Took my yearly trip home to the Chicago 'burbs for my cousin's wedding and managed to both survive and have a good time. My family considers arguing loudly about nothing to be great sport and though they don't mean any harm it gets to be a bit stressful for me and my husband since neither of us is used to loud, constant bickering, especially at 6:30 am. But I do love my family and after a while it all just turns into so much background noise.
I was hoping to get 3 swims in at various locations around the city but that never happened. I started out early on Thurs. morning at the Wilmette beach and it was absolutely freezing. I'd decided not to bother hauling my wetsuit and I'd neglected to ask the water temp. before handing over my $6.50 to get on the beach so I was stuck trying to gut it out in the cold water. I lasted about 15 minutes then felt myself shaking while I was swimming and decided to call it quits. Even though it was really hot & humid I couldn't get warm again until I got home and had a nice long hot shower. So I did a lot of walking on the Evanston/Northwestern lakefront paths instead. I couldn't believe all the people out running midday in the horrible heat and humidity and I was trying to remember how I ever did it when I was younger. I have to give credit to people who train through that for a fall marathon, you really have to be determined. Or crazy.
Jonny and I took some walks after dark looking for fireflies but we barely saw any. I suspect all the mosquito spraying and lawn pesticides have done them in. It's a shame because it's one thing I really miss in the summer, for some reason we don't have them in Boulder.
I tried looking for Eric but had no luck. He was last spotted in areas near where a friend I always visit lives and my friend knew exactly where all the places were so he offered to drive around while I looked out the window. He even knew of some halfway house type places where he might be that I would never have found on my own but Eric was nowhere to be found. A very selfish part of me was relieved since I wasn't so sure I really wanted to see him in the state he's probably in but a bigger part of me was seriously disappointed. My friend said he'd look out for Eric if I send him a picture and if he happens to see him at least say hi to him for me and let him know I'm thinking of him. Yeah, big deal, I know that's hardly going to begin to turn his life around but it's all I can do for now.
My friend took us for a tour of Millennium Park and I'll be honest, I didn't care for it. The outdoor theater looks like an enormous butthole and I don't get the big steel 'bean' at all. But it was nice to see so many people downtown on a Saturday night. I remember when downtown used to turn into a ghost town over the weekend.
I got a lot of good family gossip at the wedding which is wasted on me since I live out of town but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I sat next to my most interesting relative, a younger cousin who, among other things, had to be rescued from a Russian prison by Hillary Clinton when he was in college. Unfortunately, a wedding where you're sitting at a table with your dad is not the place you can exactly share your most interesting stories.
Meeting up with the Chicago Tapir crew on Suday night after the wedding was fun and a nice break from the madness of my family. Even Jonny, who isn't terribly fond of socializing with complete strangers, said he had a great time.
The best part about coming home from vacation is picking the dogs up from the kennel. Both of them went crazy when they saw us and poor Lola couldn't stop barking. She had to tell us off for ditching her. When she got home she ran laps around the house and collapsed onto the floor, rolling on her back with her long legs in the air, so happy to be home. We took both dogs for their regular walk around Wonderland Lake so they could check their peemail and were greeted with a sign warning us that part of the Foothills Trail that branches off from Wonderland was closed due to an outbreak of Bubonic Plague in the prairie dog town that borders the trail. Yep, it's great to be home.