Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chicago Visit Part 3–everything else

On the 3rd day we kept things more low key. Ally helped Uncle Phil in the yard picking up sticks  and she earned some money for helping out.

The adults spent 3 hours planning Martha and Phil’s upcoming trip to Disney World, and Ally kept her self occupied for most of that time. After lunch we saw the new bear movie.


During the week Ally and I played on the iPad, and she read some to Aunt Martha.


Ally’s favorite place to hang out was on the porch in the chaise lounge.


One night they all played Chomp. This picture is from Martha & Phil’s wedding 40 years ago this summer. I told Ally she knew everyone in the picture. She was skeptical, so I told her Grandma Barbie was there. She immediately pointed to Mimi! She couldn’t believe that my mom had long dark hair once. All she knows is Grandma Barbie with short gray/white hair. She was amazed that Grandma had really long dark hair. Then I pointed out Gruncle & Aunt Suzie, Grandpa Frank and Aunt Martha & Uncle Phil and she was astounded. I just love this picture and had to take a picture of it.


Cartwheels and playing at the park. Ipad games with mama.




Ally and Uncle Phil outside with Daisy. Daisy loved Ally. She would follow Ally all around the house. She would get up if Ally came into the room. It was hilarious. Ally was a good sport about the whole thing.


At the movies, and on our last night, looking at cousin Katy’s girl scout things.

We had a really nice vacation week. Thank you both for everything.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chicago Visit Part 2–The Zoo

When I was a little girl – not much older than Ally I remember going to Illinois to visit my Aunt Martha and Uncle Phil and going to the Brookfield Zoo. It is HUGE compared to our zoo. I checked – it is actually 3 times as large as our zoo.

It did not disappoint. We had a few goals:

1) to see the Buffalo, since Ally’s favorite show just had a Bison episode

2) to see the spider monkey, since that is the animal Ally is learning to be an expert on in Spanish class at school during her rainforest unit.

3) to see the penguins, since those are her favorite animals

4) to see the gorillas – there was a baby one – and see how this zoo’s exhibit compared to ours at home. Ours is better.

5) to see the polar bears – they are just really neat animals.

After about 3 hours, Ally made another goal

6) to see the dolphin show

7) to see as many animals as we could.

We accomplished all of our goals. It was a really fun (and long) trip to the zoo. Thank you to Martha and Phil for hanging in there with us to the very end.


Camels and Kangaroos



Ally loved the giraffes.


We searched for the Okapi and finally saw it inside. Corky really likes Aunt Martha.


Becky, Ally and Aunt Martha with Corky the Okapi. Then it was time for a bathroom break – Aunt Martha and Ally waited while the rest of used the facilities.


The Buffalo were next – that is a life size picture of one – and see how small Ally is compared to it. We took a snack break near the bison and Ally had a blast playing on the playground structures.


The polar bears were next. (we did see the wolves and the brown bear too).



On our way to penguins Ally compared her wing span to that of the condor. But she was most excited to see t he penguins – a new kind for us – the Humboldt.


Finally it was time to see the rainforest exhibit.


There was a spider monkey named Nico as the mascot/escort thru the South American rainforest. Ally was so excited.


There he is – the mono aranana


We also saw the gorillas – there was a baby one with its mom. Then we walked thru the big cats and saw this tiger and a lion.


These are pictures from the underwater viewing area of the seals. Becky and Uncle Phil said it was highlight of the zoo for  them – so peaceful to see the seals swimming around.  We then had to wait about 45 minutes for the dolphin show.


But Ally loved the show. It was a really fun animal filled day!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chicago Trip Part 1 A Visit to American Girl

We arrived in Chicago on Monday afternoon. After the hour plus drive to Aunt Martha and Uncle Phil's house we talked a lot and made plans for the week. First up was lunch at the American Girl cafe and store down town.

Group shot, not so great. Hair blowing, eyes squinting. So we tried again.

Better but sun glare. Ally was so excited in her new matching dress and boots with her AG doll McKenna.

After an easy hour drive into the city we arrived at the store just as it opened.

After 45 minutes of shopping it was time for our lunch reservation.

It was adorable and delicious. The napkin rings were pony tail holders! Ally's doll got her own special seat at the table and a souvenir tea cup and saucer. The meal started with warm cinnamon buns, then a selection of appetizers served family style: pretzel rolls, crudités, and strawberries and cheese. We each got an entree, Ally had cheese pizza. Becky and Martha grilled chicken salad and I had vegetable quiche and salad. For dessert we each got an individual size chocolate mousse served in a green flower pot dish with a daisy in it and a mini cupcake! 

It was so much fun. After lunch we made our purchases. Ally as usual knew what she wanted and never wavered. We tried. She wanted the spa set. It's a manicure/pedicure shampoo chair and rolling cart. Aunt Martha was very generous and mama and mommy conceded and that is what she got. 

 There was a Lego store right outside and we took advantage of a photo opp with a life sized Lego Friend character.

After a quick stop at Macy's for new underwear for Becky we headed to Lake Michigan. For the record Becky did not have an accident that required new underwear, she just needed new pairs.

Becky touched the cold water but refused to taste it!

When we got home Ally opened up and played with her new toys!

It was a super fun day!