A few weeks ago the Clan went to the United States, back to the area where I basically grew up and where most of my family still lives. The last time we visited was 7 years ago when Foo was just a wee speck.
It's a long trip, 9 hours but luckily a new direct route has opened from Helsinki to Chicago which made things somewhat easier. The older kids, experienced flyers, were champions, stuck on headphones and watched way too much telly. Pudding was a bit restless, but eventually fell asleep in her favourite place, on Daddy. On the way back they all slept most of the flight. Luckily, I was next to a screaming baby who wasn't my own, so barely slept.
We were only over for 2 weeks, but that was just about right. We were almost constantly on the go with family reunions and get-togethers, the 4th of July and just family activities to keep the kids busy. We went on a boat ride on the Mississippi, to a great Family Museum, to the Zoo, a family member's farm, a water park, fishing among other things. By the end, we were all just tired out.
We rented a lovely house on a river. There was a rope swing and a small dock to fish from. We spent a lot of time just sitting at the tree watching the pelicans and ducks on the river. The only problem was the mosquitos and biting gnats. There had been a lot of rain before we came and the river had flooded onto the lawn and then the temperatures stayed pretty cool while we were there, so it was prime mosquito season. Any time we tried to sit out in the evening, we were devoured, especially the Chief who seems to be especially tasty.
So here's a wee taste of our trip.
The 4th of July - we went to a street carnival and watched the fireworks in the evening. Kids were more into the glowsticks than watching the lights.
Bump was determined to have a go at the climbing wall, but chickened out in the end.
Dancing in the rain.
Watching the storm roll out and the water skiers.
Pelicans. The kids got obsessed bird and animal watching and we were in a great position to see some interesting sights.
Fishing from the dock at the cabin.
Foo loved 'reading' his books and explaining them to everyone.
On the river.
At the family museum, full of role playing areas that the kids just loved.
Spending lots of time with family. Mormor and Bump.
On the way out we stopped at the Field Museum in Chicago. The kids loved the dinosaur section, best we've ever been to.
Fishing. Mouse loved it, but he caught 9 fish in two days. No one else in the family caught a thing.
And sometimes it showed.
Pudding got to spend the morning with my aunt's elderly dog while we were fishing. Thankfully she was very tolerant. Pudding was in heaven.
Foo preferred his books to fishing.
The zoo train.
Flashback to the last time we were in the States.
Now and then.
Pudding and Mouse look so similar.
Running through the mosquito ridden prairie grasses.
Foo on the flumes.
We had a great trip and everything went as well as it could. So loads of fun was had by all. Thanks to all our family who came to see us, let us come see them, joined us on our days out and organised fun things for us to do. We love you and miss you all.