Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vacation Week!

It's been a lovely week of vacation, plus or minus a few minor mishaps... the week started off sloooooowly, and while hubby and the children had no problem with doing nothing, it was driving me CRAZY.
Grace had her Lifest trip to look forward to (and all she wanted to do was hang with her friends anyway...) and Jacob was more than happy to while away hour after mindless hour playing Super Smash Brothers: alone, with friends, with different friends, till late into the nght if we let him. Eventually it got to be near impossible to get him off the dang thing, and he got downright snarly after being pried from the thing, his little fists cramped into claws around the controllers... so the computer's now locked (for the same reason) and the Wii is put away, only to come out when guests arrive (and only if they actually want to play the thing-- since of course Jacob might force them, addict that he's become) or when the first snow falls. Frightening to see you kid become a slave to something, and not so fun to deal with the horrific withdrawal they have.
It's been 2 days, and he's finally finding other things to do without moping and wailing, sigh!

Monday I had to wait for Maggie to get released from the vet; Tuesday we just sort of hung out and went tubing with the kids later in the evening (even Grace cracked a smile-- a gigantic, wet one... which was the biggest smile I've seen on her face in looooooong time).
Jacob started out with the boat going as slooooow as possible, puttering around the lake like it was the slow boat to China, but after seeing his sister get whipped around he finally got brave and let us kick up the speed a few knots.
Good, good times!

Wednesday was spent primarily getting Grace ready for her trip, yawn! I'm just hoping that she remembers who she is this week, and comes home with a different heart.

Thursday was fantastic; we put the bikes on the car and zoomed up to Milwaukee. On our pit stop up at Wheel and Sprocket I almost make a gigantic impulse buy; a shiny new bike I don't really need but completely wanted:
A Townie Commuter
ooooooooooooooooo... ain't she purty:-)

But at almost $600, and almost exactly like the bike I already own (except mine isn't candy apple red, doesn't have color matching fenders or a bike generated light, oh, and the step through, foot forward design is fantastic...) I couldn't justify the purchase, boo.
Sooo practical, and completely no fun, that's me! But when I got to thinking about how much the pretty bike would get dinged up from the bike rack, etc, I couldn't do it. So really, I let the bike go out of consideration for the BIKE, awwwwww. And so true to my cheap self, I think I'd like to find a vintage step thru off Craigslist and fix er up, something simple yet cool for the trails at home.
After a sushi lunch at Whole Foods (which wasn't so great, btw), we parked at Bradford Beach and rode the trails south-- gorgeous! We made a few scenic stops along the way, checking out the new Children's Museum and the Dennis Sullivan (tall ship).
Somehow we ended up in the 3rd Ward, which is just as lovely as I've heard it was: awash in culture, cool restaurants, and fantastic shops... while we were trying to orient ourselves, a very nice bike cop stopped and gave Jacob a free sundae certificate for wearing his helmet, and told us how to get to Bastilles Day without getting ourselves killed (he told us we could ride on the sidewalks to avoid certain death, praise sweet Jesus... he said it wasn't kosher per se, but better than getting flattened by the crazy Milwaukee traffic). Bastilles day was nearly empty, so we got to take full, unfettered advantage of all the offerings minus the crazy crowds. Jacob did some goofy activity and got the photos to prove it:
that kid does a great "running" simulation
He also got to try out the Wii fit, which was silly (and I'm not sure worth the $100 price tag...), and then the dude won a prize for climbing a silk rope a la Cirque Du Soleil... the performer asked for volunteers, and since my guy is completely shy and didn't get the lady's attention, he took it upon himself to mosey under the performer's barricade and climb her rope while she wasn't looking (after all the other kids gave it a go).
It was surprising, yet very exciting to see him being so bold!
He won $3 in "Bastilles Bucks" which he spent on a rosewater lemonade from Aladdin, where we got the BEST EVER chicken plate with garbanzo beans and rice, crazy good! We'll have to figure out where it is and go back for more...
We got utterly lost on the bike ride back to the car, and ended up cruising down a gigantic hill at breakneck speed, hoping to make it back before the storm began. And here's me, having heart failure thinking Jacob was going to lose his balance down the hill and go speeding into traffic.... but he did great.
We got the bikes on the car, pointed ourselves in the right direction (which was harder than it sounds...), upon which time the skies opened up and it POURED, the whole way home.
Yesterday it took a while to get going, mostly because it stormed all morning, and because Jacob was enjoying his lethargy a leeeetle bit too much... getting him motivated was pretty painful for all of us, but when we finally we got a break in the clouds we threw the bikes on the car and headed towards Racine for our last bike trip.
For the most part the trip wasn't too exciting: we got lunch at Shogun, where we were treated to a really cool show by the hibachi chef. The salad dressing was tasty (like a wasabi/rice viniagrette), and the food was pretty good (it was also incredibly $$$ for a little lunch snack, so we probably won't head out there again any time soon).
We checked out the new art installation, the "orbs" or some such thing, got some gelato and then headed back on the new leg of the bike trail, north past the zoo. It was super hilly but scenic, and well worth the huffing and puffing... but we had to head back so we could shop for Jacob's last minute birthday party and pick up his birthday present: a unicycle (cool!).
SO here I am, trying to simultaneously bake/create a cake for the little dude. I have no idea exactly what I'm going to do... I know he wants something that will erupt and/or light on fire... with a request not to replicate the awesome exploding volcano cake from a few years ago (it was pretty kick ass...) while also filling up water balloons, planning an obstacle course, the menu, and doing a couple loads of laundry (and blogging...), whew! Here's to hoping we can pull it off:-)
I think eventually, tho, I need to put some clothes on-- guests are arriving soon, ack!

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