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Monday, July 25, 2011

St. Louey

After a fun weekend with the Baker's, we headed down to St. Louis Monday afternoon.  We had to stop and see Tim Wallace and his girlfriend Jill.  Tim is one of my best friends from high school.  I am so glad we stopped to see them.
As soon as we arrived, we freshened up and went over to another one of our classmates to have dinner.  Becka (Foley) Geitz and her husband Jeff hosted a great dinner party in their backyard.  There was a lot of eating, drinking, laughing and reminiscing.  Aimee and I had a great time and it was so nice to remember the old/good times!  After dinner we went back to Tim's place and ended the evening with some wii golf (I kicked Tim's ass) and a little facebook battling lol!
Tuesday Tim took the day off from work.  For breakfast we fueled up at a cool little diner down the street from them.  The Hash was delicious!  Later on we went to a Rock Fest at an outdoor amphitheater.  There were some good bands and some interesting acts.  All in all, I am glad that I went.  I was able to spend some more time with my man Tim, and some of his friends.  While we were at our concert, Aimee went with Jill and Becka to the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert.  The girls made homemade t-shirts and had an absolute blast!  It was a great day filled with lots of music and drink.
Wednesday morning we started packing up to head down to Ozark.  But before we left, both Tim and Jill came home for lunch.  We were able to visit for another couple hours, which was nice.  We took a couple snapshots on their balcony and then we were on our way towards my mom's place.
It is so awesome to have great friends to share our lives with, because that's what life is all about! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Morris

We arrived in Morris late friday evening after 6 hours in the car from Michigan.  We were very excited to see Jared, Candace, and Isaiah!  We unloaded the car, took a tour of their house, had a beer, visited a little and then called it a day.
Saturday morning we ate apple cinnamon rolls from a local bakery in town.  They were delicious!  After breakfast Aimee, Candace, and I took the dogs for a walk around Morris.  Candace showed us around downtown, and walked along the canal.  Morris is a very nice town, with very nice people.  Later in the afternoon we headed towards Chicago, which is only about an hour drive.  We first stopped at the Brookfield Zoo, and saw a lot of unique and beautiful animals.  The highlight was the gorillas showing off for the crowd, pounding their chests, smiling, and hanging upside down.  Isaiah got to pet some goats in the petting zoo section.  We enjoyed the zoo, hadn't been to one in a long time.  After the zoo, we headed to downtown Chicago.  Jared drove us around showing us some famous buildings and historic blocks.  We decided to eat dinner at Gino's East.  We had the best pizza that we have ever had, hands down!  It was sausage deep dish, which went well with summer ales :).  We stuffed ourselves at Gino's and then stopped by the United Center to get a few pics of Michael Jordan.  After that we headed back to Morris and ended our day.


What a Cutie


Watch Out Goats!!


Gorilla pounding chest


Sears Tower


Downtown on the River


Deep Dish at Gino's East



His Airness

Sunday we went to The Village Christian Church for sunday service.  They had a good message, and the music was fair...lol!  We enjoyed going to church with the Baker's and meeting their friends.  We talked with Nate for awhile afterwards and then went to lunch at Portillo's.  The Italian beef sandwich was sooo good.  We filled up on some good grub and then went back to the house and watched the USA women lose the World Cup :(.  Jared and I went to a local smoke shop and grabbed some cigars to take with us to a cookout that night.  We went over to some good friends of their's for steak, mashed potatoes and green beans.  That was some good home cookin!!  The boys smoked cigars on the back patio and enjoyed the fresh air.  We wrapped up there, and headed back for some drinks and cards. We played 31 and nerts.  Both were fun and everyone was laughing and having a good time!

Monday was our last day with the Baker's.  We drove out to Starved Rock Park west of town.  It is a very cool park with paths and trails leading down to a waterfall and pond.  The dogs had a blast chasing each other, getting wet and playing around.  It lightly rained on us the whole time and was a little foggy down in the canyon,  which made for a very unique and fun experience.  After getting soaked and hiking around we jumped back in the car and went to have lunch.  We ate at a little cafe in Morris, and had chicken salad sandwiches and pasta salad.  Everything was home made and very yummy!
We had such a good time with Jared, Candace, and Isaiah.  Can't wait to see them again!!





Friday, July 15, 2011

The Blue Grass State of Kentucky

Kentucky is a beautiful state.  The trees are big, grass is green, and the rolling hills are pretty.  On our way to Ft. Mitchell we took bak roads instead of zooming down the interstate.  The country side is very pretty. We saw quite a few Tobacco farms.  There were also a lot of Horse farms.  Throughout the drive we noticed that several barns had quilt patches painted on them.  They were pretty neat to see.










We stayed in Ft. Mitchell for a few days.  We visited with Aimee's cousins and ate the yummy Chilli in downtown Cincinnati, OH.


Ohio was our next stop... We visited with more of Aimee's cousin down around Columbus OH.  The landscape in OH was much flatter than that of Kentucky.  There was also more farm land and cattle.  Not much to say about OH, except we flew through it.


Awww.... Michigan

The weather is great here.  During the day the temp has been in the high 70's and at night it's in the low 60's.  Perfect for sleeping.

