It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us with the traveling, catching up and resuming our daily craziness.  Jack isn’t quite back to his normal routine yet.  Just when I thought he was settling back in, the poor kid woke up with a stuffy nose.  No fever, just a clogged up nose.  With that stuffy nose, he almost sounds like his father when he snores!

Since I finally got around to doing 4 loads of laundry tonight, memories of our trip came flooding back.  We went to Wisconsin for Jeff’s (extended) family reunion, and what a time it was!  So, here’s my synopsis of our Midwest travels.
On the road again
Traveling with Jack this time around was much more seamless. The shorter flight, extra set of hands and morning departure worked out in our favor. The 2hr. car ride from Chicago to WI, however, not so seamless. I ended up having to hop in the backseat because Jack was in hysterics for half of the ride probably because he was so restrained all day long!  Lesson learned:  with small children in tow, direct flights are the way to go.
Once we finally made it to WI, we saw all the east coast family at the hotel and had fun hanging out and catching up.
Friday Night Fish Fry
The first night, we went out to dinner– Friday Night Fish Fry. From what I understand, this is a big thing in the Midwest. Not sure what other areas do it, but it’s pretty prevalent in this part of Wisconsin. This was my 2nd experience at Friday Night Fish Fry.  It’s exactly what it sounds like– the family gathering and enjoying a smorgasbord of fried fish and other goodness.
Later that night after we got the babies to sleep, all of the adult cousins got together at the “Uptown Bar.” We enjoyed the the $5.75 PITCHERS of beer. Jeff and I couldn’t get over the price difference. In Hoboken and moreso in NYC, often times, you can’t get a single drink under $6. Jeff was like a “pig in shit”  (As he likes to say.)  Beer for EVERYONE!

Saturday was the best day of the whole weekend. We all made it out to the family farm, where 2 of Jeff’s uncles still live. The farm was turned into acres and acres of wildlife refuge.The trails
Jeff’s uncle maintains the property and it is gorgeous! I can’t even begin to verbalize the beauty of the wide open spaces. We had a catered pig roast, lots of beer, wine and booze and plenty of ATV riding and exploring the property. All the kids–young and old–took turns riding the ATVs and getting a taste of life on the farm.  Because of location, we don’t get to see these relatives all that often, so it was such a wonderful day to spend with family. It was a great opportunity to introduce Jack to WI and a few new PA relatives. But to see Jeff channel his country boy side was quite the sight. He had so much fun riding those ATVs and doing what boys do.

Country boys...It was a well planned party and a much needed reunion. It’s so interesting to see how each sibling has lived their life and followed different paths, and then of course, seeing their children and grandchildren who are the products of those paths they’ve chosen. From the photos, you can tell that we’re from all different walks of life, but certainly bound by common denominators. Such is the beauty of family.

As they always say, family seems to get together for weddings and more weddings. I’m so glad this gathering had a much different motive –family togetherness– and one that I hope we all get to do again!

Chicago recap is next up!