Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend in Chicago

I think we have had enough rain for today thank you.....a week straight...and more for today. Not that we can't use it, but seriously, we needed this about a month ago. Now the corn is drowning is water. When the sun does come out today it is going to be SOOO hot!

So over the weekend we were in Chicago (the suburbs actually) and Joel took us to a charity race in St Charles. He wanted to run with Nick in the 5K. Now, normally this is an OK adventure, but we woke up that morning to a thunderstorm so us "non runners" thought there would be no race...HA! So at 7 am we loaded ourselves and a pile of towels and umbrellas into the Exlporer and off we went to find the park...yes, find the park, Joel had never been there before! We got lucky and found it immediately and got the boys signed up for the race which started at 8:30. So far the rain was only spotty but as soon as they called for the 15K runners to line up it started to POUR from the sky. The 8K started about 15 minutes later and then the 5K's got to line up. It was still pouring down, but they took off and we stood there under the umbrellas waiting for the runners to return. And 18 minutes later the first runner was back...and it was Joel, followed a few minutes later by Nick. Nick finished the race in 6th overall and 2nd in his age class. As soon as Nick and Joel got their awards we hopped back in the Explorer and headed back to the house to dry off. We were all soaked. All in all it was an interesting race and hopefully the race in two weeks won't be quite so rainy.
I guess it's time I get to scrappin' this vacation.
Have a scrappy day.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Photos and things

Seems like summer started a few days ago and now we are grinding down to the start of school. I suppose it does not help that the weather this past week has been very non-summerlike. Makes me think of getting out the sweaters and long pants. Quin started football this week and Nick starts his cross country training next week, another sure sign of fall. The good news is that the sun is going to return (they promised) by this weekend. Good thing because the grass has grown with all this rain we have gotten. Sadly, the state is still in a draught because we are 5 inches below normal on rainfall, in our area anyway. Towns just 40 miles to the south are flooding and people are dying and losing their homes. A sad situation.

After uploading all the photos from the trip to Iowa/Illinois I noticed that I am in 10 photos out of 365...which is actually pretty good....but most of them are blurry. I found one really good one (the one above) but I am sharing the frame with a donkey... a cute one, but a donkey no less! I happened to enjoy the petting zoo. The boys are "too old, too cool" to hang out with the tiny critters, but I think secretly Quin wanted to come in with me. You just can't help wanting to pet cute little versions of farm animals. The pigs were the littlest piggies I have ever seen. Of course, the bunny was the biggest (bigger than the pigs) that I have ever seen.
That's it for me today.
Have yourselves a productive day....or just lay around and do nothing....that sounds better.

Friday, August 17, 2007


We rented bikes for a quick morning ride along the trails. You get to see a lot of stuff they you couldn't see if you drove down the streets. We rode for about 2 hours. After dropping off the bikes we headed down the road in the truck to see other sites. Back at the hotel we took our tour of the Pavillion. It's a really nice spot, but there isn't that much to see. We shopped a little at the John Deere store and then headed off to the Antique shop down the street. Very cool old tractors to be seen there. We had ourselves a nice lunch buffet at Bad Boyz Pizza. I picked this one piece of pizza up thinking it was covered with peppers and sausage but it was actually a cheeseburger pizza. It was SOOO good! It seemed a little weird, but they cooked the burger on a grill and then chopped it up on the pizza, loaded it with cheeses, mustard, pickles and bacon. Really a taste treat. YUMM

We did a little more exploring (which included a stop at a Scrapbook store that I happened to find two blocks away from the hotel) and took a drive out to the World Headquarters for John Deere which had more tractors in their buildings and a really cool display of antiques from the period between 1837 and 1860. I loved how they had it displayed....very scrapbooky.

Since Saturday was the 10th Anniversary of the Pavillions opening we decided to stick around for a little while to check out the festivities. We watched the blacksmith from the Grand Detour location work. He was very good at working the crowd. I got to play with some little animals in the petting zoo. The little piggies were so darn cute.
A lovely storm blew in and we decided to head for Chicago....I guess it rained all day there....good thing we left.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Three dudes and a lady...

A little run down of the long weekend in Moline/Chicago.


We left Eau Claire in our little truck and headed down the scenic river roads along the Mississippi River. We stopped at a few Lock & Dams to watch the barges go through. We decided to call this the "Dam Trip to Moline"..LOL...There are some beautiful spots on that drive. They even stopped long enough to let me shop at the La Crosse Hobby Lobby (yay). Of course, they stopped at Cabelas in Prarie Du's a MAN trip after all. Once we reached Dubuque we were on the interstate and it got pretty boring, but it went fast and we hit the Quad Cities around 5pm. The bridges are amazing and the views are gorgeous. Lots of river boats to be seen. We did a quick check in and then did a little exploring. The hotel was well located for our needs. Right across the street from the John Deere Pavillion with the Mississippi river behind the hotel (along with the bike/walk path) and several eateries within walking distance. We found a nice little Mexican restaurant to have supper at and then we headed back to the hotel for some lounging and swimming.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

CHA, the first trip!

Let me begin with my trip to CHA summer...AWESOME! I have been wanting to go for, well, it feels like forever, and I finally got to go this July. I would totally go again in a heartbeat! I loved seeing all the manufacturers in one place and doing the fun make-and-takes and meeting some of my Cyber pals. That was the best part. I don't care how nasty and jaded some of the people in this industry are getting, there are still genuine people out there who scrap. I was lucky enough to meet up with a few of them on this trip.

I also got to do a little driving downtown, something I have never done...and I didn't do too bad either. When we headed downtown on the 190 I got tired of driving in the stop and go traffic and decided to hit the next exit (6 exits before my GOOGLE directions told me to) and where did we end up?....right in front of OPRAH's studio! After a quick photo shoot in front of the sign we hopped in the car and drove into the city. We went past a lot of cool looking buildings and under the "L" and, well, all over. We ended our drive at the Navy Pier and cruised around there for a while, getting supper at the "Twisted Lizard" and watching the sun go down on the city (and got lots of great shots). Our trip back to the hotel was a bit more interesting. When we left the parking ramp we could see the fireworks in the sky over Navy Pier, so I drove back over so the girls could see it. Then we tried to find our link to the interstate....not an easy task....they apparently don't want you to leave....we drove down Wacker Ave and found a movie crew shooting a movie!! Not sure of the film just yet, but we will find out. Cruised past the SEARS tower and on to Adams Ave (which is where GOOGLE told me to go) which was supposed to link me to the interstate...NOT! I drove down Adams Ave for a while and...I am not sure...but I think we drove past a drug deal going down.....I went a little faster through there and headed back toward the city, found the exit and got back on the road. Whew, it was a blast.

Hope your day finds you scrappin'