23 July 2017

Garbage & Blondie at Ravinia

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It's been years since we've been to Ravina. The last time, we saw Lyle Lovett in the pavilion -- at least 8 years ago. The time before, Bebel Gilberto -- pre-children with my parents. I wish it didn't take so much time and effort, because it really is a fun thing to do. We met Bill & Lora at their house and drove together. We were able to park at a house nearby. Brian rigged a cooler on wheels (a skateboard), which we all laughed at, but actually worked out perfect. Once there, we met up with Chris & Penny. We even got to see our friend Jeff, who was in town from LA. So great. We dined on some pretty delicious fare and had a really nice time hanging out while listening to John Doe & Exene Cervenka, Garbage & Blondie. Seriously! What a line-up. Such an amazing night.

21 July 2017

Last Week in Moments

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Loaded up the car and took a road trip last Saturday. All six of us.

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Two P boys on the pitch. H is starting to play on C's Latino League for the summer. They both had a blast.

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It was a perfect summer day earlier this week, so we declared a beach day. Drove up to Harrington Beach State Park.

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Cat sitter extraordinaire. He absolutely loves hanging out with our neighbor cat Stella. Such a lucky girl.

15 July 2017

Dalton & All Things Amish

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This morning, we loaded up the car -- dogs and all -- with only a couple destinations in mind. Otherwise, we weren't sure where the day was going to take us. We drove through the beautiful Horicon Marsh.  Unfortunately, we didn't stop this time. It's a a different trip for a different time. A time when we get to spend a few hours there. Today, we wanted visit the Amish community in Dalton. We did this trip a few years ago, and decided it was time to go again. First stop, Salemville Cheesehouse where we picked up some blue cheese, smoked blue and 8-year cheddar. Next was Pleasant View Bakery. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomaches, and we ended up buying a ridiculous amount of baked goods. We also got some raspberries fresh off the horse-drawn wagon. Seriously, the woman was delivering them as we were there. And we picked up the last dozen farm fresh eggs that were selling for $2. Insane. Next, we stopped at Mishler's Country Store for some baking supplies and the pet store next door, where we got two amazing leather leashes for the pups. Such a fun road trip destination. Just remember to bring cash (or check)!

14 July 2017

Last Week in Moments

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Went to my parent's and made it out to the lake. So strange that we haven't been there yet. Here's the first fish of the season.

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This guy got bottom braces put on. And decided now was as good of a time as any to start eating his gummy pizza from Italy. Don't tell Dr. Nate!

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Meet Bo, my parent's new puppy! She's a little ball of fluff with a big belly right now, but will turn into something like this. So cute.

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While we were meeting Bo, we decided to do a little fishing at Sugar Island. There had been some crazy rain the night before, so everything in the area is flooded. Both caught a ton of little fish, and H even got a really nice sized Blue Gill.

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Summer mornings. Nice to see Gretel chilling out. She's been in hunt mode the last two days. Baby bunnies. One was a mass murder of a nest we didn't see. The others were separate incidents. She's so proud of herself but It's breaking my heart.

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Headed down to Bastille Days for lunch on Thursday. First stop ... escargot. The boys also had poutine, brown sugar & black pepper bacon, deep fried cookie dough bites, a crepe and strawberry beignets. It was a good day.

07 July 2017

Last Two Weeks in Moments

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ORD > AMS > FLR
So excited to get to celebrate my parent's 70th birthdays earlier this year with a vacation like this!

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First day. A little jet-lagged, but so excited to be here. Stepped outside the house and this was our view. Ridiculous!

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Totally roughing it.

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Gelato time! Unfortunately (or maybe, fortunately) our little town didn't have a gelato shop. As soon as we hit a larger town -- in this case, San Gimignano -- it was one of the first things we did. In fact, my scoop at Gelateria Dondoli might have been my second gelato of the day. Just saying.

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The streets of San Gimignano.

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Tour and wine tasting lunch at Tenuta Torciano Winery.

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Beach day at Baratti. Here we are getting granita.

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On top of a castle -- Torre del Candeliere in Massa Marittima.

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Rainy day in Siena. Between the city setting up for the horse races, and the rain, it's one town I wish we had an extra day to go back and visit. So beautiful.

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Firenze <3

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It doesn't even look real, does it? Such a great day in Florence. And yes, more gelato. How can you not?

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When in Pisa!

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Afternoon in Lucca.
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Cousins at La Pergola.

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Our view from the terrace. Nothing like eating a delicious pizza while watching an amazing sunset.

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The view of Radicondoli from Podera Paugnano. To the far left, you can see the house we stayed at as well. So amazing watching the sheep graze every day. Absolute heaven.

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The birthday kids with Chef Luana.

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La Gora in Bagno Vignoni. Tuscan thermal baths.

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Having fun in what was supposed to be a quick layover in Paris. Experienced quite the delay, but are home safe and sound now.

06 July 2017

Italy :: Day 10 (The End)

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Time to leave paradise. Just look at that view from our back yard. Here is the place we stayed, by the way -- Podere Ortone. Isn't it magnificent? We wished we would have had four more days -- another beach day, another visit to Sienna (without rain), another vineyard and another day to relax. Oh well. We left early in the morning for the airport where we had to have another piece of pizza. I'm not sure I need to have pizza for a long time. The flight to Paris went well. Once in Paris however, ugh. We were not supposed to have a long connection, but the flight ended up being delayed. The worst part though, was that we had to sit on the plane at the gate for over three hours due to a mechanical issue. It was hot and absolutely brutal. By the time we got home, it was after 1am. Long day. I'm still pinching myself though that we got to experience a vacation like this. It was truly special and we are just so lucky. Ciao Italia!