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Canyon Learns to Climb Stairs

Something about this trip helped Canyon make some big leaps and bounds in his skill set. I think part of it was hanging out with Kyle and Kieran, being with both John and I non-stop and the challenges of new places. One of the things he became an expert on is climbing stairs. This kid is a stair climbing animal.


Here We Go Again

So. I am now about a month behind on my blog. Almost. How did that happen? Well no internet at Dad’s, the exhaustion of returning home to life as we know it and then all that that life has to offer. I have been busy. I have been organizing. I have been being present for my kid. I have been wasting time on Facebook.

I have been blocked. So here I am at a coffee shop in Lincoln Square. Ready to focus. But of course now that I have settled in and am sipping my delicious iced coffee I am starting to get hungry. So now I am debating ordering a panini but then think well maybe John and Canyon would want to go out to dinner before my class tonight (oh yeah I am in a writing class tonight but of course you don’t know that because I am a month behind in keeping you up to date!). So then I think about calling John but then I will be distracted by whatever is happening at home and will just use that as another distraction to avoid taking care of what really is on my mind.

Ack! And now I have been here almost an hour and am almost out of coffee and what do I have to show for it?

And off we go…


Good Morning, Backus

What I love. I love being somewhere where you can wake up and walk outside in your pajamas and enjoy nature.


First Night At The Kennedy Cabin

Friday August 27

After our State Fair adventures we spent the rest of the night on the Kennedy’s patio with old friends from high school. Erik and John were kind enough to drive out to Hopkins to finally meet Canyon! It was a mellow night that led into a mellow morning.

It was mid afternoon when we left the Kennedy’s house for the Kennedy cabin. We went ahead of them to avoid driving in the dark. And because I didn’t want to miss the sunset on the lake.

I envy the Kennedy’s for the lovely cabin on the lake but I don’t envy them making the drive every weekend-it’s a little over 3 hours with out traffic. Add to that 2 small boys and as of last week, 2 golden retriever puppies and that is quite a haul. We hit a few snags on the road but did make it to town in time for sunset.

Well, Lilo and I did. John couldn’t care less about sunset.

We finished unpacking and organizing and Canyon went to sleep long before the Kennedy’s arrived. So I set up camp outside with a perfect view of the night sky. I listened to music and made friends with a flying squirrel and a few bats. By the time the Kennedy’s finally pulled in the moon had risen and I the clouds looked like batik.


Minnesota State Fair

Our trip coincided with the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair so we decided to check it out. It seemed like a very Minnesota vacation thing to do. Of course, being us, we got a really late start and arrived around 3pm.

It was hot and packed with people eating. And eating. And eating. And eating some more.

Now I don’t know what I really expected from the state fair. I haven’t been to one in at least 15 years and all I could remember about it was eating corn and looking at farm machinery. I knew I wanted cheese curds and mini donuts and something involving bacon. I just thought it would be fun.

First stop-mini donuts…

Next stop, farm machinery…

Bacon…on a stick!

It was around here we all started getting crabby. It was hot, crowded and we were surrounded by people shoveling food in their faces. It was kind of overwhelming. I felt uncomfortable watching kids Canyon’s age eating their own corn dog and then following it up with funnel cake and a coke. I am not saying Canyon didn’t eat some junk food that day, but he just got little tastes, not entire entrees. He drank milk and ate the organic applesauce we brought along.

When I have told my opinions of the fair to friends in the last few days they have expressed the general opinion that the state fair IS all about eating deep fried items on a stick. And I guess they are right. And I guess it just brought out a lot of food issues for me. When I am one of the thinner women at the fair there is a problem! I felt like I was walking through the promo ad for a new Jamie Oliver program.

I totally hit bottom around 6pm. I found myself literally sitting in the gutter eating some kind of Australian battered deep fried potatoes covered in some kind of synthetic cheese. There I was, fat, sweaty and sitting on a dirty curb eating a deep fried slab of gross. A little boy sat down next to me and Canyon and I made a joke about Canyon having had enough of deep fried food. The seven year old looked me in the eye and said, “Did he eat a lot of deep fried stuff?” I said, “Well, not really. Did you?” He said, “No, not yet. I just really want a pickle on a stick.” Then his mom freaked out because he was talking to me.

I decided it was time to throw my potatoes in the trash and get the hell out of there.

I never even got my cheese curds.


The Kennedy’s Have A Great Yard

Thursday August 26

My original plan for Thursday was to head to the Minnesota State Fair first thing in the morning but the temptation of the Kennedy back yard was too great. They have a great back yard with a full play set, sand box, cars, slides, etc.

I think it is great for Canyon to have Kyle and Kieran to watch and learn from. Of course Kieran teaches him wild boy things…

Canyon enjoyed knocking the slide over…


Curses, Foiled Again!

Just when I got the focus and energy to catch up the old blog a wind storm at my Dad’s took out the internet! While this sucked for the documentarian in me it was good for the part of me that wanted to be unplugged. Of course I still had service on my iPhone for the quick Facebook update so I wasn’t exactly off the grid but it did force me to enjoy myself in ways that did not have my face buried in the glow of my laptop screen.

So now we are back in Chicago and I left the house with its mountains of post-vacation responsibilities and came to my local Starbucks (note to self-find a better place to work) to get the blog monkey off my back. Of course the ADD in me is having a hard time not just surfing the web and watching all the action around me. Like the really toughest, meanest looking guy who just walked by the window with the cutest, puffiest, girliest Pomeranian…


We Could Be Driving Just For One Day

Wednesday August 25

If I was to make a list of wishes somewhere on it would be, “I wish I was the kind of person who could pack light and leave on time”.

I am so not that person and unfortunately for our schedule either is my husband. We had such big plans to leave the city around 10am on Wednesday. Serious plans. John even took off Tuesday so we could have a full day together to pack and clean. We arranged to pick up the rental car that night so we could load it up and just ease out of town in the morning. I had visions of a calm, happy, organized morning before departure.

So didn’t happen that way.

We still weren’t ready. The only difference was that this time I didn’t freak out about it. I didn’t cry or yell at John about how he needed to move faster or complain that he wasn’t ready. Around 11am I started to get frustrated and was on the verge of a breakdown but then I could physically feel myself just give up and surrender to the day. We would leave when we left.

And we left at 4pm.

That’s when our road trip rituals could begin.

We like to flip off the “Thanks for paying a whole lotta money to drive on the roads sign”

We stop in Janesville, WI to partake of the glory that is Hardees. God I love Hardees. We always would park under this one tree and enjoy our feast and let Lilo out for a walk but sometime last year they cut the tree down. That was sad. But then they added these rocky medians and for Canyon, the boy who loves to dig in rocks, this was a happy thing.

Then the sun set…

And then we drove in the dark and listened to music. Around midnight in the middle of Wisconsin I found this on my iPod. Yes, I have things on my iPod that I don’t even know about. I like to think the universe was just saving it for the right moment for me to be able to fully appreciate it.

I listened to it over and over. I made John crazy.

We drove on and finally arrived at The Kennedy’s just outside of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We unloaded the car and let Lilo play in the front yard for awhile. Sure it was around 1:30am but Lilo and Canyon slept for most of the trip and needed to stretch their legs.

And then we slept.