide a spill goes.  I think during normal spills of milk and juice you just don't realize how much you aren't cleaning up.  wow!

another beach sunset.  So easy, why not do it every night?

Here is our awesome rental car.  "Greeny"