Sunday, February 21, 2016

Another Trip to the "Happiest Place"

 I dropped Emmerson off at a birthday party at the "Lodge"; the Hyatt in the McDonald's corporate compound. My favorite aesthetic element is that almost all the art work in the Lodge has some sort of the "happiest place" worked into the creation. 

The lounge in the restaurant.

Table in the restaurant ready for a burger and fries. I was under the assumption that thy only sold McDonald's products in the restaurant but that is completely inaccurate. They have a regular Hyatt restaurant menu. It is at the Hamburger University cafeteria where they offer McDonald's products.

Selfie in the restaurant.

One of my favorites. Ronald pulling the pin. 

Not sure what city this is but you can see the arches in the background. 

And again, the arches in the background.

Woohoo - happy meal wedding time. 

February Fun in Chicagoland

What's wrong with this picture - other than taking a cat for a walk on a leash? It is February 19th and the girls are appropriately clad for the day! One of those bizarre temperature swings that Chicago has now and then. Perhaps the girls were a bit over-zealous with the attire - especially Emmerson sans shoes, but it was well into the 50's. And notice Ada is hovering a few inches off the ground - I meant to capture that precise moment. 

The girls enjoying Po and a break in the winter weather. 

Ada doing that pose. 

Selfie time ... seniors at school buy goofie backpacks to celebrate their final year. Most get tiny kids ones, the purpose of which, I think, is to demonstrate how little work they are doing as not much can be stuffed in to the kids size space. The senior in my geo class took it to this level. This is his backpack. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Old Chicago with Ada

I love going downtown with the girls. I have a monthly pass and they are free on the weekend so its an easy, cheap something to do on a Saturday. Not sure what Emmerson was up to this day but Ada and I went downtown for our regular hotdog place. We have added a stop at the Bloehmers Chocolate factory for a treat and it is a good day. 

 Outside our house selfie.

At the train station selfie.

On the train selfie.

Happy couple that Ada took a pic of.

Downtown selfie.

Outside the hotdog place selfie.

Inside the hotdog place selfie.

Not sure where this is selfie.

Ada outside the chocolate factory with her loot. 

Outside the chocolate factory selfie.

Ada on the bridge.

Not sure why I had Ada pose here .... 

Ada running across the bridge - she is kind of creeped out by being on bridges so she gets off of them as soon as she can. 

Ada in motion - cartwheels on the bridge.

Kittens like to lay claim to our bags.

Skiing with Emmerson!

So I am committed to get my kids on the slopes even though the slopes are rather non slopish. Yes, I have been spoiled growing up in the Northeast and being able to ski for free as skiing was a varsity sport at my school. And then traveling and skiing in places as far flung as the Japanese Alps - which are absolutely amazing.

But hey, I am here and there is a hill there so lets go slide down it.

3 years ago, Emmerson took her first skiing steps here at Wilmont Mt. in southeast Wisconsin. I got her a lesson with Bob the ski instructor and she responded fabulously. In the PM we skied together and it was a pleasant day.

This time around I figured Emmerson would be able to stimulate her medium term memory and recall the moves to enable her to get down the slope in a variety of snowplow turns. But not to be. She was a mess - falling all over the place and when I would get her going for a bit she would just get up to max speed and wipe out to keep form blasting into the lift pole.

I was frustrated as was she and we almost agreed to go and seek out Bob the instructor. But the next time down she managed a turn and then the next time recalled how to control the pizza wedge. And then the rest of the day was she and I cruising down the Blue trails.

Eventually we split up. And I skied like I ski and just doing that after years of not skiing completely trashed my back. But I had paid a decent amount of cash so even thought my back was screwed around noon - we continued on until a normal day of skiing is done - 4 pm. On the way home we checked out some of the lake and saw some solid ice fishing. Pretty interesting as they were still out on the ice even though it had wormed up to 40 degrees.

Good day over all. Planning to snowboard next time as Emerson is good enough now where I dont have to use my skiing skills to keep her corralled.

Yes, I am that Dad that has her wear her bike helmet rather than spending 15 dollars for a rental. Her max speed was bicycle speed so figured it would be alright. I broke both my arms at the same time in a ski crash and then slid to a stop on my head and was helmetless so I figure she'll be alright. 

Good view of her favorite hill.

After skiing we checked out the ice fishing scene and came across this cool rental. Slide it out on the lake on its skates, drill a few holes in the ice and huddle back in your little rental house. 

Ice fisher people off in the distance.

My super cool skiier girl with a Gatorade greenish blue mustache.

Visit to the Newberry Library

 Had a bit of a break in the routine with a Newberry seminar. Always a good time. The Newberry is an iconic building on the north side of Chicago proper. It was one of the only buildings to survive the Chicago fire as it was built out of stone. It was on some rich guys house but is now a premiere research library. They also host academic seminars which are available to teachers and which I take full advantage of.

Will keep this giant head selfie on the Blogger small option for photos. You can see the Newberry in the background. 

Impressive to think this was a private residence.

Alicia and the girls had a day off and Mom and Dad had a park distract event downtown so my three girls opted to go to the art institute with Grandma. Ada was very interested in this one from the Modern America Wing - really interested .. .. Grandma and mom explained the story behind the painting and she just nodded whilst staring at the painting. 

This is what Ada wants from the gift shop. She took a picture so she could show us around birthday time. 

And the price just to make sure we knew it was affordable. 

Christmas 2016!!

It's been a bit of a spell here and have not been keen to get at the blog. Due to a compressed year at New Trier in order to give maximum time for construction this summer, we have very few holiday. But I have an institute day tomorrow so do not have to prep for the day.

And Happy Valentines Day! Went out with Alicia last night. Will cook a V Day breakfast dinner for the family tonight. On Friday, I brought home flowers for Alicia and a rose each for the girls and a big ole bag of Garretts popcorn. I don't eat the stuff knowing if I had one singular kernel, the bag would be gone.

And here we go with some retro posts - first one is Christmas. We spent the time in Freeport.