Sunday morning we got up and Grammy, Pops, E, M and I went to the Farmer's Market. We found all sorts of delicious treasures; peaches, whole wheat bread, fresh honey, lemonade, greens, peppers, and pea shoots. We danced to the live music, threw rocks in the creek and watched all the dogs going by. Grammy even rode in the far back of the van, which is saying something as she probably gets queasy just thinking about it.
|E "keeping track of M" at the Market. Be still my heart.|
|Helping Grammy pick out produce.|
We had some lunch and then did a house wide search for Patrick's wallet (which we did not find) before heading out to Mahoney State Park to meet the Collins crew.
The kids played at the park and rode ponies. We played Frisbee, ate snacks, took a walk, and enjoyed the company. I am beyond lucky to have married into this amazing family. My in-laws are kind, generous people who have treated me as their daughter/sister for over a decade! The boys love to see their Aunt Emily and play with their cousins and having Uncle Chris in town is a treat. And of course, they love spending time with Grandma Barb and Grandpa Levin. I definitely see some fun camping/travel adventures with their grandparents as they grow up.
Note: Patrick did find his wallet tucked into the swim bag which had been put in the carrier on top of the van. PHEW!
|At Mahoney State Park|
|Walking with Grandma and Grandpa|
|M wasn't so sure about the pony.|
|E loved them.|
|Big smiles on Sampson the pony.|
|Grandma Barb and Jonah staying in the shade|
|First full Collins photo with Jonah|
We said tearful "goodbyes" and headed back to Grammy and Pop's house to have bathes with Grammy and the little rubber frogs. Grammy sang "Three Green and Speckled Frogs" approximately 50 times complete with actions from the boys. The boys snuggled in to Daddy
The next morning Patrick loaded the van, demonstrating his prowess as a Tetris Master. We had a visit from a strange black dog, who Patrick returned to its grumpy owner and finished loading up. After more tears and pictures and "Bye Soons" we were on our way to "Necticut".
|Ready for adventure, complete with pillow, Baa Baa and Sneaky the Snake (not real)|
When E was a little guy, he started saying "Bye Soon". I think it stemmed from a book called "Tiny Little Fly" where he may have gotten some of the words mixed up. Our family has said it ever since. I'm sure most people look at us funny but it's one of those phrases that I love.
Our first leg was across Iowa, destination - Davenport. Approximately 355 miles and about 5 1/2 hours. All went smoothly. J (the littlest Collins) managed to fill up his britches twice but we were anticipating it as he had been holding out for over a week. Yikes. The boys had new "noculers" (5 year old for binoculars) and that was a great find! We stopped at a rest area for a quick picnic lunch and to feed Jonah. The boys used their binoculars to watch a tractor in a hay field for quite some time. The wind was blowing gales and keeping their paper lunch plates down was quite a feat.
|Loaded up with "Noculers"|
|Watching farm equipment at work|
And today, we trek towards Valparaso, IN to visit Patrick's aunt and uncle. We are very much looking forward to seeing them. Here's to smooth travels through Chicago on a slightly shorter day.