Tomorrow my kids and I will board an airplane, bound for my homeland. The word "homeland" makes it sound like I'm from a continent halfway around the world instead of from a state halfway across the country, but I'm going to use it anyway because I like the way it sounds. And because there are times when life in Texas feels so different from life in Wisconsin that I wonder if the two states shouldn't be part of different countries anyway.
I'm headed north to Madison, Wisconsin to spend nearly all of July at my parents' house. I'm going for an entire month for a lot of reasons (not the least of which is that summer in Wisconsin is considerably more bearable than summer in Texas), with the primary reason being that I can. School's out, which means both the kids and I have fewer obligations than we do between August and May, and I can write from anywhere there's an internet connection.
Lest you think I just told the internet that my house will be abandoned for the next 30 days, I'll also share with the internet that Tom isn't coming with us. He will instead be defending his new recliner from would-be thieves - day in and day out - while sitting in it and writing grant proposals.
We have big plans for our month up north. The kids and I will spend the first four days of our trip in Minocqua, Wisconsin at the Lincoln Lodge, and will return to Madison on the 4th of July for the kids' very first true fireworks experience. We have plans to host our bi-annual garage sale (my mom, my sister, and me) and lemonade stand (Will and Hallie), visit the Madison Children's Museum, teach Will to water ski, visit the Henry Vilas Zoo, attend my dad's work picnic at a water park in Wisconsin Dells, and visit the Dane County Fair. I also hope to see a couple of friends who still live in/near Madison, arrange a playdate or two for the kids, catch up with two of my cousins-in-law and their families, and visit my godson on his eighth birthday. Oh, and I'm going to eat Rocky Rococo's pizza and Greenbush donuts at least once a week. We'll miss Tom, but we're going to have a great time.
That is if I survive flying to Madison as the sole adult with two kids in tow...