Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer Vacation, Part 2

After the hubbub of the wedding weekend, it was time to sit back and relax a little. 

We spent one night out in the country at Dave and Val's.  The highlight of this, for Johanna anyway, was getting to ride Becca's pony.  The daylight was too far gone for me to get a good picture of the event, but you may imagine the bliss. 
 One day, Tom, Katie, John and I took the kids to a place - like Chuck E. Cheese's - with games and play equipment and flashing lights and noise and plenty of chaos to go 'round.  John, William, Katie and I played a round of mini-golf.  Katie took the early lead, but fell off on the back nine, where John's masterful play took the day. 
 Another day we went to Moraine State Park for fishing and swimming and then went to Eat n' Park for dinner.  The food there is no great shakes, but it means we're in Beaver Falls.
 I call this one, "New Song: 2021." 
 One day the girls decided to give Aunt Katie and me a spa treatment.  Look how relaxed Aunt Katie is!
 After a lovely time in Pennsylvania, we headed on to Columbus, Ohio, John's old stomping grounds. 

On Saturday we went to the zoo with John's parents.  In the picture above, everyone is watching the polar bear swim around above us. 
 Here's Sam reading the map.  Whose idea was it to put the 5-year-old in charge of the map?
 Monday we were off again, this time headed to St. Louis for a quick overnight before Kansas City. 

We got there early enough to go up into the Gateway Arch.  You can see from the sign behind Micah's head that we were 630 feet up in the air. 

Personalities really came out when we reached the top.  William was first fine, then cautious, then pretty well freaked out.  Micah was eager, then happy, then bouncing off the walls for fun.  Johanna was uncertain, then cautious, then serious and very ready to go back down.  Sam was mildly interested, then bored. 

John and I handled it with admirable equanimity. 
So, we saw the arch and a little bit of St. Louis, then went to Steak n' Shake (we are deprived of such in Minnesota) for dinner, then to our hotel to swim and sleep.

Next day we were off to Kansas and you know all about that already.

It was good to go, good to come home.  We were thankful to sleep in our own beds again!  But even more thankful for a store of good memories from time spent with friends and family. 

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