Tuesday we arrived at our friends house, the Wards and were excited to see them.  Frankie was thrilled to see Nala and Jack his two buddies.  He loved running around the neighborhood and playing.

That Wards took us to Coney Island resturant since we had never been there.  It was good food.  
Later that night the guys lit a fire in the Chiminea, we sat around visiting and had a few drinks.

The next day we all worked outside on the landscaping around the house.  We trimmed trees, cut trees down and cleaned out flower beds.  We uncovered rose bushes that had been covered up by over grown yucca's.  Once we were all finished we stepped back and what a difference it made.  It opened up the front of the house.  It looks great.

Kali and Marli were helpers throughout the process. They learned how to use a shovel, a hoe and even a saw.  They had a blast.  they also found a toad under the overgrown shrubs.

Later on Justin and Autumn took us to the Polish Village Cafe, a very authentic Polish resturant, which is in the basement of a house.  The home cooked food was amazing.  The company was even better!  We had cabbage & Dill Pickle soup, Pork chops, saurkrat, mashed potato's, green beans, Polachi's filled with potato's, cheese, and fruit, cabbage rolls, and lastly Fried Chicken liver with onions...YUM!!!  We will definitly be back again!

Thursday We went to Marine City on the St. Clair River.  The river separates the U.S with Canada.  We visited the Holy Cross church which has been there since the early 1800's.  Inside it was beautiful.  We ate some lunch on the river then went to a few antique stores.  It was a great afternoon.  Afterwards we hung out at home and enjoyed a quiet evening with friends.








Today we went to Yates Cider Farm.  In the Fall Yates makes Apple Cider.  It's really pretty there.  It's beside a creek that you can go down to wade in the clear crisp water.   Kali had fun feeding the goats while the rest of us enjoyed the homemade donuts.  



Kali  

Marli running

 Josh and Frankie



The Ward's

Next, off to Chicago to visit some family....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tennessee

Nashville is a beautiful city.  The Green rolling hills and the lush landscape is breath taking.  We have enjoyed our stay, and the two days of rain fall.  It was nice to see lightening and to hear the thunder booming.
Friday Josh and I took Frankie for a morning walk hoping to make it in between spouts of rain fall.  We made it about a mile and a half before it started pouring on us.  Needless to say we booked it to the hotel and were sopping wet by the time we got there.  It was actually pretty cool running in the rain. Frankie enjoyed it for sure.

Later that day we went to the movies and saw Transformers in 3D.  By far the best of the Transformer movies.

That night we met Casey and Haley Smith, and their friends for drinks.  We had a great time laughing and catching up.  Their friends are very welcoming to new folks.

Today we are driving through Kentucky on our way to Cincinnati.

We are having a Blast and enjoying the trip of a life time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Independence Day and Jack Daniel's

The 4th of July started out with some of our own fireworks.  All the boys headed out to the shooting range to blow off a little steam.  We shot .45 cal and 9mm pistols, AK-74 assault rifle, and a semi-auto 12 gauge shotgun with a 20 round clip!  I had an absolute blast shooting off a few rounds!  I felt like killin' some zombies, LOL!  Cole is a very good shot, he really impressed me with his confidence and accuracy on the range.

Cole firing off a few rounds


Ryan and Bruce laying down the law


This one really packed a punch!


Enough Said!

The afternoon was spent eating, drinking, hanging curtains, vegging out, and taking cat naps.  It was a very relaxing afternoon.  We waited out a rain storm in order to go to the Baron's baseball game.  The Birmingham Baron's were the farm club that Michael Jordan played for when he thought he was done with basketball.  The game was fun, even though the Baron's lost.  They had a good fireworks display after the game that highlighted the evening.  What a great day.....guns, beer, hot dogs, bbq, baseball, and fireworks...you can't be more American than that!  We are very thankful to be able to spend time with Ryan, Cole, Kim, Bruce, and Tina.  We had a great time in Alabama!

Good lookin crowd


Cole with a ball that a Baron's player threw to him


Happy Independence Day!


Tuesday we left Birmingham and headed north towards Huntsville.  We just hung out in our room that night and watched TV.  A big storm rolled in that evening and rained on us most of the night.  Great sleeping weather!

Wednesday we left Alabama in our rear view mirror and crossed into Tennessee.  Since we were so close, we HAD to drive to Lynchburg and visit our good friend Jack Daniel.  We took their free tour through the distillery.  What an experience.  We learned a lot about Jack himself, the distillery and surrounding area, and the process to making Tennessee whiskey.  We did not receive any free samples because the distillery lies in a dry county.  But, we did walk away with 2 bottles of Jack's finest!!  Cheers!

Hello to the Volunteer State


Inside the Visitor's Center


Jack was only 5 ft 2 in Tall


 Aimee at the Rickyard, where they burn Sugar Maple into charcoal


A barrel of charcoal, which they filter the whiskey to make it Mellow


Me and Jack


The safe that ended Jack's Life
(He kicked it, broke his toe, and eventually died from infection)

After visiting our old friend, we headed to Nashville.  We arrived here last night, and haven't done much since.  I think we might go downtown tonight and listen to some music.  It has been raining off and on much of the day.  We absolutely love the weather!  We miss rain sooooo much.  We are having a lazy day, just laying around, surfing the web, and catching up on phone calls and e-mails.  I could get used to this!