Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer Vacation: Chicago and Michigan

The first leg of our summer vacation - headed to Chicago.

Josie's last flight as a lap baby went pretty well (only 5 minutes of screaming) and she fell asleep as we were taxiing to the gate. She is infamous for this. They were interested in their new iPad (=flyPad) minis for 30-45 minutes.

Fun at the Finolan household! We rented a car at O'Hare and drove to our friends Mike and Eric's home.

The weather was perfect for dips in the pool (my first time in a saltwater pool - fabulous). The water was so warm and chemical-smell-free.

Bucatini with the babysitters. (The four of us went out for drinks and dinner in nearby Geneva - what a cute town. As I recall. #uber #dranks #dranks #uber)

relaxing under the gorgeous poolside pergola

wildflower walks

building yourself a rest nest and requesting a baba

and eating Italian ice very, very al fresco.

Thank you, friends, for your hospitality! We love you!

We drove to South Haven, Michigan, to meet up with my parents and sister and brother-in-law for my parents' 40th anniversary. Our only plans for the week were just to spend time together: we cooked, played board games (One Night and Codenames -- I really liked Codenames), and mostly watched C perform in the living room. Alex the imaginary friend hung around for only 15 minutes.

With a little of this:

My sisters and I collaborated on menus and shopping lists in the weeks before our trip (type A for awesome!!!) on Google docs. I enjoy planning, procuring, and cooking so this part was very fun for me. We had two meals out and one pizza night, otherwise we made everything. Our Airbnb house had all the necessary cooking and serving utensils, even a slow cooker. I LOVE AIRBNB. Just so I'll remember, here were our menus:

Sunday: oven roasted ribeyes (from One Pot) and roasted asparagus, sliced strawberries for dessert

Monday: Salsa verde chicken* for make-your-own-taco bar for lunch, Mancino's pizza, green beans, Bisquik nectarine cobbler for dinner

*jar or two of salsa verde plus chicken in slow cooker. Cook, shred, serve with tortillas or in a bowl like tortilla soup garnished with avocado, pico, sour cream, cheese, you name it. SO easy and delicious.

Tues: Eggs and sausage for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, Elise's meatballs (BBQ and marinara) over egg noodles, roasted asparagus, Bisquik strawberry shortcake

Wed: lunch out, pork steaks for dinner (you can take the fam out of St Louis...) with sides from the deli

Thurs: Elise made garlic shrimp, roasted asparagus.

Friday: Leftovers, Sophie's Steakhouse for dinner.

Very importants products: Bisquik (obvs), Thermapen (indispensable!), parchment paper, vegetables that don't require any prep

Unfortunately my other sister and her family couldn't make the trip to MI due to a new job and move but we will catch up with them in their new state of Colorado! She can look forward to my singing this INCLUDING the crazy laughs.

Snuggling with Pop Pop.

My parents and Elise took Clementine to her first movie in the theater, Finding Dory. She was perfect in the movie, even placing a finger to her lips to hush Elise when she asked, "Are you liking the movie, Clementine?"

Meeting cousin Victor - isn't he adorable?

Family photos with Neri that I will share soon!

Watching Here Comes Science.

My sister in law's parents showed us their classic car company which was so gracious and so fun!

Car buffs.

Air Zoo aviation museum in Kalamazoo.

C protects her chips.

Ice cream at Sherman's - a big storm blew in minutes later and we hustled to the car --

-- and finished the ice cream at home.

Fun with face swaps.

Josie learned how to escape the pack and play - my dad had the brilliant idea of zipping her into a tent for nap time.

Reading Fern Hollow with Pop Pop.

We had a great week - and then were off to the second leg of our trip!

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