Kenosha in the Spring (pt. 6)

So what did I do with those two extra days in Kenosha? Well, we visited the Jelly Belly Factory again. You can’t beat getting a free bag of jellybeans after riding around in a train. And we played outside quite a bit.

We also took a ride on the historic streetcar through Kenosha’s downtown.

We tried to visit a historic lighthouse, but it was locked up tight, even though we visited during the hours it was supposed to be open. Oh well.

And we played lots and lots and lots of Star Wars Trouble.

Then I had to say good-bye for a second time and check my bag two or three times to make sure I had my license and boarding pass and head back to the airport in Milwaukee. I can’t help but be glad my stay was accidentally extended. I’ll gladly take any opportunity to hang out with all of these guys.


Kenosha in the Spring (Pt. 5)

When I went to check on Lucy Monday morning, I found her like this:

She had fallen asleep reading. Hopefully this is just the first of many times in her life when she will fall asleep reading. Also, hopefully, she will one day advance to falling asleep while reading Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice instead of Disney Princesses.

And here’s a random photo of Lucy looking like a rockstar. So maybe one day she’ll graduate to that, too.

To celebrate Memorial Day, we decided to go to Petrifying Spring Park. They have an awesome playground. It had both old school things (like a big, rusty slide, an old merry go round, and bucking horses) along with new, plastic, safe stuff.

Lucy is really brave and she’ll go down that big slide posted above over and over and over again without blinking an eye. But as soon as the merry go round started going faster and faster, she started screaming, “GET ME OFF!!!” So yeah… she’s not really into the merry go round yet.

But Peter and Penny Lane loved it.

The great thing about Petrifying Spring Park is that, not only are there awesome and possibly slightly dangerous playgrounds, there are also lots of trails for short little hikes (the kind I like). We decided to take one. It looked promising… all verdant and lovely.

There were wildflowers. There was a meadow. It was almost like Twilight (sans sparkly vampires).

But then there was also mud. Lots and lots of mud.

I don’t mind getting my feet muddy, but it was a lot harder to walk in flip flops that kept slipping and sliding off my feet. Plus, I kept worrying about falling and breaking my camera. And the kids really hated the mud, so it wasn’t the best part of the little hike.

But it was still really pretty.

I had to pack up for my flight later that evening, so my Memorial Day was kind of short. Around 5, Amanda and I put the bags in the car and headed up to Milwaukee to catch my flight. When we arrived at the airport, Amanda and I got out of the car. Amanda picked up a penny. “Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck!” Just then, I reached into my new camera bag to pull out my driver’s license so I was prepared for the security line. Only to find that my driver’s license was no longer there! We called back to the house, but Mike couldn’t find it in my room. Amanda and I each took turns turning out my bags and looking under car seats, but nothing. I was not having good luck! I didn’t know what else to do. I really should have talked to the airline, but I didn’t know if they’d be able to help me. I worried that, worse-case scenario, I’d have to have my mom send my passport. So we decided to just go home.

The license was on the driveway, near the flowerbeds. I honestly have no idea how it got there. (Amanda also “claims” not to know.) I called the airline and found out that if I could make it to the airport (an hour away) before 9:00 pm, the airline would rebook me on the next available flight for free. Apparently this is not something they can do over the phone. Since this would save me $250, I borrowed the jeep and drove back to Milwaukee. Of course, the ticketing counter was closed by the time I got there. At 8:30. I called again, and they wouldn’t do anything to help over the phone. I was mad. And I wasted my Memorial Day evening driving to and from the airport. Twice. I went home, rebooked my flight for Wednesday, and wrote an angry email.

It wasn’t all bad, though. I got most of the cost of my flight refunded, and I got to stay an extra two days. So more Kenosha adventures to come.

Kenosha in the Spring (pt. 4)

After we finished making the world’s best chocolate chip cookies, we got ready for church. Then we had some time to play, so that’s we hung out in the playroom for a while.

Whenever I would go to take a photo of the kids, I would often crouch down so I was more on their level. Apparently, Lucy picked up on this because every time she saw me about to take a photo, she would crouch down and say, “Cheese!”

After church, I wanted to take some more pictures of them (I love it when they’re all dressed up).

I asked Penny and Peter to bring their favorite toy down. Penny ran upstairs to look for princess puppy.

She came down with a Little People ice cream truck. I’m pretty sure it’s not her favorite toy, but it’s what she chose.

Peter at first picked up a new favorite book from the library. If you guessed it was Star Wars related, you would be right.

He’s a little obsessed. Then he went and got another favorite toy, and this one I totally believed.

Star Wars Trouble. We played this game at least 1000 times.

I would have liked to get a photo of Lucy with her favorite toy, too, but she was a little preoccupied.

After dinner, we walked across the street to the pier.

Amanda is about 7 months pregnant now. I can’t wait to meet the new little one in August.

The pier has a great view of Lake Michigan.

BUT, it could probably use a few more bars on the fences. It was a little terrifying how easily the kids could slip through them, if someone didn’t hold on to them.

And then it was time for some freeze tag and general running around.

