Around Labor Day we were able to escape to a proper summer that involved swimming and sandals--not a scarf in sight. Walt and I were in Decatur for a week and a half, and Mike was able to join us for a long weekend. Our flight to Chicago was nearly a nightmare, Walt was so antsy--luckily someone seated next to an empty seat offered to switch with us after takeoff. Without that, I don't know what we would have done...may have to start getting him his own seat soon...or maybe just no more traveling without Mike.
Walt started every day eager to explore his new surroundings.
Two swims a day yielded lusciously long naps--who knew? (Actually, people who live in climates with normal summer weather probably do know this.)
We had lots of visitors during the first weekend of our trip...Grandma and Grandpa Will, Uncle Chuck, Grandad and Cindy, and Uncle Gary and Denise all made the trip up (or over) to see us, which was great. Below is a photo of Walt with Grandma and Grandpa Will.
And one with Uncle Chuck:
And one with Grandad and Cindy:
The highlight of the trip for Walt? Hmm, maybe brushing his teeth on the stool Grandad built for him?
Or maybe just showing off his pot-belly in summer clothes.
I ended up having to work a lot more than I had planned to, so I didn't end up getting as much of this (see below) as I would have liked. Oh well.
But we did have the chance to go to the retirement party Dad's work had for him--delayed for a week so we were able to attend. It was so nice to meet Dad's co-workers and I'm glad we were able to celebrate with him.
While I was working, Nana and Grandad had their hands full keeping up with Walt and showing him all Decatur has to offer--a cute zoo, a really great playground and, of course, awesome humidity.
One really super consequence of the humidity? Walt had to take lots more cuddle-breaks, which was a pleasant change of pace.
Near the end of our first week, Mike to flew into O'hare, and we all made the trip to pick him up. Of course, we had to spend the day in the city...lunch at Julius Meinl, a visit with the Butlers, a walk around Bucktown (with shoe shopping at City Soles) and pizza at Piece. It was fun pretending to be Chicagoans again. Walt liked it, too...here's a shot of him playing the role of fun-loving Chicago kid at a Wrigleyville park!
And Mike wouldn't let us leave without getting some pictures at Wrigley.
Now, the real reason for this whole trip was to be immortalized in the 2010 family picture (my side) taken every five years. It was Mike's first!
We headed down to the St. Louis area (where my grandparents live) the day before the picture. That night we hit a Cardinals game, and the nearby casinos, with my uncle/cousins.
We didn't have fun at all.
It was so great to spend the weekend with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Walt got to meet his cousins Madeline and Kennedy, who are just his size, and had a blast running around with all the big kids. He was, to my surprise, an absolute angel during the pictures. Below are a few shots.
Our little family:
Someone made the brilliant decision to make a collage of candids of the great-grandchildren rather than trying to wrangle all twelve (including three toddlers) for a formal picture--so smart.
Following our St. Louis adventure, Walt and I spent a few more days in Decatur before heading home. One day I took him over to my friend Laura's house where Walt and her son, Luke, had a great time tearing around the backyard. (Also, forgot to mention that we were also able to meet up with my dear friend Kristy and her daughter, Evie, while we were in St. Louis--we had so much fun I forgot to take any pictures!)
Really, there was no shortage of new friends.
Thanks to all for making it such a memorable trip, we enjoyed every minute...see you in December!