Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Green Bay or Bust

Last weekend was MEA (minnesota educational association? not quite sure of the acronym) and the kids had Thursday and Friday off of school. Of course, this is the same weekend that Tom decided to go to Phoenix for a long guys weekend with his high school buddies. Sort of a 'welcome to your 50's' get away. While they were talking about their feelings, drinking wine, eating chocolate, going to the spa and golfing; I decided to take the kids on an adventure. The kids chant became "Green Bay or Bust!"

We had such a great time last year in Green Bay we decided to recreate it, only this time in the fall and with Aunt Sue. Each person got to pick 1 special thing to do. While it would be tempting to say that mine was driving 5 hours with 3 kids and dog all by myself, 1 way ... believe it or not, that wasnt what I picked. We did make the drive and the kids were remarkably good. However, I had equipped them with a PSP, iTouch, Leapfrog, DVD player, DVD's, treat bags and their comfy blankets. Their conversation on the way over was hysterical. BIlly wanted to know "how long would you live if you were born without nostrils" and he and Kay played with their imaginary friends - Isabella, Rudy, Bunco and Shawnee. Little did I know, Isabella and Rudy are in "love".

We landed up at Aunt Sue's house about 10pm and all hell broke loose. Jimmy was determined to watch "Connie Gumper and the Pack" about 50 times and it started Thurs night with 3 viewings. The other 2 (& dog) were running through the house screaming, burning off energy and convincing me something was going to break before the weekend was out.

I should stop to note, Green Bay is Halloween headquarters. Nearly every 3rd house was decorated and ready for Halloween. Not just a few lights, but the whole shebang. Mummies, the living dead, spiders, witches, vampires. This is the real thing!

Friday was gorgeous and the start of our activies. 1st up? Kay's choice, horseback riding. Now if you remember, last winter Jimmy fell asleep on his horse in 30 below weather. The weather was WAY nicer and there was a crowd of people looking to spend some time in the woods, in the fall, on horseback. Billy landed the biggest horse of the bunch. Kay had Cheyenne. JImmy started to fall asleep again and I brought up the rear on Bambi. It was really relaxing and Billy declared "I liked this so much, I LOVED IT!"

We followed this rigorous outdoor activity with a Chinese buffet lunch (yum) before off ot our next activity - Zoo Boo (Billy's choice). I miscalculated this one. Didnt bring a treat bag and forgot (or didnt realize) the kids costumes. I also forgot the camera. The whole place was decorated for Halloween, they had a Freaky Forest ride and a candy trick or treat stop at every animal. It was super fun (and a great way to get loaded up on candy:))Jimmy adored the Freaky Forest and is convinced he's going to work in a place like that when he's in high school (basically, its a hay ride through a forest with high school students dressed uplike the undead pretending to run around and kill each other - nice).

Dinner was my choice - Fish Fry. All I have to say is...there is nothing like a Wisconsin fish fry, eaten at the bar in downtown DePere:)
Saturday we woke up to rain and this presented a BIG problem. Why? Jimmy's choice was the St Norberts football. However, it was 60 degrees and raining, not something I, Sue, Kay or Billy had the slightest interest in venturing out for. Jimmy, on the other hand, "was going to GO"... After a MAJOR fit that got pitched (inclusive of me bribing, offering other options, trying to reason, etc) Sue finally relented and said she'd take him. He lasted 2 quarters "it was boring and I didnt have anyone to cheer for. AND..their "stadium" is smaller than the Hopkins high school field!" He was less than impressed. Sue tried to rectify the situation and took him past Brett Favres old house and to Lambeau field. For those of you that follow football, keep in mind the Packers were playing the Vikings the next day and the tailgaters were already camped out. Jim Taylor (retired Packer) was also there signing autographs. Jimmy was sure to tell him his prediction that the Vikings were going to beat the Pack by 3. Needless to say, Jimmy didnt come home with an autograph.

That night we had a MAJOR debate on where to do for dinner - the boys wanted pizza and Kay wanted nachos. Not many places cater to both such refined tastes. Our solution, a fond childhood memory of mine...Happy Joes. Its a pizzeria type, arcade, salad bar, kind of place. It was crowded and loud and had free refills on soda. Sue and I have 2 beers and wished their had free refills on that as well. In fact, Sue commented "now I know why you dont like to take them out to eat". 'nough said.

Sunday was a lazy morning (still raining) with reading, the newspaper, coffee, homework and a final viewing of Connie Gumper before we headed off on our 5 hour trip back to MPLS. The ride home was relatively uneventful with the exception of the fact that we passed no less than 15 buses heading to Lambeau from Minneapolis AND the kids insisted on KFC for lunch. I drove around Chippewa Falls aimlessly for 15 min's before I found it (keep in mind, its hard to get lost in Chippewa Falls). The kids were so excited, they insisted on a photo with the Cornel (just so that you dont think I am one of those mom's that takes their kids photo with every creepy cardboard cut out, they really did insist...)

We got home in time to unpack and relax before Daddy arrived toting gifts and before the kick off of the big game. Once again, we were a house divided with Jimmy in his Favre vikings jersey and Kay in her Packer cheerleading outfit. No matter the outcome of the game, 1/2 the house was either going to be happy or mad.

So it it goes....

(THANK YOU SUE! for your hospitality, taking 4 Loudamericans and their dog and for your infinite patience with chaos. We love you!)