Monday, August 7, 2017

That's a Wrap (Leg #3)

In some ways, these month-long summer trips to the Midwest have gotten easier: easier travel both in the car and in the skies, easier (and lighter) packing, easier (and more flexible) scheduling once we arrive. In other ways, our four weeks spent on the road have gotten harder: harder to leave our friends back home, harder to work around the kids' busy schedules, harder to leave our families once we've settled in during our visits, harder to fit in all we want to do now that the kids are older and want to experience more than just the zoo and the park. We make it work, however, and will continue to do so as long as it makes sense for everyone involved; spending quality time with our extended families while the kids and grandparents (and parents, for that matter) are in the "sweet spot" is invaluable.

The last leg of our Wisconsin trip included a few day trips - including a bucket list visit to the historic and architecturally stunning House on the Rock (post coming next week) - as well as plenty of fun in and around Madison.

We played at the park, swam and built sandcastles at the beach, and visited the animals at the zoo (including once with friends of mine from high school and their kiddos) multiple times. The boys fit in a few rounds of disc golf, one round of miniature golf, and one round of stick and ball golf, the highlight of which was Will driving the golf cart against the rules and like a pro. Both Will and Hallie "skied" on our waterski trainer (though Will has now surpassed the trainer's weight limit by a full 10 pounds and we pulled the trainer 10 MPH faster than its speed limit) and Will not only got up on skies like he did last summer, but stayed up long enough - about the distance of two football fields - to have earned the right to call himself a water skier. Will and Hallie, as well as niece/cousin Lily, learned to dive off the diving board. All four grandkids rode their new scooters (thanks Grandma!) and raced popsicle stick "boats" in the street streams with Grandpa. We (kind of) learned how to play pickle ball. We toured The House on the Rock and spent an afternoon at the Dane County Fair. And as always, we ate too much Chocolate Shoppe ice cream and Union popcorn and the adults drank too much beer and wine.
They mastered diving off the side first...
...and then moved on to the diving board.
Ready for the high dive? I most certainly am not...
Sand is weird that when I saw this pic my first thought was
that someone photoshopped the background to make snow look like sand? 
Cousins hanging out at Lake Wingra's Vilas Beach. 
Jumping off the Union Terrace dock into Lake Mendota. (The lifeguard
was surprised at how well Will and Hallie could swim in water that was
both above their heads and rough because of the wind. Proud mama.) 
Ready to tour The House on the Rock.
Visiting the lion family - mama gave birth to twin boy cubs earlier
this summer (you can see one of them trying to climb the tree to
the right) - at the Henry Vilas Zoo.
With Laura and Emily, two of my oldest
friends dating back to middle school. (6th grade?) 
Hallie showing off her tricks on the water ski trainer.
She would literally ride all day if we'd let her.
Serving as spotter for her brother on skis.
And he's up! In last summer's pic of
Will up on skis he looked nervous and
timid; now he looks strong and confident.
Another proud mama moment!
We had low expectations for the motocross showcase at the
Dane County you can see from the pic, we were
wrong - the show was incredible!
Following their boats down the street stream in the rain.
Gramps and his rugrats.
New scooters!
Just three orangutans hanging out at the zoo.
Our last night in Wisconsin spent at the Union Terrace.
Oh, and we put more than 3,200 miles on my car.

We feel tremendously grateful to have spent many of our summer days with family, and just as grateful to have returned safely to the place and people we now call home.
We may not return tomorrow, Wisconsin,
but we will always come back.

No comments:

Post a Comment