September 10, 2016

The Tale of Two Vacations

So, we normally do a long stretch in Chicago - 8-10 days. That was the plan this year until our friends Andy and Essie asked us to join them in Block Island, RI. We decided to split our summer vacation time between an ADULT vacation in BI and a family vacation "trip" in Chicago. Great decision on our part

First up, Block Island the end of July. Even though it took us 14 hours to get to/from Block Island, it was absolutely perfect. No planning, great friends, lots of relaxing, too much eating and drinking, sleeping with the windows open without AC, biking, hiking, beaching. Glorious.

We flew into Providence and drove about 45 minutes to the ferry. This is the view from the ferry.

Night one, dinner out and then 80s dance party at a local bar.

No flask at the rental house, so our dear friends opted to use this baby bottle as the whiskey vessel.

Beach time without kids is underrated.

My good friend, Meredith Imber, and her husband, Greg, boated over from her house in Quogue (Hamptons). Such a good friend to boat 4 hours for dinner and then back the next morning to get home to her baby girl. Right after they arrived, they took us on their boat for a sunset cruise around the marina.

Greg and Justin

Essie, Andy, Michael, and Quinn
Captain Justin
Short but fun visit with Mer. Every time we're together, it's like no time has passed at all in between visits.
Beautiful hike.

5 dudes and me

On the ferry back to Providence. Successful adult weekend!

Next up, family trip to Chicago. It was a busy but fun few days. Here's the rundown:

Wednesday: Land and head straight to Arlington Heights to visit the Bama, The Woods, and Auntie Val. Poor Elizabeth was still recovering from getting her tonsils out and was a true trooper entertaining us. The cousins had so much fun together!

Thursday: Breakfast out, then Lincoln Park Zoo, then North Avenue Beach. pizza dinner at Lews for the kids. We had a delicious grilled dinner al fresco at the Hales after the kids were down for the night.

Friday: Shedd Aquarium with Hales and then incredible dinner out with Hales and Lews.

Saturday: Farmer's Market, pool time with the Hales, then Cubs game for Dads and block party for Moms/kids. Ellie and Fisher BOTH went off the diving board for the first time, and Ellie (after much debate and chickening out) went down her first BIG water slide! So proud of her!

Sunday: Park time with Lew and Hales, then back to Austin

Devises for everyone = peaceful flight

Auntie Meghan's new house is awesome! Especially when Bama serves ice cream and cookies.

Fish loved Bernie

Bama and her babies


Community garden at the petting zoo. The volunteer was teaching the kids and letting them eat various fruits and veggies.

Watering the plants.

Flower souvenir from the garden.

Beach time!

Solo run along Lake Shore Drive. This view never gets old.

Jackson Lew! Such a snuggle buddy.

Thomas kids were practically fighting over Jackson. Eddie was so nice to share his toys and let my kids teach him bad habits.

Thomas kids teaching Eddie naughty tricks. Taking over baby bro's crib.

Rainy Friday at the Shedd Aquarium with the Hales. 

Diver cleaning the giant aquarium

Snack break out on the patio - storm's a comin'!

Can't believe this guy sat (mostly) still for the 45 minute show.

These two...
3 munchkins in a tub - Fish, Piper and Ellie
Parent's Night Out with Hales and Lews! Delicious dinner at Roister, thanks to Maggie snagging a res.

Old friends are the best. Love this crew.

Best fried chicken I've ever had.

Thanks to these two for hosting the Thomas Circus for 5 days!

Fisher and Piper hitting up the mini water slides. If it were up to Fish, he would have tackled the big water slide, but his short stature prevented him being able to:( Next year!

Dad's Day Out at the Cubs' (vs Cards) game. Thanks to Maggie, they had money NBC seats.

Meanwhile, Moms (Thomases, Hales, Lews) are supervising shenanigans at the Hales block party - bouncy house, water balloons, sugar, bikes, and more! These two handsome fellas were wearing the same outfit.

Water balloons were a HIT!
Swimsuit scootin'

Dinner is served!

Couldn't get enough of this little buddy - such a chill dude.

Biker boy, even when away from home.
Goodbyes at the park. Loved seeing these two guys bro it out all weekend.

Ride to airport. Vacations are exhausting!