Sunday, July 13, 2008

Vacation and adventures

The last week, we have been on vacation. We traveled a bit, worked on things at home for a day or two and then went to a family gathering this past weekend.

We went on a family vacation to Omaha, Nebraska. Yes, Omaha. Lots of people have asked us, "Why Omaha?" "What's in Omaha?" No, we don't have family there. We just went there because about 3 or 4 years ago, we went there when Sidney was little and we loved it. We went to the zoo and thought that it was really nice. It is a good distance to drive with kids (about 5 1/2 hours) and still stay sane. We also get to drive through our old college town, Ames, IA.

When we arrived in Omaha, we used our handy dandy Garmin (GPS) to get us to where we needed to go. I haven't ever used this but Chris does for his latest hobby. Let's just say that it didn't work. We had to turn around a few times. We could see our hotel but we couldn't get there. Eventually, I just went where I wanted to go (I was driving) and I found it. Garmin did a little bit better throughout the rest of the vacation though.

There was a huge storm that went through Omaha the weekend before we arrived. We were told that there were 80 to 90 mile an hour winds and there were trees knocked down everywhere! It was amazing. We met some people at the hotel that were staying there because they had some flooding and no electricity. While people were working on their home, they just stayed out of the way.

The kids got to go swimming, go to the zoo (in 90 degree weather :) go shopping, go to a family fun center and play games and just have fun altogether. The kids did really well and they even got some crocks to wear! Micah calls them cracks. Micah enjoyed "Thomas" the most at the zoo. We rode the train at the zoo, mostly too cool off a bit from the heat, but also for Micah. All he talked about while we were walking around the zoo was Thomas. For those that are not around preschoolers, Thomas is from Thomas the Train. It is a cartoon and toy...very popular with the boys. At one point during the day, we were walking by the tracks where the train goes and he was very upset because he thought that the track was brokern. He was very concered for Thomas and wanted someone to fix it. The track really was fine. Sidney enjoyed the butterfly exhibit the most. This was probably my favorite too. There were butterflies everywhere and really pretty flowers. This exhibit just opened about 2 months ago in Omaha.

On our way back to Minnesota, we stopped in Ames, IA to visit the ISU campus, check out the bookstore and a few other memorable sights on campus. The bookstore is huge now! We picked up some ISU gear for a pretty fair price. ISU is changing their logo so we bought some of the older stuff and a very nice price. After the tour, we met up with some of my family at one of our favorite restaurants in Ames. You all know it! Hickory Park!!! After we ate, we said our goodbyes and then headed back home. We got home shortly after midnight, or very early Wednesday morning.

Our house was a pit so Wednesday and Thursday, I cleaned :)

One of my moms uncles, Wayne, passed away on Tuesday. The funeral was on Friday. Because of some other obligations Friday morning and the distance of the funeral and lack of time, I wasn't able to attend. Wayne was a great guy! I didn't have many relatives around growing up. The ones I did know where Wayne and his family, which were a lot of 2nd cousins to my mom and their kids. At times, I knew them better than a lot of my other family because I saw them a bit more. Most of my relatives lived in New York or Florida so I usually saw them when there were weddings or funerals. The closest was my grandma and grandpa in Newton, IA. That was still about 3 hours away though.

We ended our weekend going to Menomonie, WI for a Williams family get together. Every year, the older men take on the younger men (not including Micah or Quinn) to a golf game. I guess the younger men won this year, for the first time ever. We had fun at a park with the kids and then went out to a farm owned by Chris' aunt and uncle. We were still picking ticks off of us today. The kids had fun though and were on a hunt to find lots of things with a magnifying glass that Chris' aunt had given each of them.

We didn't have the best hotel room while we were there. We had some complaints with the hotel we were supposed to stay in and the one we did stay in. Let's just say that I sprayed bleach all over the room because of the smell and the obvious mold that was in the room. If you haven't ever tried the Clorox Anywhere spray, it works really well. It doesn't discolor what you spray and disinfects. I have to spray everything down each day with day care and this is what the state recommends to us. Now the Best Western in Menomonie has also had a taste of this awesome spray. We also had 2 air fresheners in our room :) Chris says that I will laugh about it someday. I don't anticipate that happening anytime soon.

Our day ended at a wedding. One of my friends' daughter got married tonight. Both the daughter and the mom help me with Teen MOPS. It was very cute to watch and I got to enjoy the wedding with Sidney. She calls brides princesses and was in awe of how beautiful the bride was.

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