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Missouri and Kansas Trip: Pt. 1

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We just returned from a road trip through Missouri and part of Kansas. It always takes me a few days to gather my thoughts when we return from a trip. Where should I begin? What is worth writing about here on the blog? Which photos are the most fascinating?

We flew in and out of St. Louis and then drove from St. Louis to Lawrence, Kansas with a few fun stops on the way.

Highlights of the trip included visits with family and friends, a Kansas Jayhawks basketball game, and a surprise birthday party in honor of yours truly. Stay tuned for more on all of this in the coming days.

But like every trip, it wasn’t perfect. E. got sick on the plane coming home and it was quite an adventure. Luckily, she seems to be feeling better. The incident has solidified my love for Southwest Airlines; the flight attendants were very kind and helpful.

Since my head is spinning with recent memories of St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City, and Lawrence, I won’t be writing a Texas Photo Tuesday post this week, but please stop by next time.

The Adventure Before the Adventure

A little over three years ago, Nick and I set out on a trip to the Northeast. It would be the last adventure before our lives changed dramatically, before we embarked on the most epic journey of all: parenthood.

We decided to take the kind of trip that we knew would be difficult later on: a road trip in which we didn’t have a firm itinerary or hotel reservations ahead of time. We ended up spending time in Boston, Ithaca, and Cooperstown.

For the most part, we had a wonderful time. Although, since I was pregnant, there were several “food emergencies” when I would suddenly get so hungry that I had to eat immediately or else I’d get really cranky. But who remembers that stuff anyway?

We took lots of pictures in Boston’s Public Garden:

We visited old cemeteries along the Freedom Trail:

We hung out at cafés and ate leisurely dinners:

We explored the great outdoors in Ithaca:

And we saw the Cubs’ 1907 World Series medallion at the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

We still go on adventures, they’re just a little different these days. And although I certainly had fun on our pre-baby road trip, I find it difficult to remember life without our little travel companion.

For more travel photos, check out Photo Friday at the family travel blog Delicious Baby.

Chicago Weekend

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This was my eighth (I think) trip to Chicago, and Nick has been a dozen times in addition to living in Chicago as a child. We never get tired of this city, and I’m not exactly sure why. Is it the great food? The amazing architecture? The lake? The baseball? All I know is that we enjoyed a fun weekend of beer, baseball, and good food.

Nick and I dropped off E. with her grandparents who were also visiting Chicago the same weekend. They were anxious to see their granddaughter, and to be honest, we were anxious for some grown-up time. Our mission was to enjoy the kinds of things we can’t do while hanging out with E.: dinner at non-kid-friendly restaurants, going out for drinks, taking in a baseball game without any distractions. And we did all of those things…mission accomplished!

At the end of the weekend, we met up with E. and her grandparents and cousins at Navy Pier, and enjoyed lunch and a pleasant walk. Then it was back to Texas…we went from highs in the upper 60’s to highs over 100. I’m still trying to re-adjust.

I won’t go through the whole weekend step-by-step, but here are a few of my favorite memories from this trip:

–Taking the El. Maybe I’m a small-town kind of gal, but I am thoroughly entertained by mass transit: subways, elevated trains, metros, etc. Maybe it’s the people-watching. Anyway, I always loving hearing the words, “This is Clark. Doors will open on the right at Clark.” For more info on the El, visit http://www.transitchicago.com/.

–Dinner at Harry Caray’s. Gosh darn, my filet mignon was good! And where else can you see Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry sitting at the next table? http://www.harrycarays.com/

–Evening walks. I love this city’s beautiful architecture, especially at night. Just gorgeous.

–A visit to Wrigley. Although we try to catch a Cubs game in Chicago every summer, we had to skip it last year. It was great to be back. There is something about the atmosphere around the ballpark in Wrigleyville that is really special and can’t be found in many baseball cities. And to top it off, the Cubs won!

–Reuniting with E. at Navy Pier. After a weekend away from her, I was ready to see E. on Sunday afternoon. When we met them, she was actually up in the ferris wheel with her grandpa and cousins! What a way to see your kiddo after being away from each other. I could see her peeking out of the cabin, waving at me from waaaay up there. For more info, visit http://www.navypier.com/

Hopefully, I’ll be writing another entry on Chicago next summer. Until then, I’ll just have to keep looking at the pictures…over and over and over…

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