Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Headbongers!

All I can say is look what Tyler dug up in a box! My headbongers from college. Remember these? I would like to think that wearing these made me smarter when studying, but the jury is still out... But this kid?

This kid? He is a trooper. In the past few weeks we have slept in 4 different places: Becket, Eagle Lake, Long Island, and Indiana. He spent a total of 41 hours in our car and traveled approximately 2,740 miles. He complained very little, and asked on the return trip home from Indiana "When will we be there?" 7 times.

Enjoy reading about our trip to Indiana and all the posts and look for more updates about our crazy summer. Now that we are back home maybe we will stay there for awhile. Or will we?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Goodbyes

Saturday meant one thing during vacation. D-Day, aka, Departure Day. Never an easy thing when you are having so much fun and know that by the next day you will be so far away from family. However, we had one more stop before hitting the road. Our last stop? Steak and Shake! On the way out after lunch, we stopped for more pictures with Grammy and Grampy:

As we were taking these shots, out waiter came out and offered to take a picture of all of us:
Shortly after this shot? We were back on the road home after a great 10 days in Indiana. I am not sure who took our leaving worse. Us or Gammy and Grampy. We certainly appreciated and did not waste a minute of time we all spent together and look forward to our next trip to the Midwest! Thanks again Grammy and Grampy, we will miss you! See you in September!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Indiana University

One thing that I always want to do but never get around to doing is to visit the University. This trip we made a quick stop one morning to visit Sample Gates and Memorial Stadium. We woke early, stopped at Dunkin Donuts, and ate our food and drank our coffee on the benches right by Sample gates.

I have had the luxury of seeing a few university's through the years. None are as pretty as Indiana, however. Maybe I am a bit impartial since I am part of the "I ♥ School Gang"!
The bell/clock tower. My dad said it was the clock tower... then it got to be 10 o'clock and the bells rang!

The view from Sample Gates down Kirkwood. All towns should have a view as nice as this!
Tyler wanting to get the feel for campus life...

It's hard to believe, but eight years ago Frank and I had out picture taken in this very same spot on out wedding day. Time flies, and things change, but I am not sure there is anything we would change back!
Trying to get a shot of only Frank and I. How were we supposed to shoo the little guy away when he ran up?
Out next stop was Memorial Stadium. For a few years now they have been working on renovating the stadium and revamping the overall appearance. Tyler was so excited to go and visit, and took off once we were inside...
The view of the end zone now. Very different from when I was there years ago!
On the field there was a girl's field hockey camp. I am not sure if Tyler was watching the girls or the fact they were playing a form of hockey!
Tyler and Grampy. Numerous times since visiting the stadium Tyler has asked when we will get to go to a real game. Hopefully real soon! Frank and I would love to make a trip back in the Fall, tailgate, and root on the Cream and Crimson! Who knows? Maybe 2010 will be the year!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just Grampy and Me

Right before we left for our trip, we had talked to Grammy and Grampy on the phone. Grampy said that he was going to "kidnap Tyler for the week". I thought "yeah right". Boy was I wrong! From the minute we arrived in Bloomington, to the minute we left, Tyler spent all his time with Grammy and Grampy. Because Grammy was not as mobile this trip, Grampy was happy to take Tyler out and spend some time bonding.

One of their favorite activities? Walking along the golf course and stuffing their pockets with balls! Tyler loved their daily scavenger hunt and quickly caught on to the hot spots to look for the balls in! One day, I joined them. As we walked along the street, a set of golfers were looking by the trees for a ball. After awhile they left, without the ball. We continued on with our walk. Guess what Tyler found? That's right, their golf ball!

Grampy made the suggestion that we should take the ball back to the gentleman who lost it. Tyler waited ever so patiently for them to finish the hole, ran up, and handed the man his ball. Guess what he got in return? Fifty cents! He was ecstatic! I got to thinking... if Tyler stays out there all summer long and returns balls to all the golfers, maybe we can fund college in many years?

Another favorite activity of Tyler's is walking with Grampy and Duffy. He loves to help walk the dog and goes out in his jammies, without his teeth brushed, and even in the rain. He loves it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Greatest Bar in America!

