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Back from the land of poisonous nuts

For those who aren't a native Buckeye like me...Ohio's nickname comes from the tree species Aesculus glabra--the Ohio/American Buckeye. A spring-flowering tree that produces spiked capsules with poisonous nuts on the inside. They resemble the eye of a buck deer. In my homeland, we dry them out, string them in necklaces, and wear them to large gatherings of people...usually while wearing scarlet. 

The Mama had some business in my birth state so the kids and I joined her for a few days of dual-purpose travel. We had a great time though I can't speak to the work-related aspects of it for her. We went to the zoo and saw a baby gorilla, the kids played with my old toys in ways I never would have, and they got plenty of time to see Grandma. My dad was on a business trip of his own, but we at least got a brief evening with my sister and her mom. 

The kids have new obsessions to be curious about...the wind farm we drive through along I-65, my mother's Swiss cuckoo clock, baby penguins, the word "habitat" that my son has picked up from somewhere, and their discovery of Fruit Loops cereal at the hotel. 

We switched my daughter's carseat around to forward-facing just before we left and it may have helped...a little. My son was actually a great road trip companion...his sister, not so much. It had been quite awhile since we went anywhere with them so we had no clue how they'd react to 6 hours in the car. They love the trucks. Not as big on snacking as we would have suspected. Nor toys. 

At the hotel, I shared a bed with Little Dude. He's all elbows and kicking and rolling around followed by trying to cozy up to you. Not a snuggle, per se. He doesn't want arms wrapped. It's more of a lean--he wants to be firmly right next to you at all times. But mostly because he's used to sleeping next to a wall. They got to watch lots of shows they never get to see. They got to ride to the 8th floor in a glass-walled elevator. It was a good time. 

We arrived back in Chicago yesterday with their routine shot to hell...though I'm impressed we got them to nap at my mom's a bed...for several hours. The forecast for the weekend is beautiful with words like "generous sunshine," "unlimited sunshine." Can't wait to get out on the bike. And see some friends...we have a couple of playdates arranged even. 

Everybody enjoy the start of your summer and have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! We get a short week of normal schedule here before it's more travel. Very much looking forward to our upcoming half-century ride in Minnesota though. (And dad may be looking forward to a Twins game and seeing Target Field, too!)