Matt and I both repeatedly say, "We are from Chicago, but Maryland is our home." We mean it. Our family is often incredulous when we say it, like it is some kind of blasphemy. It is the truth though.
THE TRIP REPORT
The flight out:
It was actually fine. We arrived at the airport 1 hour 45 minutes early for the flight. We were past security exactly 15 minutes after arrival.
Hmm… now what? McDonald's of course. A Sausage McMuffin for me and a Fruit & Yogurt Parfait (sans strawberries) for Grace. On the flight she never really cried, and fell asleep 1 hour into it and woke just before landing. My ride was actually waiting for me at the airport. All was well in my world.
The precursor to the tri was a trip to Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder. Not traditional Chicago fare by any means, but still our favorite.
Matt's mom, whom we haven't heard from since May, attended the event. (The lack of communication was due to her announcement that she would not be attending Grace's Baptism because she sprained her wrist 4 months earlier and it still hurt, therefore she could not endure the air travel.)
The highlight of the lunch was Matt's mom church voice singing and pantomiming the lyrics to the Chicago Bears fight song in the middle of the crowed restaurant, after her announcement that she would like Matt to take her to a game someday. Matt is a stoic individual who was able to maintain a straight face, but I did see at least one case of wine-being-shot-out-the-nose-because-of-stifled-laughter.
Matt finished the triathlon with a time of 3 hours 11 minutes and Jeanine did 3 hours 44 minutes. Matt was upset with his time, Jeanine was happy. I on the other hand, walked about 6 miles with a baby who refused to nap and a woman with a bad knee and glass in her heal. Matt says he is unhappy with how the event was run and will not participate again. I am glad.
We drove 8 hours- 4 up and 4 back- listening to Chipmunks CD's. Matt was playing the songs off You Tube tonight. We can't get them out of our heads & Grace baby dances to the most annoying one now.
To all the folks who say global warming is a government conspiracy, I might begin to believe you now. It was 40 degrees every morning up there and never got up past 82. Sure, it's north of Green Bay, but still, it's August!
We drank a lot and never really slept.
Matt is a very light sleeper, so he automatically went to the couch every night. While that means he didn't wake up with every squawk from Grace, even with Ambien he woke several times a night. I am a heavy sleeper and I don't think I ever slept more than 3 hours at a time. I often could only get Grace to sleep by draping her on my chest, with her feet kicking me in crotch and her head against my windpipe. It was lovely.
Despite those complaints, it was great to watch Gracie play with her cousins, Jack & Abby. It is always in those quite childhood moments that I am sad they don't get to spend more time together.
My parent's house is always the same. There is no plan. It drives me nuts.
Friday my mom watched Grace so we could go see The Dark Knight. I was thrilled.
On the way home I called to ask if she needed anything from the store for dinner that night before relatives arrived. She said no.
Five minutes after arriving at the house she announced that her plan was to go up the grocery store to buy bread AFTER company arrived so it would be fresh. I freaked and sent my brother to go
buy the buns and more beer.
Seeing my cousins was great though. My cousin Meg has kids
that are 1 & 2 years old. My cousins Gina & Kat are 17 & 15 years
old. It is always so surreal to see the changes in people when you are apart for extended periods of time.
I realized the night before flying home that I had no ID. Gracie's passport had been sent back with Matt in the car and my driver's license was (and still is) MIA. I had a mini meltdown and called the airline. They said it was OK, that I would just have to go through extra screening, so I should arrive early.
We got to the airport at 6:45 for a 9:25 am flight. (Making my brother 1/2 hour late for work.) Despite the extra screening, we were through security in the same 15 minutes as coming out.
2 1/2 hours with a kid at the airport. At least Midway is entertaining. We ate, we shopped, we listed to the guy with the thick Chicago accent (a la Blues Brothers) make announcements.
"The Cath-o-lick mass will we held in the Mezz-a-teen la-vel a-tree-um at 9 a.m. The mass la-asts one half of an hour. Thank You."
Then we got an the plane, where Gracie immediately fell asleep and woke to the sound of her daddy's voice greeting us at the baggage claim.
Ahh. We are home.