Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home Again...Short Summer



30/7/11
Kristen says...

Sorry for the long blog hiatus...it always amazes me how busy vacations get, even when your vacation is just to go back home...

This is going to be a bit of a ramble, because we accomplished a lot in the 3 weeks since my last post...although, the first thing I want to talk about isn't even our accomplishment!

If you remember, last October my sister Michelle and her husband Nathan came to visit...well, a month or so after they got back to Iowa they called us with the exciting news that they were expecting...and a day or so ago they made Chris and I Uncle and Aunt again with the birth of beautiful baby Jackson David!!! So now I have two amazing nephews to spoil!!!




But that was just this week, and unfortunately we were already here so we're not going to see him in person until December...we had some other excitement before we left Iowa as well, but not as exciting as a new baby :)






Let's see...so, last time I blogged we'd been to Missouri and were leaving the next day for Chicago. Chris' and my favorite way to get to Chicago is Amtrak...it's (sometimes) faster than driving, MUCH more comfortable than a car or an airplane, and you can really relax...also the food is better :) And sometimes it's faster than driving...but definitely not this trip :)

We opted for the sleeper car this trip, for no other reason than the train was almost full and we got a really good deal...it turned out to be a GREAT decision because the train was running HOURS behind schedule, even before we got to the depot. We were supposed to leave Ottumwa at 9 AM and get to Chicago around 2...we had even considered buying Cubs tickets for that night...good thing we didn't, though, because we didn't actually leave OTM until 7pm, and didn't get into Chicago until 4 the next morning!!! Needless to say, having the sleeper car was pretty awesome!




Haha, look at the difference between Chris' and my seats...as always, I have too much stuff! :)

The blue thing at the top is actually a bed...it folds down like in the James Bond movies, and the two seats slide together to make another bed...quite comfy









Even better was that at 1 AM the porter upgraded us to the deluxe sleeper, just because he's a great guy (oh, and he was probably trying to keep us happy since the train was so delayed). We didn't need the bribe (our philosophy is that once you're on the train, there is no real time, only train time, and any delays just mean more time on the train :)...still, it was pretty sweet!





The white thing you see to the left is actually a mini-bathroom...inside was both a stool and shower in 1! We also had an in-room sink...the couch to the right slid down to a 2-person bed, and, again James Bond-like, the top came down so a third person could sleep here...sweet!







Anyway, we got to Chicago and had a great time doing mostly nothing...eating, walking, shopping, eating some more...we went to one museum, the Goose Island Brew Pub tour, met up with a few friends, and...ate a lot. We also saw some pretty interesting cloud formations, as you'll see below. It was very relaxing! It was also the 4th of July weekend, so I also felt quite patriotic!













































Our train trip back to Iowa, although shorter, was more eventful...at one point the train stopped (a little quickly), and Chris says, "Oh, that's not good..." I looked up from my Kindle (yes, I got a Kindle...I went over to the dark side... :-S) and saw dust swirling past the window...the conductor comes buzzing through our car (we slummed it on the way home ;-D and didn't get the sleeper car) and said to one of the other passengers "We hit a car" as his radio squawked "Emergency Emergency Emergency." LUCKILY, the two passengers of the car were not hurt, and neither was anyone on the train...

Anyway, we made it safely home to Iowa, and spent the last few weeks of our vacation (Chris) working very hard and (me) with my family. The day after we returned I was inducted into my mom and both grandmothers' P.E.O. chapter, and the rest of the week Chris and I stayed with my sister Rebecca, her husband Jay, and of course...EZRA!




I bought him these stacking monster blocks for no other reason than I really wanted to play with them myself :)

He has a lot of toys...I've bought him many of them :)




























Guess who bought him that shirt? :)












The last week+ of our stay we spent at my parents' house...Mom and I spent quite an entire day (plus a few extra hours the next day) on a mission to get the fabric for the quilt she's making me (which is on hold now so she can make Jackson's quilt)...

I also got to see my Grandpa and Mom walk in the local Relay for Life...both are multi-year cancer survivors!!! There were also some really nice luminaries for my Grandma and other friends and family...all I have to say is, Cancer Sucks! But don't they look healthy and happy?!












The local (Southern Iowa) Fair was also in town...I won't get to go to the Iowa State Fair AGAIN this year :*(, but if I shut my eyes while I ate the Sno-Kone my daddy bought for me it ALMOST felt like I was there... (more about that in my next post, this one's getting a bit long)

And then summer was over and we were flying back to Teguc. Due to circumstances we wished we could change, Continental decided to change their flight schedule, so we flew Delta for this trip, and will be back in Iowa again in December!

Flying Delta meant flying out of Atlanta instead of Houston, and we were very surprised and pleased to get our first (and probably only, since we're not allowed to go there) view of Cuba! :)
Hope your summer was as great as ours! School starts next WEDNESDAY!!!
KF

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