Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer of Vacations part 1....

This summer was very busy for Mike and I as we spent three and a half weeks traveling. The vacations were broken into three parts. The first week of our vacation Mike attended a conference in Wisconsin and I hung out with his parents in Waterloo, IA. That week Cindy and I shopped everyday and went to lunch with Grandma. While in Waterloo, Grandma taught me Hardanger cross stitch. This stitch is Norwegian, and really beautiful. Grandma has always wanted to teach someone in the family how to do this stitch to keep it going, and finally there was an extended period of time where she could teach me. It is tricky, but I am excited to know how to do it. 

Here's the project I have started

From Waterloo, I met Mike in Madison, Wisconsin. This was the first time I had driven across the Mississippi river. (A little nerve wracking by the way, if you are not fond of bridges!) The drive was beautiful though! I set the ipod to shuffle and rocked out to songs I hadn't listened to in a while and before I knew it, I was at the Madison airport! 

View from the car on my drive into Wisconsin...

We left from Madison to visit friends in Chicago (Downer's Grove to be exact) for a couple days. It was WONDERFUL to see our friends and spending our evenings in the hot tub enjoying an adult beverage to two :) 

This game of DDR got a little heated! Don't get two musicians together to a game that involves tempo, rhythm, etc. Amy and I stood quietly in the background and laughed and Erica and Mike! 

Here, Amy and Mike are "looking" at a crank organ, or something of the like at the Downer's Grove street festival. It was at least 1 million degrees that day, so we didn't last long at the festival. You'd be surprised how refreshing the hot tub was that afternoon!

We left Chicago to go back to Madison to see friends there. They have two ADORABLE boys that stole our hearts quickly! Our first day there we went to Devil's Lake and hiked around with everyone and the boys. The youngest, Simon and I used our super powers (his power was numbervision... counting all the caterpillars we saw on our hike). My super power was caterpillarvision... I spotted the caterpillars! It was too cute! Not to mention that the hike was gorgeous! It was a hike around a glacial lake... the weather was gorgeous too! 

This is Devil's Tower, a rock formation at the top of the trail we hiked that day.

This was taken from the beach around the glacial lake. The water was the clearest water I have ever seen! It was also very refreshing to wade into after our long hike. While on the beach we watched a wedding party (including the bride and groom!) run into the water and dive in for a swim in their wedding attire!! Crazy!

Of course, no hike is complete without an epic battle scene.  Nathaniel and Simon (aka Cactus Man) were partaking in battle of good versus evil.  Weapon's ran low, so the results of the battle have yet to be determined :)

The next day we went downtown Madison, walked around and did some touristy stuff. The kids went home for a nap, and Mike and I took another hike around one of the many lakes in Madison. We also went to this delicious Mexican restaurant and gorged ourselves! 

Downtown Madison.

Mike, Randy, Simon and Nathaniel hanging out in the big chair!

Simon, king of the Ingimakon (his imaginary land and people).

Mike on our walk next to the lake in downtown Madison. 

The aftermath from our food!

From Madison,  Mike and I drove up to Minneapolis to help his brother and finacee move into their new house and paint. These were jam packed days, and by the end we were exhausted!