It was a perfect Sunday evening.

Kenosha in the Spring (pt. 2)

Amanda had a doctor’s appointment the next morning and wanted to look at some vans for sale, so I offered to stay home with the kids. We read books and played with Legos and played Hide and Seek and Monster, Monster and another game that Penny made up called the Tigers and the Unicorns. And then we played Monster Monster, Monster again.

Penny and Lucy are obsessed with this princess book.

Peter pretending to be the monster.

My ability to play for long lengths of time has atrophied slightly since moving back to Utah, so when Penny grabbed her little portable video game and Peter asked to play a game on my phone, I thought it would be a nice break. Lucy felt left out, though, so I gave her my Nintendo DS and let her look at Puzzle Bobble. She had no idea how to play it, but she liked looking at the pretty bubbles.

nice and quiet. thanks gadgets!

Then we decided to go wait on the porch because we knew Amanda would be home any minute.

And we were right. Then it was time to finally get dressed and head up to Milwaukee for an adventure at the children’s museum. Amanda really wanted me to see the amazing sculpture garden at the Milwaukee School of Engineering museum. Lucy fell asleep in the car, though, so she just pulled over and let me run up. I’m so glad because it was awesome!

I loved the monumental size of the sculptures. The theme is Men at Work, and it reminded me of two things: 1) Communist public art and 2) Depression Era art. I didn’t want to take too much time to read anything. I just enjoyed looking around at the sculptures and the view of the city from the rooftop.

(The one on the left is a woman, so it wasn’t just men working.)

Google tells me this is the Milwaukee City Hall. It’s pretty.

I love the textures on this building.

And the rooftop. I’m such a sucker for chimneys and roofs. I’m not sure why that is.

I would love to have visited the rest of the museum (the glimpses I saw from the glass elevator looked promising), but we didn’t have time. We went straight to the children’s museum, which is right next door to the Milwaukee Art Museum and this huge orange asterisk.

Apparently the official name of this sculpture is “The Calling.”

I love the asterisk, but when I was looking online to find out what it was called, all I could find were blogs or articles written by people who hate it. Sorry people. You are wrong. The asterisk is awesome.

The children’s museum is smaller than some others that I have visited, but it’s full of great exhibits for the kids. They love it. Amanda has taken them there lots of times before, but they never seem to tire of it. They eagerly showed me all of their favorite places.

One of their favorite places was a little stage with curtains, scenery, and costumes. They put on some pretty great shows for us.

Here’s a video of Penny and Lucy dancing for us (and two bonuses: Amanda singing and Lucy saying “Princess”)

And no outing to Milwaukee would be complete without Kopp’s Frozen Custard. I tried to find the nearest location by putting “Kopp’s Ice Cream” in my phone and Google wouldn’t even accept it. Because frozen custard is not ice cream; it’s so much better. The flavor of the day was red raspberry, and we loved it.

Back in SLC

I’m back from what ended up being an extended stay in Wisconsin, and I already miss everyone there so much! Luckily I took lots and lots of pictures (which I haven’t even begun to sort through) and some videos to comfort me whenever I’m missing my nieces and nephew too much. I thought I’d share a few with you. These were made using the Film Director app so they look all old timey. Enjoy!

Wisconsin Bound

Just thought I’d let you know I’m headed away for the weekend. I’ll be chilling with these kids in Kenosha. I just can’t wait!! I hope y’all have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Visiting Kenosha (Part 3)

So what is there to do in Kenosha anyway? Well, there are tons of things to do in Kenosha! Other than visiting the Kenosha Public Museum, there’s a Civil War Museum, and a Dinosaur Museum. There is the beach! You can build sand castles on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are lots of cute little diners and ice cream shops. There’s a train that takes you around the town. There’s an awesome cemetery and some great parks. Visiting Kenosha is going to be so awesome…. in the summer. Don’t get me wrong. I still had a fabulous trip, but that was mostly because of hanging out with my family. I kept thinking how nice it would be to visit when everything is green and sunny. But we made the most of it. We took a tour of the Jelly Belly Warehouse.

And no trip to Wisconsin would be complete without some cheese. We got ours at the Mars Cheese Castle.

We got to sample all kinds of fancy cheeses. There was the 3-year-old cheddar, the 7-year-old cheddar, and the 9-year-old cheddar that was so sharp, I almost couldn’t swallow it. There was a fruit cheese and one with tomato and basil. Mmm… delicious.

One afternoon, we picked up some Popeye’s! I was so thrilled to eat my favorite chicken po’boy and fries. We don’t have that kind of yumminess in Utah (at least, not unless you’re at the air force base).

We did brave the windy cold one afternoon in an attempt to locate Amanda’s Christmas wreath that got caught up by the wind. Luckily, we found it camouflaged in the neighbor’s flowerbeds. Penny Lane showed me their new little cottage.

Meanwhile, Amanda fed the birds nesting in the pile of branches from the tree that fell down after the tornado back in June.

Even when it’s too cold to play outside, we did the next best thing. We played in the sunroom.

Although, it was still a little chilly in there.

It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset.