Monday, September 10, 2018

Family time in Illinois and Indiana with a wedding

After the great time we had with Faye and Dave at Coralville, IA we made our way to Paul Wolf Campground at the Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin, IL. We spent a few days visiting Heather, Paul and grandson Aiden. We enjoyed a quick visit of about 3-4 days before heading to Indiana to see Sommer, Todd, Caden and Ryleigh.

 Paul fixed a delicious  meal on the grill our first night there. 

Aiden had a Tootsie Pop for desert

A couple night later we had them out to the campground for dinner and Aiden wanted to spend the night with Grandpa and Me Maw so he brought his pajamas. There Peeka Choo jammies.

He didn't wear them all night with the warm weather at the time. He, of course, had to be a little silly.

Good thing we now have a king bed. He slept with us. He tends to move around a lot. But all worked out fine. I think we all got a decent night sleep. Sorta.

One evening we went to his favorite restaurant called 2 Toots. The restaurant has a train theme which is exactly what Aiden loves. TRAINS....

The food is brought out on a miniature train set that is set up next to each table and runs around the whole restaurant. Aiden was in heaven.

Aiden on the mechanical horse

We had a wonderful time visiting and we had plans to return in a about a week later to babysit Aiden while Mom and Dad attended a friends wedding.

Then it was off to Elkhart, IN to see Sommer, Todd, Caden and Ryleigh. We have 4 August birthdays in the family and every year Sommer has a party with mostly Todd's family. Ryleigh being the youngest in her family she gets a lot of attention from the in laws. Todd's mom, sisters and cousins were there. Mason, his son and his girlfriend McKenna and cousins of Ryleigh's that are close in age.

We missed last years party since we were traveling out east. Since last year, Sommer and Todd put a beautiful above ground pool in, a fenced in yard and a deck part way around the pool. Perfect for a party. The carpenter doing the deck got it done just in time. Everyone had a great time with delicious food and beverage.

Like the great blogger I am I didn't get any photos. I can just say the party was a huge success.

After all the festivities and everyone left, I enjoyed my birthday with a cake. 

Then it was time to head back to Illinois to babysit and see Aiden off to school. Aiden is 5 years old and was starting his first day in Kindergarten and how could we miss that. Aiden was so happy and proud to be able to ride the bus to school.

The sign says Aiden's first day of Kindergarten and some additional dates and info to remember the day

Proud Mom and Dad

Proud Grandpa and Grandma

The bus stop is right across the street on the corner

Dad giving Aiden some encouragement

He's ready

There he goes

And he's off

Since we're staying at their home, Aiden was able to ride the bus home with some new friends. Come to find out a boy in his class lives a bout 4 doors down from them and they didn't know it. They are quickly becoming best friends.

At the end of the week it was time for Mom and Dad to go to the wedding and spend a couple days enjoying some couples time.

Well, like I said, Aiden likes trains so we took the Metra downtown Chicago and took a River taxi ride to Navy Pier. Of course this was the same weekend as the Air and Water Show too. The place was a mad house but we did get to have lunch and see a couple planes fly over. It was a quick trip but so worth it. Aiden really had a good time and knows everything about trains.

Snacks on the train

Kayakers on the river

Tall buildings

Navy Pier

The Ferris Wheel...didn't have time to ride

Selfie in the mirror ball

The planes

The boats

The bridges

We made it back to Union Station just in time to catch the train back home and relaxed. Aiden had no problem going to sleep that night.  We didn't either.

Paul and Heather got back and we had a final meal of Sloppy Joe's from a family recipe of Paul's. I made sure to take a photo of the recipe for future dinners.

Well then it was back to Sommer and Todd's house to spend some time with the older grandkids, Caden and Ryleigh.

I got my smoker out one day and did some ribs. They turned out pretty good. 

We enjoyed our last days at their house with some pool time and taking the grandkids out for dinner.

The weekend after we got back to Sommer's house, Heather, Paul and Aiden came to enjoy the pool too. Aiden has been taking swimming lessons and with his floaties on his arms he was having a ball. 

He is really getting used to the water and not afraid to jump in and go under. Ryleigh was a great older cousin helping Aiden jump in and splash everyone. Unfortunately, Glenda had shingles so she didn't get in the water but still enjoyed watching everyone have fun.

Aiden and his mom getting wet

Finally got a family photo

We only wish we could get all the grandkids together but Jasmyne is in Nevada now and Brooklyne is in Georgia. It will happen some day. So happy to have Facebook and the blog so everyone one can stay in touch.

After the time spent in Illinois and Indiana with family it was time to move a little further west to have one more issue with the motorhome looked at in Bartlett, IL. We started having issues with the indicator displays on the One Place and Power Control Panel where we can look at the tanks capacity, battery, water pump and water heater. Also the Power Control panel gives us info on what power source we are on, amperage being used and voltage coming in. All those displays were going hay wire. We got an appointment at a Winnebago dealer service center and they were able to diagnose the problem right away as an antenna lead wire was touching up against the circuit board and shorting it out. They secured that and tested the unit and all is working so far. Fingers crossed. So many issues with a new motorhome makes you wonder how they put them together.

Forgot to mention, we got one last day in at Sommer and Todd's pool and even Glenda got into the action before we headed west for our appointment.

So now it was time to head a little further west to Oregon. No not the state....the town of Oregon in Illinois. We stopped at Lowden SP to attend our nephews wedding. Logan and Amanda were having their wedding at Camp Kupugani in Leaf River, IL. Logan is my brothers oldest son. Parker, the younger brother was the best man. It's an outdoor venue near where Amanda's family used to camp when she was younger. The Bride and Groom looked wonderful and all our kids were in attendance. Chris and his fiancée, Kendra, came from AZ, Todd and Sommer came over from IN and Paul and Heather came from their home.

The wedding was fun, lighthearted and celebratory. They had the wedding in a open field area and the dinner and reception in a couple of building on the grounds.

Mr. and Mrs. Logan and Amanda Lowry

Kids with spouses and fiancée 

The cousins together...Sommer, Parker, Logan, Chris and Heather

What a cool ending to our visit to the Midwest to see family. Next year we'll be attending another wedding since Chris proposed to Kendra a few weeks ago. Looking forward to another daughter in the family. Love our family time.

So that brings us to where we are now. Comlara County Park in Hudson, IL. We have a few days to visit with my brother, Kent and girlfriend Nancy and have dinner with friends we have known forever in Bloomington/Normal, IL.

Next stop is Ray Behrens COE near Monroe City, MO. Meeting up with the Wandering Camels, Faye and Dave Malouf again and travel back west. Oh the fun times to come.....We've got some great places to see on the way back so hopefully I can keep up and share as we travel along. I hope you'll stay tuned.


  1. Sorry it took me a few days to read this but lack of signal prevented earlier reading. Bummer about the shingles but so glad you've had a great time with all the family. Good thing you got the bus fixed, we'll be needing the generator in a few weeks. Looking forward to our adventures over the next few weeks.

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