Me, Dan and Will drove to the Dune Park train station to ride into Chicago in the morning. We met Sheena and Doug on the train, which they barely made after missing two other stops before Dune Park. Will had never been to Chicago. We got off at 56th street and walked to the Museum of Science and Industry, which we wandered until it was our time to go see the Harry Potter exhibition that was there. While waiting to be let in, there was a lady asking trivia questions, of which I knew all but one…yay for showing off my geekiness. The they let us into the exhibition area. It was very very cool. They had so many props and costumes and things and it was so amazing to see all the details that the designers put into everything. I think we spent about an hour there, but I could have stayed much longer.
After leaving the museum, we got back on the train to get to Millenium Station, then walked down Michigan street to the Cheesecake Factory. The wait was not bad at all, and we were starving. Dan ate a massive burrito, and Will demolished a large portion of pasta. We also got some cheesecake, mmm.
We left the Cheesecake Factory and did a bit of shopping, then hopped on a bus to go to the Sear’s Tower. We were excited to go up, as none of the guys had ever been, but when we got into the lobby, they were telling everyone that it was a 2.5 hour wait to get to the top, and we were worried about missing our train out, so we walked to Millenium Park instead. It was very packed, since it was a hot day. There were tons of kids and grown-ups hanging out at the sculpture that squirts water. We saw a wedding party getting photographed by the “bean” sculpture and it made us thankful that we didn’t have as hot of weather for our wedding. 🙂
The same group from the day before drove to the beach in St. Joseph. We went to a smaller beach, on the north side of the pier which was much less crowded. It was in the 90’s again, and a perfect beach day. Lake Michigan was supposedly 73 degrees, but it felt a lot colder. We all managed to suck it up though, and it was very nice getting to swim before leaving the area. It was also relatively breezy, so Sheena got out her stunt kite and we all took turns flying it. I crashed it multiple times, as I could never figure out the timing to make it spin. Toward the end of the afternoon, the clouds started coming in, and we saw that there were some storms coming in on the radar. We packed up and drove to the other side of the pier to this pizza place, and got a table a little bit before it started to rain. There was a pretty decent storm while we ate, and it was fun to watch. We were very glad we didn’t get stuck out in it.
Dan had been told that we were going to Albuquerque on the 6th, Longview, WA on the 7th, and then on the 13th we were finally told to head to Clovis, NM. So we packed up on the 14th, and drove up to Grand Rapids to spend some time with family before heading west. Saturday afternoon Dan put his new exhaust kit onto his truck, and I helped my dad cut down tree branches and haul them to Grandpa’s. Since the 16th was our anniversary, we went out to a restaurant downtown called Leo’s that night. It was very very good. I highly recommend to anyone looking for a fancy seafood restaurant. Dan got seafood jambalaya, and I got bouillabaisse, which is a French shellfish stew and had lobster, crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, and fish in a tomato-saffron broth. It was kinda messy, since I had to get the shells off the crab and lobster, but very very delicious. I wish I could go to a fancy restaurant more often, but I suppose the allure would wear off. After dinner we went to our hotel, Hyatt Place by Metro Hospital, which was also very nice. Super comfy bed, and a nice couch and tv.
We went to Millbrook for church, and then had lunch with Dan’s family. After that we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s for an open house so that we could celebrate our anniversary as well as see as much family as possible before heading west for possibly a year. Who knows, we could get sent east again after this job…
The rest of the week we did different errands and such including cleaning my car, getting new tires for it and taking Harley to the vet (sadly, she was found to have kidney failure and died on Wednesday night). Then got packed up to head out on Thursday. We drove through to Lincoln, NE and stayed there Thursday night. Dan’s Aunt and Uncle (Colette and Terry) and his grandma were headed out to Colorado Springs too, so we met for breakfast at McDonalds in Lincoln, then got on the road. We made it to Dan’s other Uncle and Aunt’s (Jason & Gina) in the early evening, and unloaded our overnight stuff. As a big group we went to dinner and then came back and talked for a while.
Dan’s relatives had an event called “Buddy Walk” which was a walk to raise money for an organization that Jason and Gina work with due to their one son having down syndrome. We thought about helping, but Dan wanted me to see Pike’s Peak, so we decided to do that instead. We took the Civic up the mountain, and did a good job of keeping the car and the brakes from overheating. I made Dan drive, as some of the road scared me. The view at the top was awesome. It was a pretty clear day, so we could see all of Colorado Springs below and lots of other mountains around. The temperature wasn’t too bad either, only 58, not the 43 that we saw online. We looked our fill, then headed back to Jason and Gina’s, where we arrive just after they did. We all got our swimsuits and headed to the pool in their housing development. It was a great temperature and we spent a few hours swimming and talking and playing catch with some mini footballs. Then we headed back to the house and grilled. After dinner we took turns showing pictures off each others cameras by plugging them into their tv. It was nice getting to show off some places we’ve been, and see where everyone else had visited too.
On Sunday we loaded up again, and headed south to New Mexico. For several hours we had mountains to the west and flat or small hills to the east, then most everything flattened out. We caught up with a nice rainstorm, and since the land was so flat, we could see the rain falling and some good lightning around. We got in to Clovis in the evening, and headed to the hotel that Will had found which has decent weekly rates. The manager showed us a couple rooms, and then ended up putting us into a different room which we hadn’t seen, and it was missing the mini-fridge, microwave and had a tv that looked ready to fall off the wall. So they start working on trying to find appliances for us, and we headed to get some food at Chili’s. We got back and were ready to crash, but the guy was still working with the tv, so we had to wait. I was not very happy with the hotel at that time, though now that it’s been more than a day, it’s not so bad. We have a king sized bed, and free internet.
Dan came home from his first day of work talking about how unorganized the job is here. It’s another cheese plant that is expanding. Apparently there are way too many guys with not enough parts or things to do. We really hope that the Washington job will be ready soon, so that we can get out of here and get more settled up there. Still crossing fingers that we don’t get stuck here too long or end up being sent somewhere else.
So that’s what’s been up with us…I should have updated a while ago, but I forget about this site at times.