I spent a week back in the Midwest, seeing the in-laws, my cousins, uncles, aunts, my sister, and my folks for a while. What an interesting week.
Amy and the boys headed to Indiana a week before I did, and she used the opportunity to take the kids to Ohio to see her grandmother, to Lafayette to see Bob and Susan, see her friends, see her folks, and catch a White Sox game.
I started off with a boring flight to Chicago Midway and taking the Coach USA bus to Portage. I happened to catch the bus an hour earlier than I expected, as my flight got in 15 mins early and I was able to run out of baggage claim just in time to grab the bus. At the same time I just got a new phone (will blog about that later) and took me a while to figure out how to call Amy to tell her to pick me up early.
We spent that evening at my father-in-laws company outing at a water park in NW Indiana. Lots of fun, especially for the kids. Until the lightning storm came. How bittersweet. I miss everything associated with thunderstorms: the cold air moving in, scary dark clouds, flashes of light in the sky as far as the eye can see, reverberating instances of thunder, and rain so strong that will kick your ass (forget the umbrella). While that was great, I also had to drive through it for half an hour until we outran it.
We arrive at my folks place at 1 in the morning and find that the water pump is broken, so no running water. That was fixed the next day by my handy and resourceful uncle Kelvin, and that evening we went to the circus. The kids enjoyed that and I thought it was very well done for a "small town" show.
Next day had a get together at my cousin Angie's with about 25 of my family that I don't get to see often enough. Always good food and good laughs... even if nobody did fire a gun this year! Of course that's the day it started to cool off, and, expecting hot and muggy weather, I hadn't brought any cool gear.
After a couple of days there it started to rain - not as bad as the floods to hit Indiana (including our old plave we called home, Michigan City) and Ohio - but we did have a leak in the bedroom and my mom and I got up on the roof to see what the scoop was. We fixed that in short order.
Despite the rain, we got in some geoaching (10 caches on the trip) coupled with some short walks. We also enjoyed fresh corn from my cousin Lee's garden.
Our last day in Evart my cousin Shane showed the kids the Evart fire station, which of course any kid would think was cool.
We spent the last night in Chicago right outside Midway, and while we were in the security line for our flight back I realized I had lost my keys to the car and house. Good thing we have great neighbors as they brought us our spare keys to the airport for us.
Too short of a week, and I can't wait to do it again next August. Some pics from the trip follow: