Sean had a blissful week of vacation from September 13th to the 21st, so early on that Saturday morning, we caught a flight out to Boston to visit Erin and Chris, just narrowly missing O'Hare being shut down due to flooding from the leftover Hurricane Ike rain.
As I am incredibly behind with my blog updates, I am going to cheat and direct you to Erin's recap of this awesome trip, since she noted everything that I would have wanted to include.
On Wednesday, September 3rd, Sean's parents flew to Chicago to visit us for a few days before heading out to Boston to see Erin and Chris as well. Unfortunately, Sean had to work in the evening when they arrived and a little the next morning, so he did not get to see them as much as he would have liked.
We took a long walk through our favorite park where we go running, drove around downtown and saw the sights, and went to the German Brauhaus for some oom-pah-pah music and great German fare. Sean and I grilled salmon for the first time, and it turned out delicious! Brigita received lots of attention and spoiling and took advantage of every petting opportunity that she could. She would just go from person to person expecting to be loved up, which, of course, she was.
When we arrived in Chicago, Sean became a member of the Swedish-American Museum, which is very close to where we live. He is largely Swedish on his Mom's side. We took Ron and Nancy to the museum, which Nancy, in particular, really enjoyed. Here are some pictures of the museum, including a nod to the fact that the Swedes were very influential in medicine and built quite a few hospitals. Nancy and I are both nurses, so we liked the pictures of a graduating class during the '50's - white hats and all!
There was also a beautiful collection of old Bibles and other assorted books. I managed to get Sean to try on one of the plastic Viking hats in the gift shop and catch it on film!
On Saturday morning, after a very enjoyable time, I went to work, and Sean sent his parents off on an early flight to Boston before heading to work himself.
Every year all of the residents are treated to a day of relaxation. They are all given the day off (sort of), and they do a bit of learning in the morning and then are served lunch and given a variety of activities to participate in. This year, the retreat was held in Wisconsin at an attending physician's lake house. They provided boats, jet skis, water skiing, and many lawn games.
A handful of people, including us, went camping at a nearby campsite the night before as well. We put Brigita in a kennel (i.e. swanky dog hotel) for the night to see how she would do. It was the perfect night to camp, and we had a wonderful time getting to know a few of the other residents.
The next morning consisted of some conferences, so my friend, Laura, and I ditched our husbands and did our own thing for a little while. We found a fabulously obnoxious little restaurant to eat at, where patriotism was the order of the day. The portions were huge, and we had a great time laughing at the menu and decor of the place. After stuffing ourselves, we went shopping at an outlet mall that was nearby and found some good deals on clothes.
I will have to show you Laura at a later time, because she sent me the pictures from the day (my camera was dead) and did not include any with her.
When we arrived back at the retreat, we ate a wonderful lunch of hotdogs and hamburgers and played for a few hours. Sean and I went jet skiing, which was a blast! I have only done that once before and loved it. Sean went water skiing (I have never even been able to get myself out of the water, so I didn't even try) and boating. Laura and her husband, Bobby, left at around 3 pm because Bobby had to work over night that night starting at 8 (now you understand the "sort of" day off), and it started steadily drizzling around that time as well. Sean and I left soon after to pick up our traumatized puppy.
A few weekends ago, Sean and I went to the Chicago Air and Water Show. Apparently the city puts this on every year, and people just flock from all around to see it. The water show was in the morning on both weekend days, and the air show went non-stop for the rest of the day until around 4:30 pm. A lot of the demonstrations centered around military planes, but there were many smaller, show planes whose pilots illustrated their aviation talents for the audience.
Most of the activity was off of North Avenue on the beach, where vendors sold merchandise, and people brought lawn chairs and packed themselves all the way up to the water to watch the show. We hung out there for a while, and then, of course, I became claustrophobic with the excessive amounts of sweaty, smelly people. We meandered back across the freeway to a safer, less chaotic area, where we could still see what was going on. Sean was a little disappointed at not being able to hear the announcers telling us what everything was or what the pilots were doing, but he was a good sport about it.
Mid-show, I decided that is would be fun to rent a paddle boat in the Lincoln Park Lagoon. We were still near the show and could see a little, and we had talked about it before when we were at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Ok...so I was a little bored.
Since we were already missing some fantastic plane action, I decided not to push the issue of renting a swan boat, so we just ventured out on our little green paddle boat. Sean entertained himself by chasing geese...Note the beady-eyed look of, "What do you think you are doing following me?" in the picture of the unfortunate goose, who we were paddling close after.
After 30 minutes of highly entertaining paddle boat-ing, we went back up to watch the air show from our spot that we had found. We got all settled in and waited for the really great stuff, because what air show would be complete without a finale from the Blue Angels (definitely my favorite part, second only to the stealth)? Chicago would tolerate nothing less.
(I got this last one off the internet. My zoom is definitely not that good.)