We flew from Jax to Chicago's Midway airport and arrived about 9am Thursday morning. We decided to spend the day in Chicago, since, in the 76 years of Morty's (Barry's Dad) life, he's never been to Chicago. Our first stop, of course, was Chinatown for a yummy dim sum breakfast. Then we decided to drive around downtown a bit and check out "the Bean" (one of my favorite spots in Chi-town), then go down Lake Shore Drive to the Field Museum (Chicago's Natural History Museum). We were there from about 11-5 and only got through the top floor of the Field's 3 floors of exhibits. They had an AMAZING exhibit on the history of the earth (from 4.5 BILLION years ago to today) that took up most of the day, but that's because Barry's a earth-science freak and had to read EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I walked ahead and sat a lot. ;) From there it was rush hour and I didn't feel like driving in Chicago's traffic, so we headed BACK to Chinatown for a YUMMY dinner at our favorite noodle house.
Before I go on, most people who read this blog know how much I LOVE my Grandpa. My Grandpa is probably my favorite person on this planet. (and yes, I'm including Barry). He's the kindest, gentlest man in the world who has more love in his heart for family than anyone I've ever met. Anyone that's met him can attest to this as well. :) If I could, I'd make sure that everyone I loved had the chance to meet him and experience his huge leprechaun smile.
Across the bridge, looking back
Inside, looking up.
Everyday, at noon and 5:00pm, the "sails" of the museum open and close. This is a mid-way shot.
After the museum closed, we had dinner at a great German place called Maders, and then picked up my dad and headed back to my Grandpa's house.
On to the Big Day! Grandpa's ACTUAL birthday was Monday, the 31st, but we celebrated on Saturday. People started trickling in about 10:45am and staying until about midnight. There was fun, games, lots of laughter, and LOTS of beer. It also ended up being one of the coldest days in the month of August for the area. I don't think it hit close to 70 the whole day. So, by 5 or so, the bonfire was lit and the bags of marshmallows were ravaged. :) I didn't get as many pictures as I probably should have, but here's a few:
The Cake (Courtesy of Lovin' Oven Cakery)
The Backyard (AKA Party Central)
The Booze (no, I did not partake)
My Dad, Cousin Stephanie ("Stevie") and Father In Law, Morty
The Bonfire (after it's died down quite a bit)
Mama Irene and Dad (Mama was my Grandma's best friend since like the '40s)
Aunt Karene (Grandpa's youngest) and The Man Himself
Cousin Robbie and his niece Neveah (and she's a DOLL!)
Uncle Harry, making his grand entrance, riding an Ice Cream truck down the driveway. It's becoming a tradition for him to hi-jack one each year :)
It was a great trip that went by way too quickly. Happy Birthday, Grandpa!