Saturday, September 29, 2007

A time to rest

Every time we visit my dad in Wisconsin it is restful and easy, but this time we really needed it! A lovely house in a small town with pretty gardens, a great view, and everything we need awaited us after weeks on the road.

And the company was pretty great too! Dad and Ann really make an effort to relate to us, unconventional as we are, and they welcome us without judgment. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are that our parents support our very non-mainstream choices, but then I see the struggles that some of my friends have with their parents and I am reminded. We are so lucky that Dad and Ann, Mom, Marilyn and Barry, and Scott and Maria give us so much support and love as we head down our path! We know that you may not agree with everything we do, but your support is there nonetheless. It means so much to us.

Dad in fact is so pleased with what we are doing that he invited a bunch of his friends over to meet me and the kids! What a lovely evening that was.

All this despite the crazy road construction on their street. I hope you have pavement soon! Thanks for a great visit--it was just what we needed.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


After Niagara we did the longest drive of the trip, from Buffalo to South Bend, IN. We spent the night in South Bend and lucked into the most delicious pizza delivery! If you are ever in South Bend, Bruno's Pizza is a must.

The next morning we made the short drive into Chicago just to see our favorite museum, the Museum of Science and Industry. This was always my favorite growing up and the kids were there two years ago and loved it.

Scotty loved this just as much in 2005

as he did this time.

Eliza got crafty and she wrote her name and Emma's name on her creation.

One of the exhibits there is sponsored by all the big agrobusiness corporations and goes on and on about how great mechanized agriculture is. I have to admit, the real John Deere combine harvester they have there is one impressive machine. Scotty just loved it.

You could sit up in the cab and get an idea of what it is like to drive one of these monsters.

I was already feeling icky about the whole thing and then I saw this:

It's an automatic cow milking machine. No flesh to flesh contact whatsoever. Ugh--this just makes me feel sad and hopeless. How are we to survive as a species if we keep inserting so much technology into our relationships with each other and with nature? I feel the same about this as I did about the baby carrier I blogged about HERE.

Anyhow, despite my problems with the Ag exhibit we always love this museum and we were very happy to be there. After we left we had an easy drive to Wisconsin where we happily arrived at my Dad's house, ready for some R&R.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


We hit Buffalo late in the afternoon and immediately went to see the falls. We took the Maid of the Mist boat ride for an amazing view of both the American and the Canadian falls.

I don't get people--everyone put on their blue plastic raingear while still waiting in line, at least ten minutes before the boat had even arrived at the dock. The sun was beating down on us and it was HOT inside those ponchos. The kids and I were the only ones who waited until we were actually on the boat and near the mist to don our ponchos. Here's the line of Smurfs:

There's Canada!

Scotty checking out the engine.

The falls were amazing.

Scotty spent a good amount of time under my blue poncho.

The American falls from land.

Beautiful drive and an oasis

We enjoyed two days of beautiful scenery as we made our way from PA to Buffalo, NY. We stayed overnight in Corning, the home town of our dear friend Kevin, who says it's a nice place to visit but we wouldn't want to live there. I'm glad he warned us, because the countryside was just gorgeous and I could have seen myself dreamily moving there in September only to find myself socked in during a terrible winter with like-minded folks few and far between.

Anyway, on the second day we pulled off the highway for fuel and stumbled upon a beautiful little farm stand in Geneseo, NY. I was in heaven! It is so hard to be used to eating real, fresh, flavorful food grown without chemicals and then switch to eating on the road. Aside from Danielle's food we had been eating pretty poorly so this farm was a true oasis. They picked some peaches and heirloom tomatoes for us on the spot and each of the kids chose a pumpkin to take to Wisconsin. Plus, their display was beautiful!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Continuing our drive, we stopped at another science museum in PA and then we just had to visit the Martin guitar factory. No, we didn't take the tour--that would have been too much for Scotty--but we did go in looking for a gift for Chris, who loves his Martin.

We came out with something we hadn't expected--more on that at a later date.

So cute I just had to do an over-the-shoulder snapshot while driving.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Forging ahead

Despite our great time at the beach, there continued to be circumstances that led us to believe that it would be better to part ways with Beth and Emma for a while. The gals headed North for Vermont while we headed Northwest for New York State. First we stopped in Philadelphia to visit the Franklin Institute. No, we didn't see the King Tut exhibit, but we did find fun things for both kids there.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We love the beach

After NYC we were delighted to reunite with Danielle and her kids at Jim's parents' beach house in Ocean Grove. It was a lovely house with plenty of room for all of us and lots of toys for the kids. You could tell that Jim's folks were experienced grandparents!

And of course we had experienced nothing but hot weather the entire trip--until we got to the beach. Our first day was quite blustery but that didn't slow the kids down at all. Over the next two days we enjoyed wonderful food, great company, delicious wine, and a gradually warming beach (I hear it got quite warm the day after we left). I think the photos say it better than I can:

Monday, September 17, 2007

New York City!

Well, sort of.

After the Hagley we drove the next day to Ocean Grove NJ and left our car there with Danielle's in-laws. Then we took a train to NYC to meet up again with Beth and Emma who had already been there a few days.

Here we are outside of Penn Station at Madison Square Garden. Beth and Emma met us here and together we walked the seven blocks to their hotel.

Unfortunately that walk was pretty much all we saw of the city. Scotty was in no mood for sightseeing and we needed to leave the city early the next afternoon so we could avoid rush hour since we were riding back to the beach with Beth in her car.

I did manage to get out to a real NY deli so that night I stayed in the hotel with my guys, a bottle of wine, and great deli food while Beth and Emma went to a broadway show. Here's my spread:

The next morning we visited the same deli for breakfast.

Then we waited a while in the hotel lobby for the car, hopped in, and left. Beth expertly navigated the car through the city, I got claustrophobic in the Holland tunnel, and we got just a glimpse of Lady Liberty on our way out of town. That, my friends, was my one and only ever visit to NYC.