Monday, July 14, 2008

Our Whirlwind Tour of the Midwest - 1

This was such a great vacation. Hans is all about power packing our trips so that we can maximize our time. He Googlemaps the major stops (although we should probably get some better maps to deal with unplanned detours), prepays for every hotel and call in advance so that our friends and family know we are coming. This vacation was just a well thought out as the rest. Our 1st stop was Michigan to visit our dear friends, Rebecca & Michael Miller. We met them in France and to this day I swear Rebecca saved my life, my mind and soul during our stay in France. I couldn't have survived without Rebecca's refined femininity, Christlike kindness, and genuine sincerity. Michael is a hoot to say the least. The night we stayed with them we talked until the wee hours, just like we had done in France. We're so happy that he found a job that utilizes his many talents in philosophy, economic development, business, and humor (he works at the Acton Institute, a think-tank promoting Religion and Liberty). It was a perfect way to start our vacation.
Our next stop was Canada, to visit Jon and Jeanette McEachran. Jon and Hans were best friends in high school and have kept in touch pretty well through a group they formed called the BC (that's a whole separate post, but it would have to be encrypted since this blog is open to the public). Jon and Jeanette have built a wonderful life in Sarnia (a border town NE of Detroit). He is bishop of the local church ward and is busy building a warehousing and rail car-switching business to help the local chemical companies).
We had never been to Canada until this trip and were worried about culture shock :). In fact, Jon was able to translate for us and introduced us to the local exotic delicacy, "chips" which are actually "freedom fries" in Yankee country, but they are sprinkled (or sprayed, with a small hose - not kidding) with vinegar.
Conrad in Canada.
The bridge in the background links the US and Canada and was defaced by Riley, who could not "hold it" as we were ever-so-slowly advancing to the border crossing.

Amelia, Aunt Hannah & Conrad at a 4th of July BBQ
(What the heck are they looking at?)

Grandpa Allspach (97) with the boys.

Riley & Conrad in their new Cincinnati Reds ball caps.

Hans & Amelia.
(Yes Hans is wearing a pinky-peach tie)

I don't know why, but Riley really really loves playing chess, so on our Sunday visit with Grandpa the boys had a nice little scrimmage.

Hans' aunt Louis lives Trenton, Ohio and this... is her driveway.

Amelia looks so lady-like holding her skirt.
She's actually just trying to squish ants with her pink jellys.

Riley found a goose feather
(One might be thinking, is that sanitary? He's good at washing his hands & taking his vitamins. I pick my battles.)

Conrad, Conrad, Conrad...
(I know, no shoes at a barn, ie: tetanus. He's current on his vaccines. I pick my battles.)


Karen said...

Good to have you back. (blogging that is :) I just marvel every time I see pictures of your kids. They are absolutely beautiful!!! Looks like a fun trip!

Stacie Morris said...

Monica, I can't seem to get over just how big Conrad is getting. When you guys left he was still this little boy and now he's one of the big kids.

By the way Hans, you can totally pull off your peachy/pink tie! Not kidding!

Farnsworth Family said...

What a fun trip...and I bet all of Hans pre-planning makes it so much less stressful.

Shalee said...

monica...i love reading your are sooo funny!