Well, we meant to post while we were in the States... but, obviously, that never happened. We were so busy we didn't even have time to see everyone we wanted to see or to do everything we wanted to do. It was a great trip, but I guess we have to stay longer next time.
So, what did we do in the good old USA? I can't think of a way to keep this short, so get comfortable...
The boys were fantastic the entire trip, on the plane, at people's homes, in restaurants, while shopping, at the hotel, and in the airports. They even did mostly okay with the time changes. We are so very lucky to have such great kiddos.
We took the boys to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch where they had a great time playing with the little pumpkins and an even better time in the bounce house. We let them eat a soft pretzel and shaved ice, they loved both.
Stonebriar Mall and played in the kids area at both Stonebriar and Willow Bend. They never wanted to leave.
HAD to go to Canton even though I couldn't buy much. For those of you unfamiliar with First Monday, it's the largest outdoor trade day (flea market/craft fair) in the World....at least that's what they claim. Anyhow, my brother Travis and his family joined us for the day. We stopped for some yummy BBQ on the way there (the boys liked it) and then ate our way through the market. We all had roasted corn, funnel cake, fresh squeezed lemonade, corny dogs, and kettle corn. Yummy!! I did end up buying a little Texas magnet for our fridge to remind me of my family there.
Another good friend had planned on making the boys their first birthday cake, but then we went and moved to Spain! So she made the boys monkey cupcakes while we were home and we had a nice "mini" celebration just a couple months late...
Our final weekend in town, I walked the Breast Cancer 3-Day with my brother Trevor and 4,000 other men and women. We walked 60 miles in just three days and the time went by so quickly. The weather was perfect during the day, but quite cold in camp at night. This year's route took us from Southfork Ranch in Plano (where the series "Dallas" was filmed) to SMU in Dallas and the crowds and cheering stations were simply amazing. Jaime brought the boys to see us during our lunch stop on Day 2, and then they came to closing ceremonies as well. Trevor's family, our brother Travis and his family, and several of my friends also attended closing ceremonies it was so nice to have everyone there. We plan to walk again in a few more years.
Mena's. We said good-bye to everyone that night and then started packing for Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin (via Chicago):
First, I won't mention how terrible American Airlines luggage policy is for domestic flights. Not to totally blame AA as I am sure most other airlines have the same unreasonable policies, and forget traveling with lap children!
"In America there are two classes of travel - first class, and with children." ~Robert Benchley
We barely made it to the DFW airport in time for our flight, so we got bumped to the next one since I still had to return the rental car. A few hours later, we arrived safely in Chicago and, after a crazy time figuring out how to get our rental car and then load it with all our belongings including the boys without leaving anything unattended, we drove up to Germantown, WI.
We checked in to the hotel and began our week long stay. We spent most of the time with my Grandpa "Papa" just hanging out, running errands, and visiting with family and friends. Papa enjoyed spending time with us and the boys... well, mostly the boys if truth be told. The boys enjoyed their time there as well and loved playing with Papa's cane and walker.
A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart." ~Author Unknown
There were several Wisconsin things I wanted to do while we were there, but, between the boys schedule and my grandpa's schedule and my need to buy everything from Target, we didn't do any of them. We did get to take the boys to see Santa Claus before we left and they didn't even cry. I think they preferred Santa's chair without him in it though...
Navy Pier and the free family night at the Children's Museum, walked up and down Michigan Avenue/The Magnificent Mile, saw the silver bean in Millennium Park, and admired the city from the 94th story of the John Hancock Observatory which included a view of the Sears Tower, the museum complex, the lakefront, Navy Pier, and the rest of Chicago. Of course Chicago is a really great town and you would need a least a week to begin to scratch the surface. I'm sure we'll be back.
Our flight back to Tenerife was mostly uneventful. The Madrid airport has a wonderful kid's "room" with a play area, a kitchen with high chairs, and a room with cribs for nap time, that made our 4 hour layover more pleasant than it could have been. Jaime's parents and brother met us at the airport with two cars to carry all our belongings back home. My MIL surprised us with many "upgrades" to our apartment and it was nice to be back in familiar territory with our own kitchen and our own beds.
"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang
Now we are back to our "normal" life and we are all trying to re-adjust to our new time zone again. Hopefully it won't take more than a week.