Wednesday night not only meant a trip to French Lick and the water park, but a night out for Frank and I! We arrived home, showered, dressed, gave Grammy and Grampy some instructions, and took off for a night on the town! Our first stop? Scotty's! I was determined to have another one of those yummy martini's. From there we were not sure where to go, but we quickly settled on a quiet, unknown place no one familiar with I.U. has ever hear of ;)! Nick's!

Despite the changes on Kirkwood, I was happy to find that the outside of the building looked as great as ever.
After we ordered dinner and drinks, we looked around at the decor. I fell in love with the stained glass above our table and the lights hanging from the ceiling (also red and white stained glass with the I.U. emblem). However, my Killian's was served in this really cute glass.... you know, canning jar, with the I.U. and Nick's emblem? The rest is history!
All I can say is that it will look really good with my "Sink the Bismark" bucket!

French Lick

On Wednesday we decided to take a trip down south to French Lick, Indiana. When we woke that morning, we knew it was a goodd choice-- it was pouring outside and it did not let up until much later in the day! Our first stop? West Baden Springs and the renovated hotel.

My parents had driven my sister and I down to West Baden Springs when we first moved to Indiana in the mid 80's. As a kid, I thought of many other things that I wanted to be doing at the time than looking at some dilapidated building! However, seeing it now was tremendous. I took a few shots of the inside of the building but the grounds were just as tremendous. Maybe next time if it is not raining we will have to take another trip!
The inner part of the building is this awesome domed atrium. We took advantage of this great view and had lunch inside the atrium.

When we first arrived, we walked the circle around the inside of the building. Along the way, we came across a door which led to the porch access and Tyler and Grampy rested for a bit in the chairs. I forgot to take a shot of the view they were privy to, but it was great!
When we entered back into the building, Tyler was getting antsy. He kept running ahead of us and darting in and out of the doorways along our walk. Kind of reminded me of a Austin Powers meets Mission Impossible!
Frank and I in front of a fire place located within the atrium. All the artwork around it had been restored back to its original appearance.
The view up the walls in the atrium. Everything was so meticulous and ornate. The tiles on the floors were individual subway style tiles, restored to their former condition, as well. Hanging out on the chaise lounge in the atrium:
Tyler's reward for behaving so well at the resort? A trip to the Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park! Another reason to not be sad for all the rain on this day! When we first arrived Tyler was very unsure about what to do despite the great children's area. However once he got the hang of it, there was no getting him away from the slides!
Getting ready for another ride!
Waiting patiently for his turn on the children's play scape...
Thank goodness Grampy was along for the ride... Frank and I were able to take off and go down some of the adult slides while Tyler was entertaining himself. I am not even sure that Tyler knew we were gone! When we returned Grampy reported that Tyler had gone down the same slide at least 20 times! And that was just when he was counting. We were able to pull Tyler away from the slide and take a trip in the tube around the lazy river.

All full of water and all out of energy! What a fun day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Crazy for the Horse

One of the things that we always do when we are in town is have lunch at the Crazy Horse in downtown Bloomington. We sit outside, have a hometown brew, and watch the people go by. I am not sure how this tradition started, this was not a place I frequented in college... I guess the first time I went in and discovered their fried veggie basket I was hooked. Coincidentally, they no longer make that appetizer and it is not to be found on the menu! However, that does not stop us from our yearly meal off the square! Another reason to visit? Eight years ago on August 2nd, our rehearsal dinner took place in their back room!
More often than not lately, Tyler entertains himself at a restaurant by using the sugar packets on the table as "players" and staging a hockey game. Here he is ready to have the "Extras" take on the "Sugars"....

