Saturday, May 30, 2015

Missouri / Wisconsin Trip to See the Kids

[May 18 – 23, 2015] Monday through Saturday

We flew from Salt Lake to Kansas City Sunday evening. The flight was delayed a bit, so we arrived at 12:30 am. The hotel shuttle had stopped running, so we had to find a taxi. We finally got to bed at about 1:30 am.

Monday morning, we rented a car, and drove out to Jeff and Holly’s farm. Everything was so green and lush. Very beautiful. Jeff was at work, and Dani was at school when we arrived, but we still enjoyed seeing Holly, Dexter and Gary. Holly gave us the grand tour – lots of changes since we were last here in November.

We saw her garden spots, with lots of different kinds of vegetables and herbs. She introduced us to Tulip – the milk cow, the two calves, the kittens, and to the chickens and rooster. We were impressed with how the chickens came running when Holly stood at the fence and made a little sound with her mouth. The ducks apparently don’t like the light of day, so we didn’t get to see those.

In our getting ready to move, we had discovered a big garbage bag labeled, “Holly’s stuffed animals – do not discard!” It was full of Holly’s stuffed animals, and a Mr. Potatohead, so we vacuum packed all we could fit into a suitcase, and brought it with us. It was fun to watch Dexter and Gary see it “un-vacuum”, and then play with all of Holly’s old toys. They particularly liked the Mr. Potatohead!

In the afternoon, I stayed with Gary (napping) while Molly went with Holly and Dexter to pick up Dani at school. She was so cute when she got home – so grown up and pretty. She loved the stuffed animals, too. Jeff got home shortly after, so we got to visit with him as well. Such a cute, fun family.

On Tuesday, I got to use their riding mower to knock down all the weeds in the near pasture. (That’s me off in the distance, according to Molly.) In the afternoon, we all went to pick up Dani at school, and went to get some things at the Amish store south of Knob Noster.

On Wednesday morning, we made a quick visit before having to drive to the airport to fly out. We were glad to get there early enough to see Jeff before he left for work and to watch Holly milk the cow. It was raining, but Tulip had to be milked, so Holly and Molly donned boots and went out to the far pasture to retrieve her, and milk her. As it was raining, Molly had her hood on. She noticed Penelope (the cow with horns who isn’t as friendly to people as Tulip is) watching her with a not so friendly look. Molly mentioned her concern to Holly who told to her to take the hood off. She still made sure that Tulip was always between her and Penelope.

Molly got to do some (very little) of the milking, but reports that it was lots of fun, despite the mud and rain. There is something so peaceful and sweet about Holly’s farm. We played with the kids a while and then it was time to say good-bye. Dani asked Molly if we were coming back the next day. When Molly told her no, we had to leave, Dani held her tight and started to cry, which made Molly cry and Holly and Dexter. Gary was a bit indifferent. We had such a good time with them and it were very hard to leave.

On to Wisconsin. Another delayed flight. We sat in Kansas City airport for about an hour and a half. But we always enjoy our time together and didn’t mind. We got into Chicago O’Hare airport about 5:30, took a shuttle to the car rental and drove to Port Washington and Seth’s family. Since the freeway was packed with rush hour, we decided to just follow the surface streets with Google Maps navigating us. As we turned onto Euclid Avenue, I realized it was familiar – some years ago when we visited Emily in Madison, we’d come through Chicago, so I just figured it was because I had been there close to the airport before. But, as we turned a corner, I saw a sign out of the corner of my eye that looked familiar. I couldn’t look back right then, because I was in the intersection, but as I finished the turn, I saw the angel Moroni in the rear view mirror! How fun – we basically found the Chicago Temple by mistake, but it was sweet to see it.

We arrived at Seth and Shalana’s apartment at about 7:00. We hugged the kids and Shalana fixed us a yummy meal. Charlie and Seth geeked it out in the front room and Shalana and Molly laid on the bed and caught up on news.

Thursday morning Molly got to go with Shalana and Zoey to walk the boys to school. The boys had their Spring Concert that night and were looking forward to singing. In fact Riley sang us his songs and did the actions before school started. We were glad he did because he fell on the playground equipment at recess and had to be taken to the Dr. and then the hospital for 7 stitches. It was pretty bad. We were glad we were there to watch Gunner and Zoey while Seth and Shalana were with Riley. Molly walked Gunner and Zoey over to the school and recorded the performances so everyone could see it. We enjoyed seeing Gunner as a frog, with green gloves on his hands and feet and a cute mask that the girls made for him. We were sorry Riley got hurt and missed his performance and school the next day.

We also got to go on the final walk through that morning on their new house. Molly enjoyed following Zoey around as she rolled down the hill in the side yard etc. Then we drove around the quaint town of Port Washington. It’s a very nice house and will be just right for their family.
Friday, Molly walked Gunner to school while Seth and Shalana got ready to close on their house. After the closing, we (Seth, Zoey, and us) went on a “double date” to the Lyon Den Trail, a beautiful hike along the bluffs looking over Lake Michigan. Molly was impressed with how “big” the lake is. It looks more like an ocean. It was fun to watch Seth and Zoey interact. Zoey talked to everyone we passed and asked their names.

We had to leave early Saturday morning to catch our flight back home to Salt Lake. We took the toll road, thinking it would be quicker, and hoping we could use a credit card, since we hadn’t bothered to collect some change before we left Port Washington. As we got closer to the airport, we realized that the exits required change so we quickly added up what we had - $1.90. We saw an exit saying that would be exactly what we needed, so we exited there. Whew! We’ll have to be more careful next time. We were still a couple of miles away from the airport, but we made it on time. No delays this time, and we got home to a warm reception from Emily and Stacy at the Salt Lake airport. It was a fun trip.

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