Sunday, June 28, 2015

A weekend of festivals

This seemed to be our weekend of festivals and with the weather cooperating nicely, we had a great time. Saturday we headed to Chinatown for the Dragon Boat Festival to meet up with some friends along the riverfront. We took the train downtown and then caught the water taxi, avoiding the major traffic and parking issues.
Lily, James and their daughter Emily were waiting for us.
We listened to the band and watched a few of the heats.
Then met up with Vicky and her husband Eric before settling in for lunch.
I surprised myself (and nearly everyone else) when I found I really liked a dish called Pork Blood Soup. It had congealed cubes of pork blood as well as noodles, tofu, sprouts, and meat and IT WAS SPICY AND DELICIOUS. I have never tasted anything like it.
Spicy chicken and frog legs, green beans, rice, and about 10 other dishes helped fill everyone's bellies.
Vicky kept the littles entertained with selfies.
After a bit of grocery shopping and some bubble tea, we headed back down to the river for a few more races.

Vicky and Eric

Eric got a workout in because once you lift up one sister....
you must do the same for the other.
Emily and her family had biked so we said goodbye while the rest of us boarded the water taxi.
 The sun was really bright on the upper deck so Kate got a little sunshade help.
The bridges helped shade us as we made our way back to downtown.

That evening I went to a going-away party for one of my closest friends here in Chicago, Betsy. Betsy and I met a few years ago in book club and instantly connected. We both share the same irreverent sense of humor and I suspect we would have gotten into a LOT of trouble had we met 20 years ago.
Sadly, she is up and moving away, back to her hometown to be closer to family. Looks like I'll be planning a road-trip to OH soon.

Today we decided at the last minute to head to a strawberry festival out in the 'burbs so we packed up right after breakfast and headed out. The festival was in a charming little town we had not been to before, Long Grove, IL. Of course the girls were hungry after just a short bit of exploring so we bypassed the lines and greasy food at the food carts and found a lovely cafe under a grape vine roof.
Fortified from lunch, we got in line for face painting.

Giving me their best Avenger faces.
The bubble area was a big hit as they had stations for the kids to try their hand at making bubbles.

Kate got a bit too much bubble from Lucy's next try.
She recovered quickly...gotta chase the bubble that was created!
We three got matching strawberry glitter tattoos.
The magician was very popular and Lucy stalked him for almost an hour as he made his way around the area.

We made it home for supper and then poured two tired girls into bed a bit early. And I'm headed that way as soon as I hit "publish". Mommy Summer Camp starts week 4 tomorrow.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Beach Day

If there is one lesson I've learned since moving to Chicago it is to take advantage of every nice weather day because, especially in summer, they can be few and far between. Today has dawned rainy and the temperatures are supposed to plummet into the low 60s by this afternoon here by the lake. But yesterday was lovely--sunny, temps in the high 70s--a good day to head to the beach. We got there just before lunchtime so while I set up our umbrella, blanket, etc., the girls got to work relocating sand from one sandy spot to the next sandy spot.

After lunch they headed in for a rather chilly swim. The lifeguard said the water was 64 degrees! My intrepid fish headed in anyway.

Back on land to warm up and a discussion of what activity is next.
Covering Lucy in sand was the choice.
I think she was taking the opportunity for a rest from their 30 minute swim so she remained still for nearly as long while Kate shifted sand from one side to the other.
Then it was Kate's turn....Kate who doesn't nap or lie down during the day.
Kate, who project manages everything.
She tried.
But her need to direct overtook her, the worker got tired of being over-managed and the project failed.
Back in the lake to rinse off and another 30 minutes of swimming.
More sand projects.

Then they took over a hole that was started by another kid who left the beach.

This kept them occupied until we left just before 5.
Here's hoping for more beach days!


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