Saturday, April 02, 2016

On the road again...Spring Break 2016

So after the state meets, baseball and basketball tryouts and a fried chicken celebration dinner, the family truckster was loaded down and we were off...Spring break this year was a bit tough to plan with all the aforementioned activities and then at the last minute Jet called and informed us we were doing Spring Break again with the Reagan's so off to Chicago we went.

Day One:
We headed to the Wisconsin Dells for what we found out in hindsight our last time, to hit a waterpark and have a relaxing day. The water park concept is  related to the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, I'll just leave it at that.
Mount Olympus, the Worlds Largest Indoor and Outdoor Theme park is located in the " downtown" area of the dells. It sits on a sprawling several 100 acres parcel of land right next to The Worlds Largest Indoor Themed park, you get the picture.
It was fun to hang out watch the kids ride the water slides and traverse the lazy river, they really did have fun for about 3 hours then we were done.
The dinner choices were limited however they waiting lines were long and we ended up at a pizza place that featured an all you can eat buffet, which none of us got, in fact no-one ordered pizza.

Day Two:
We headed off to Madison to explore the University of Wisconsin, where Tom spent one year of his life he will never get back, but the memories...
we made in to the Plaza for lunch and dined on the Plaza burger, an institution of dining in Midtown for decades. Then we wandered around State street for a while exploring the college scene. The Rathskeller, i.e the Student Union was closed for renovation, which was a bummer. There is a bookstore in the end zone of Camp Randall which has a low fence around the field, low enough to step over and get on the field. So we are now two colleges in a row breaking into stadiums on spring break... where will it be next year?
Jimmy and Billy were doing 40 yard dashes on the field and Ol Bill even had a 19.7 second 1000 yard dash, really fun. Union South was open so we had some ice cream and then went and checked in to the hotel. The Hampton Inn right in the middle of campus is brand new and fantastic. The work out room was great, Kay and Billy had the pool to themselves while Jimmy took advantage of the free WiFi, a nap and a full bag of mini donuts!
Dinner was Billy's choice and of course he chose Greek, and what a feast it was! We wandered around some more, found a great bookstore, Tom found a book he's been looking for for ages and then headed to bed (after catching up on The Middle, Blackish and Modern Family - nothing better than everyone in one bed, watching tv, in a hotel room. Really!).

Day Three:
Chicago, well La Grange, to spend the rest of the trip with The Reagan's. We arrived late in the day and the kids got right down to hanging out playing nerf gun wars, and catching up.
We had a fun filled afternoon and evening along with a down home dinner of chicken, burgers and the like.

Day Four:
It was a rainy, dreary day which made the trip to the Shed Aquarium the perfect go to place. We watched a cool northern white whale (beluga) show along with strolling the the Amazon rain forrest and taking in the underwater sea life, what an adventure!
We spent most of the day there along with the rest of the several thousand people trying to avoid the rain. It was back to Jan's for an all you can eat Orange Chicken feast and watching college hoops!

Day Five:
Early in the morning Tom, Tracy and Jan headed out for a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) museum and studio, if was pretty cool. FLW was an odd duck just by the fact that he is always referred to as Frank Lloyd Wright, not Frank or Mr. Wright, is just one case in point. They guy was however a genius as well as super quirky. His house and offices were all designed around the space they were to fill not the type of house or office you wanted, basically if you contracted with him, he told you want he would build for you not the other way around. Really impressive story and architecture.  WE also stopped by the house that Tracy's mom grew up in  (her Grandma's house).  Very nostalgic.

The afternoon we split up with Tracy and Jan taking Billy, Kay and Charlie off to explore LaGrange while Chris and Tom took Jimmy and Jet to see the sweet sixteen games playing in Chicago. The teams were Iowa State vs Virginia and Syracuse vs Gonzaga. The Iowa State fans were extremely rowdy and vocal, however their team never had a chance. The energy sort of left the building after that game but it was a exciting time none the less.
Meanwhile back in LaGrange the ladies and kids were painting plates, bubble tea drinking and feasting on Korean food!

Day Six:
We all meet back up art the afternoon showing of Batman vs Superman, 3D in reclining seats. I will not ruin the movie by saying anything about what happens or say anything about the movie except that Jimmy fell asleep for most of it and Billy had every detail committed to memory, Kay just wanted popcorn.

Saturday night we all bunked down at Chris's house and Tom created yet another culinary masterpiece featuring lemon zest scallops, rosemary spring tuna steaks and chili shrimp, Chris supplied the perfect wine parings and the kids had pasta :)  Jet had all the kids shooting off fireworks on the golf course and Kay had everyone decorating eggs for the next morning.

Day Seven ( Easter):
Kay had been obsessed all week about the Easter Bunny making a showing and even went so far as making and dying the eggs along with stuffing the plastic eggs and hiding them in Chris's yard. Easter morning came the hunt was a success, Chris made us his house specialty of hash browns , eggs, bacon and pancakes (the #1)

. Unfortunately all good things have to be  suspended  and it was time to head home.

We had a blast and the Regan's were fantastic hosts and playmates and we look forward to the tri-fecta of Spring Breaks in 2017!