Trip to Wisconsin
Phew, so we're back. It was actually a really, really nice time. And I'm so glad Chris came with me. :)
Friday, we got into Minneapolis at about 5 p.m. We picked up Shannon & Dawn from Shannon's office and headed uptown where we dinner (French toast!) and then walked over to the gay pride fest. I took a bunch of pics of Bob Mould for Chris with the point-&-shoot, but haven't uploaded those pictures yet. Sadly, I realize in retrospect, I didn't get much at all in the way of pictures. No pics of the women with shaved heads or of Shannon or of Dawn or anything else.
Luckily, I found some pics on Flickr. Chris, Shannon & Dawn are in this picture.
I was probably up taking pictures about now.
And ooh! There I am, talking to Shannon!
Ahh, the Internet.
And there, Shannon - you wanted a pic of this dude. Sad it's so blurry.
After the concert, we drove to La Crosse. I rode with Dawn for the first half of the drive, then took over the wheel for Chris so he wouldn't fall asleep at the wheel. Driving at night can get bo-ring. I was glad I got to sit and talk with Dawny for a little while, though. :)
We got in at midnight and parked in front of Kamille's completely dark house and tried to figure out what to do. The plan was to stay there, but I didn't want to wake them up - it was well after midnight by this point. I called to let her know we were going to a hotel and she told us that they had just laid down, and that Amanda was still awake. So we went in and she sat on the couch, looking very tired, and apparently pieced together how it is I was there.
Saturday, we went to Goose Island for a picnic. Dawny came, as did my Uncle Al and his granddaughter Stefi. Mom, Kelli, Kyle, Amanda, Kamille, & Jeff were also there.
Macy insisted on drinking from the squirt gun.
Chris took some videos of Kyle rolling around in his new tent.
Goodness he looks a LOT like Kelli did from pics I saw of her as a child.
Macy made a lot of funny faces.
Kamille tried to show her how to smile instead.
She made a good effort.
Me & Chris
Kyle is a pretty shy little boy.
Kyle & Macy love one another, even if Kyle doesn't want to share his toys.
After a few hours of running around, pushing the kids on the swings, and chattin', Chris and I hopped in the car and took the scenic route to Viroqua for a Cheese Corner sub. Sadly, they were closed so we walked around downtown a little bit instead, then took the driving tour of the big city ("I used to live there, and that's where I went to elementary school...").
We drove back to La Crosse where we ate some big ice cream cones, then headed back to Kamille's to get ready and take Amanda to the races, where we met up with Dawny and her friend, Amy. I had heard about Amy before, so I was expecting her to say, "Hi, so you're Stacey!" but she wouldn't, uh, look at me, so.. no! Poor Dawny had to explain the races to me the entire time. It actually wasn't a bad time.. I dunno if I'd go by myself but I probably would go with Dawny if I lived there. For people watching, it was amazing. There were some of the trashiest people I think I've ever seen here, including the woman wearing the Porta-Potty cutoff shirt and no shoes. I swear. Dawn got pics on her phone.
Sunday, we slept in a little, then got up and took Macy & Amanda to Viroqua. When we realized we wouldn't get to my mom's flea market before she left, we decided to take the long route there.
We stopped by the cemetary.
The Italian Stallion took in the fresh country air.
I spent a lot of time laughing at his bed head.
We stopped by my Aunt Loretta & Uncle Charlie's place. That was nice! They are very sweet people who I think spend all their time tending to their yard and gardens and bird feeders. They had crazy activity at their FOUR bird feeders that they have to fill up every day, and I even got to see a hummingbird fly up to the feeder outside their window. I loved it. Sadly, I got no pictures.
Then we picked up lunch & headed out to Kelli's place.
This is Kelli's road.
We played fetch with the dogs.
The kids played with each other.
We took a walk out to their cabin and went swingin' with the kids. Chris and Chris bonded. I swear, my Chris has something to talk about with everyone
Macy got very tired.
Then I walked across the street to get some pics of the cows. As cows tend to do, they first acted very scared of me, then very curious. The whole herd was just staring at me.
A couple were brave enough to come eat from my hand.
Then we had to head back to Kamille's so Amanda could catch Hannah Montana
before we headed out to her birthday dinner. Did I mention, she's 14?
No big surprise there. :) She really will not smile for pictures anymore, unless it's one of those sarcastic ones.
Kamille, Jeff, Macy, Amanda, Wynne, her boyfriend Sean, Mom, Kim, and me & Chris went out to dinner at a Mexican place, where Amanda got embarassed by the whole Las Mananitas thing. I didn't take many pictures as I hate the flash on the SLR sometimes. Amanda got some pictures on the camera I gave her for her birthday, but sadly she deleted many of them because, as I mentioned, she's 14
Chris paid for dinner. He did the trick where you go to the bathroom at the beginning of dinner and just take care of the bill then. I told him on the way, though, that he didn't need to do that. "Trust me, no one is going to fight you for the entire bill here." Unlike his friends and family, you know. Sure enough, when the bill came in the form of a signature slip for Chris, everyone was just kinda like, I dunno, confused? There was a half-hearted offer to take care of the tip, but that was it. Heh.
When we got back, I took care of a homework assignment and then Chris showed Kamille how to install more RAM in her computer and Amanda how to use her iPod. I was very proud of Chris as I watched him so patiently explain everything to Amanda, then encouraged her to do a dry-run so she was sure she understood it.
Today, we got up at 6 and drove to Minneapolis, and by 3:30 p.m., we were back in the stifling heat of South Florida.
We were so blessed with the weather this weekend - it was perfect. They said it was going to be, like, 90+ the whole time. Instead, when we touched down it was FREEZING (you know, jeans and jacket weather) and absolutely perfect Saturday and Sunday. We're talking, like, 80. PERFECT. Wisconsin is so damn nice when the weather is nice. Chris seemed a little surprised at how pretty it was, saying it reminded him a lot of central Pennsylvania. We even have Amish there, too. :)
Oh yeah, and the family, I think, loves Chris. What's not to love? Macy wouldn't come to me the first night, but kept saying my name as she was laying in bed after I got there. By the next day, she was saying Chris. By the time I left, Kamille said she thought Macy may even like Chris more than she likes me. Fair enough - he's so great with her. Even Loretta & Charlie commented about that, asking him, "Do you have kids?" Then, "No? You just seem so good with her.." I realized I wasn't worrying at all about Macy when Chris was around. She was tearing through their house as I just sat and talked to them, knowing full well Chris had an eye on her. Such a good boy!
So anyway, yeah - nice weekend. :)