Tyler and Frank....
Tyler and mommy...
Towards the end of the meal, while we were finishing out drinks, paying the bill, and cleaning up, Tyler started to something and we were a bit surprised by what it was. Two things came to mind: When did he get to old enough to spell? And if the town of Wilbraham could see this, maybe they will let this brilliant kid into kindergarten this year! On the other hand, maybe not!


video

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Indianapolis Children's Museum

For many years our summer trip has included a trip to the Children's Museum in Bloomington, Wonderlab. This year, however, we strayed a bit and included a ride to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. I had taken a quick glance at the website saw they have a Star Wars and dinosaur display and knew right away that Ty would have a blast there! After spending the night with the girls in Indianapolis, I was able to meet Grampy, Frank, and Ty downtown for our afternoon of fun!
Before we were even in the building, we had to stop for a photo op. Ty was in awe of the huge dinos on display outside the building. As I was taking this shot, a very nice woman offered to take a picture of all of us. I took her up on the offer:

As we entered the building, Tyler kept looking up at the dinosaur heads peeking through the walls from the outside. He could not wait to enter into the display and see what else was there! First stop was the dinosaur room. Tyler compared his big feet to a big dino footprint. He quickly discovered that his feet are not as big as he thought! Wow!
The dinosaur exhibit also included an interactive area of plastic dinos and a landscaped play table. Tyler had a wonderful time playing here and was met by his friends, Jack and Luke, who came with their mommy, Heather! Grampy even joined in the play with a dino of his own and before we knew it, kids were all around him wanting to play as well!

Soon it was time to see what else to museum had to offer. As is often the story, the kids were feet ahead of us. We asked for them to stay together and they did:
In the Star Wars exhibit, Jack was quick to pose with a few of the characters, by Tyler was not able to sit still long enough to have a picture taken. Excitement called, you know?
Grampy took some time to show the boys a cool interactive dinosaur computer program in one room. Hard to believe that these 3 boys could sit still long enough ;)!

Baby Luke, just like the evening before with the girls, was a trooper! Always happy, never fussing, and we were so excited to spend more time with him!
Because they are members, Jack and Heather treated Tyler and I to a ride on the Merry-Go-Round. Jack chose the black stallion and Tyler chose a stripped tiger.
One thing about Tyler? He loves the babies (a career in politics, perhaps?). He took a minute out off his exploring to pose for a quick shot with Baby Luke:
Jack, Luke, and Heather left after the Merry-Go-Round ride for nap time. We had a great time with them and were happy they could join us for our trip to the museum! We, however, still had some more exhibits to take in...
Tyler drove Grampy around in a Tuk-Tuk. I am sure his driving was as good as some of those drivers overseas. I know firsthand... this was a mode of transport in Asia when we were there in the 80's!
Tyler and I on top of the giant alligator from the Nile exhibit. Hard to believe that somewhere in the world they are as large as this guy. I think I will keep to the shore if I ever make my way to that river.... Shortly after this shot, it was time to leave. I am not sure there was a stone we left unturned inside the Indianapolis Children's Museum! And because of this? Tyler was fast asleep for the entire trip back to Bloomington!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

One is silver and the other is gold....

On Saturday night, I headed to Indianapolis to spend time with my friends from college. Other than spending time with my family when we come to town, I look forward to this get together the most. As we have become older and life has gotten more busy, my trips home have become a yearly thing. Which means one thing... lots to catch up on! I am extremely blessed to have such a good group that I can call my friends. We have made it through happy and sad times and are always there for each other. I really don't know what I would do without them!We all met up at Fionn McCool's, and Irish place in Indianapolis. We had a great time enjoying our Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, dinner, and great conversations. (From left to right: Jennifer, Kelly, myself, Heather, and Amee.) The best part of dinner? Meeting my new friend, Luke (age 4 months)! Thanks, Heather, for bringing your newest addition!


After dinner Amee, Kelly, Jennifer, and I headed to Scotty's for some more time together over yummy martini's. Heather had to head home with the baby, but she was definitely in out thoughts! While at Scotty's we each ordered drinks, but the hit off the night? A Strawberry Cheesecake martini! Delicious!
Before we knew it, the night was coming to an end :(.... Kelly was kind enough to give us a ride back to Jennifer's house for the night. When we arrived home, Bailey was waiting for us:


Thanks, guys, for a great night with good friends, great laughs, and awesome drinks! My only regret? That it can't happen more often... What do you all think? The East coast is calling? I guess in the meantime I will have to work on a girl's weekend destination for 2010!