Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vacation 2010

This year was a little different, we did not have a "said vacation" this year. Typically Todd and I take two weeks off and do something as a family one of the week to just get away from Iowa City. This year as I said it was different. We had to replace our furnace the first week in December 2009 and we had to replace the central air unit July 2010. This was not the only reason why, Todd's job made some major changes this year and no one was to take time off at the beginning of this change which happened to be during the Summer. Todd worked for the Iowa City Emergency Communication Center (Dispatcher). Johnson County and Iowa City centers joined as one this past Summer. It was/is a huge change and for the most part will be a good one when everything is in place. This center is the first in Iowa to do this and it truly makes sense because every second counts when in an emergency event, No more transferring to the other center before responding to the emergency, just because the call was routed to the wrong center.

Due to these events we just had two family weekend vacations and Todd and I had three weekend vacations for ourselves, one to celebrate our anniversary.

Family Weekend Vacation #1
Wisconsin Dells

Since 2006, it is hard to get everyone of our children to go on vacation with us as a family. This is all part of them growing up and becoming responsible working adults. This year's first family vacation both Kera and Matthew were unable to attend. We had a good time and I think it was just what we needed with Emily. She seemed to re-bond with the boys and it was wonderful to see.

Poseidon's Rage (Large Wave Pool) I believe was the family's favorite

My family is towards the upper left waving.

Joshua and Noah after a water tube ride.

The plunge of death water slide above and below is Todd's run.

Emily and Noah after riding a water slide.

Right after Noah was told he is too short to drive the Go Kart.

Joshua starting his race.

Emily heading out of the starting block as well.

The race is on. Ethan is driving car 27.

It looks like the leader of this race is Todd.

Our Suite at Hotel Rome. We had 2 bedrooms, a living area, full kitchen, 2 baths, and a small patio.

We had a good time but we were also ready to come home, worn out and tired from all of the sun and the lines were so long. Several of us were lobsters, yours truly was the worst.

Family Weekend Vacation #2
Bettendorff, IA

I'm very fortunate that my Mother-in-law can get nice rooms for us at the Isle of Capri hotel in Bettendorff. Todd and I are so grateful to her when she does this. Most of the time it is a wonderful get away weekend for Todd and I. One weekend this Summer we planned on taking the kids with us, it ended up only being Ethan and Noah but it was a nice relaxing get away. We all went swimming and just hung out in the room. We brought the Wii for when Todd and I were on the Casino boat for a couple of hours the boys had something to do as well. After dinner the first night we all went for a walk along the Mississippi River to a little park.

Ethan and the bridge connecting Bettendorff, IA and Moline, IL

Noah and Ethan along the Mississippi River.

Some swans the boys were very interested in.

A couple of sculptures at the park along the Mississippi River.

Todd & My Weekend Vacation #1
Chicago, IL

Todd and I had some time for 'us' this Summer as well. Our first weekend get-away was to Chicago. We wanted to do something different so we surfed the Internet to find different attractions in Chicago. I came across a botanical center that happened to be giving away free tulip bulbs that day as well while they lasted. What a great combination I thought. He was into gardening so maybe he would enjoy this as well. So we set off to the Garfield Park Conservatory to enjoy. We ended up walking out with two bags full of tulip bulbs to plant this fall in our front yard. We were there for 3 hours enjoying the different types of palm trees, ferns, outdoor floors, exotic flowers and plants, and cactus. After 20 minutes being there Todd told me he was glad we came and he was enjoying this more then he thought. What a partner in life I have. He agreed to go somewhere and do something he did not think he was going to enjoy entirely, he was open minded and ended up enjoying it thoroughly. The rest of the weekend we just enjoyed different restaurants that only Chicago had to offer. Our first Chicago style pizza was delicious. Below are a few pictures that I took that weekend.

Todd & My Weekend Vacation #2
Bettendorff, IA

Every 3-4 months Todd and I have a weekend retreat to the Isle of Capri courtesy of his Mother. She has spoiled us with beautiful suites and dinner. I would say the majority of time we do not even step foot on to the boat and gamble. We end up taking movies along to watch on the lap top and a good book. It is nice just to have some quality quiet time and relaxation from our normal hussle bustle world. Our children keep us very busy with typical stages of their lives and we both work opposite time from one another these retreats are such a needed break as a couple. This time was our first to go for a walk along the Mississippi River. I had to bring my camera with us because the sun was starting to set and I wanted a picture of the bridge at sunset.

Todd & My Weekend Vacation #3
Chicago, IL

Todd and I took off to Chicago to celebrate our anniversary this year. We thought it would be nice to see the Field Museum again and plan time on the Navy Pier, one of our favorite places in Chicago. It's kind of like "Our Place" since our romantic dinner cruise on The Spirit of Chicago. The Field Museum was celebrating Sue's 10th Anniversary and had a robotic dinosaur display as well.

Navy Pier, Our favorite spot in Chicago, especially in the evening. We had a wonderful dinner at Riva and enjoyed strolling on the pier. This weekend vacation was my favorite. Next time we go to Chicago (weather permitting) I would love to see Millineium Park and some day see the "Tall Ships" exhibition at Navy Pier.

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