Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday marked our annual 'big farewell' to summer! Not that we really had much of a summer. Between the school district's effort to reset the school calendar by starting back earlier than usual this year and Mother Nature's wicked sense of humor there was not a whole lot of time or sun to enjoy this year. The first week of school looked a lot like this! ...and this..... ....not to mention this!!! WET, WET, WET would pretty much describe this past week! Patrick is just loving the Irish weather we've had this summer...I'm not! Not that I really wanted those 100+ degree weeks in July and August but a little sun would have been more than welcome to this SAD sufferer. My girls got precious little wear to their tanks and cami's and the tan lines are copiously absent! So on August 29, 2009 we woke to 50's and partly cloudy weather!!! Go figure. Saying good bye to summer was no joke!! We had a long, busy day planned and my Mari was up and dressed for the occasion. Not even 12 yet and I see the teenager bursting out!!! My chapanita so unique in her blend of cultural tradition with modern sensibility! Appropriately kitted out, with her bag full of fleece, we headed off to the first event.... BFF/Cousin Deirdre, the Disney fanatic, celebrates the end of summer every year by growing another year older. 8 going on 28 is the best way to describe this character! Okay, so maybe she's more 8 than 28?!?! We sang Happy Birthday and decimated the cake her mother had worked so hard to make. Everyone right down to the youngest cousin cleaned their plate! Because we all know what an 8 year old really cares about on their big day... the PRESENTS! Sometimes a big girl just cannot help being drawn back to her youth! As an aside, these are all the 'youngest' children in their respective families so maybe that explains the moment?!?! Sometimes a cousin just doesn't respect the day!! Andrew should have known better than to try to snatch a ride on her new scooter...Deirdre ran him down!!! So the skies did loosen up a bit and the sun graced us with a short visit and we piled in the family bus (my Odyssey) to head off to our next adventure. We headed in towards THE CITY with it's iconic spire as our compass point...Sears Tower will just NEVER be anything but no matter how hard they push the Willis name on us! We cruised by our beautiful lakefront and saw one heck of a quincenero gathered for pictures in front of Buckingham Fountain. It was hard to do but we drove on by the Latin music festival in Grant Park.... to get to Navy Pier!!!! A brisk west wind kept the jackets on but the sun did make for great views of our beautiful lake.... and we checked on how well they were taking care of our water toys....well a girl can dream, right???? ...and then we found what we were heading towards! INGUATE!!!!!! Chicago is home to a sizable Guatemalan immigrant population and they were being featured on the Dock Street Stage this weekend. Our weather was not 'just like home' for the gathering of Chapinos! Auntie Peggy and Andrew opted for a center stage position in the back of the crowd... the dancers gathered... and the show looked just fine from our side stage seats! There were fancy costumes... and traditional traje..... ..and oh, so adorable performers of all ages! The show was free to all and there was even a few crafts items available for sale. The whole gang of us gathered for a post show group shot and then headed off to enjoy the rest of Navy Pier's many attractions. So typically, the FREE attractions were more fun than the costly options! Auntie Peggy was ready, as ever, with her trusty camera to record the laughs.... ....of the 1997 gang showing off their 'big bellies'.... ...and the BFF/Cousins with little bodies and big heads.... ...and Andrew's melting fingers!!! No, those fingers did not put this look on Auntie Peggy's face! it was the enthusiastic way in which the gang was trying to get her to join them..... ...on the GIANT ferris wheel!! No chance P.P.Peggy would ever go 160 feet up in the air willingly. But the rest of us hopped on so we could see.... ...one of the most beautiful cities in the whole United States!! Wouldn't this be a great place for the Olympics in 2016?!?! We have our fingers crossed....please feel free to let the Olympic committee know you support our bid!!!!!!! With night quickly approaching there was another attraction calling out to the gang. Really dark shot I know, but if you look hard to the right side you can see Auntie Peggy giving me the "you're such a chicken" wave. I know my limitations and another week of vertigo was sooooooo NOT on my agenda and I firmly declined the invitation to ride the Wave Swings!!! And after the ride, Auntie Peggy was wishing she had joined me on terra firma!!!!! Just one of those funniest video moments with no video camera to record it...for which she's oh, so grateful. Confident at first she soon was clutching the chains with her eyes firmly shut! The sheer comedy of the kids turning and twisting in their swings in an effort to encourage her to open her eyes and 'enjoy' herself left me with a stitch in my side :)!!!!! So we took a few more group shots..... and climbed to snatch a peak of the Cirque de Soliel show for which we did NOT pop the wallets open BUT regret the decision and will be back soon!! We grabbed some Billy Goat 'cheezborgers' with "no fries, cheeps" as made famous by SNL..... ..and OF COURSE we got dessert!!! Then we staked out a bench where we rested our weary feet as we waited for the finale...... Good bye summer vacation! CANNOT wait for you to come back next year!!!! Thank goodness for big cousins willing to carry tired feet to the parking garage! Wait, I take that back! Thank goodness for cousins....period!
Posted by Spudsnsalsa at 1:23 PM