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Days 17 & 18: Photos!

June 21, 2013

Yesterday, Thursday, we left the greater Milwaukee area and drove to downtown Chicago.  We were meeting my friend, Andree, for dinner.  Andree is living there with her hubby as he finishes medical school.  Andree and I go way back and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.  Even though we just saw each other at our ten-year reunion last month, we can’t pass up the chance to get together.

We arrived in the city early, so we found a park right near where we would meet her and let the kiddos play.  School let out and the park was suddenly crowded and we realized that many of the kids were not used to such pale, blonde girls and Amelia got a lot more attention than she wanted.  All of my Spanish has been replaced by French, so I just told Amelia to keep saying no kindly…but it was kind of funny.  She handled it well, overall.

We decided to try and head over to Lincoln Park on the lake (Lake Michigan).  On our drive, we got to see quite a bit of the city – including a dead guy on the street, blocked off by police and paramedics!  We finally headed back to meet Andree for dinner, found our meeting place was randomly closed and decided to go back to the first park and grab some Chicago-style hot dogs for dinner.  It worked out quite nicely, really.

After it was time to say goodbye, we left the city and headed toward Indiana, where we’d be spending the night.  Two hours later we arrived at our stopping place for the night and we went from urban city to small town America – it was awesome!  We stayed at a house of – follow this carefully, now – the mom of an adopting mom from DRC that we got to meet when she traveled with her daughter to pick up her grandson.  She and her husband live in the parish of a church, but were out of state visiting family.  So, we got the house to ourselves and, while we really missed seeing them, a night to ourselves is also nice.  It also meant no wi-fi (though this morning I was able to pick up a neighbor’s signal for a few minutes) – which was also a nice excuse for a break.

This morning the kids woke extra early and we needed breakfast, so we went to downtown of the tiny town and ate at a local diner.  It was good home cooking and a nice treat.

We are doers and after breakfast, Matthew cleaned out gutters while I did laundry and dealt with two overtired kids.  An elderly neighbor saw Matthew working and asked if he could do his gutters, too.  So, off he went to work – it was nice to be able to something different for a morning.

It was finally time to go to our next stop and we got in the car to drive to just outside Indianapolis.  We spent the evening hanging out with our host family – they are in the process of adopting from DRC – and their two kiddos, each within a few weeks’ ages of our two, but opposite genders.  Now it is time for bed and tomorrow is a gathering with many adopting families!  Party!

And here are some pictures from the last week…many in reference to this post!

Father's Day drawing for daddy - completely unprompted!  Levi and Daddy can be seen swimming above the D and A...

Father’s Day drawing for daddy – completely unprompted! Levi and Daddy can be seen swimming above the D and A…

St. Louis through our dirty windshield

St. Louis through our dirty windshield

St. Louis wins the prize for weirdest monument placement...

St. Louis wins the prize for weirdest monument placement…

Levi in St. Louis - 18 months apart...

Levi in St. Louis – 18 months apart…

Levi and Amelia love to draw on their "doodle pads" and here is some of Levi's creativity...I labeled it just for you.

Levi and Amelia love to draw on their “doodle pads” and here is some of Levi’s creativity…I labeled it just for you.

The four of us and my cousin and his family in Milwaukee.

The four of us and my cousin and his family in Milwaukee.

My aunt Judy - we stayed with her - and my other cousin and her daughters (her husband was playing photographer).

My aunt Judy – we stayed with her – and my other cousin and her daughters (her husband was playing photographer).

Amelia shows off her strength at a park in Chicago.

Amelia shows off her strength at a park in Chicago.

Levi shows off his scooter skills...but there is a "hidden" pole under that slide...

Levi shows off his scooter skills…but there is a “hidden” pole under that slide…

And here he is 30 seconds later...bloody lip and a smile!@

And here he is 30 seconds later…bloody lip and a smile!@

My (Lisa's) dear friend, Andree, at the park in Chicago - where's Amelia?

My (Lisa’s) dear friend, Andree, at the park in Chicago – where’s Amelia?

Illinois, especially downtown Chicago, wins the highest gas prices on our travels thus far...even beating Alaska!

Illinois, especially downtown Chicago, wins the highest gas prices on our travels thus far…even beating Alaska!

Chicago skyline through our dirty windshield...

Chicago skyline through our dirty windshield…

Small town diner in Chesterton, IN that makes French toast robots.  Amelia already stole the leg before I could get the picture...

Small town diner in Chesterton, IN that makes French toast robots. Amelia already stole the leg before I could get the picture…

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