Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Week Before Thanksgiving

Another kid-filled post.  Avert your eyes!  Unless you're my dad.

For the last few years, I've been lucky enough to spend the week before US Thanksgiving back home with my folks.  Steve drives us down on the weekend and flies back to Toronto to work.  Then we meet him in Niagara Falls on the way to our big Thanksgiving get together in upstate New York.  It's a highly orchestrated event involving a car, an airplane, a train and sometimes a bus. 

But it's all worth it because we get to do stuff like this:

Green Bay Packers Autograph Signing

Since I've managed to successfully turn my children into enormous Packer fans, this random event completely blew their minds. 

The only lead up I gave them was: You only get a few seconds with these guys.  Maybe you should ask them a question!?!

Henry: What's your favorite animal?
Quarless: A Lion!
Pennel: An Elephant.
Jake: Is it easier to catch the ball in the heat or in the cold?
Quarless: Haha, good question! Definitely the heat.

Mike Pennel #64
Andrew Quarless #81

I heard about it on the radio the day before.  It was taking place at a local haircut chain.  We stood outside in a freezing cold lineup for 1/2 hr.  But only about 35 people showed up, so we could have arrived 1/2 hr after the event started and walked right in. 

Oh, smalltown, WI.  You're so not Toronto. 

Then we took a roadtrip.

Ella's Deli - Madison, WI

The state capitol is Madison, WI...only 60 minutes away from my parents' front door.  So why not?

The State Capitol

It was really really cold.  But still, I told them to run around as much as they could outside, because it was gonna be all business inside. 

2nd Floor

But, by looking at this picture, you can tell that middle child was anything but business. 

State Senate Chamber

Thank goodness, our close family friend sits in that very desk.  I only found this out when my mom was reading the self guided tour info.  "...and the president of the Senate sits in the desk at the front of the room.  Oh!  That's Mary!!" 

She was elected to the position by her Senate peers just a few weeks ago.  The first female Senate President of the State of Wisconsin.  I've known her since I was in 4th grade.  Go Mary!!!

Rub The Nose For Luck

Then we found the bronze badger, our official state animal, and rubbed the nose for luck.  He sits right outside the Governor's office, so we had to ask the security guard to let us in.  He asked if we might be Packer fans.  I have no idea why.

And here's a picture without children...

The Dome

The inside of the Capitol Dome.  It's gorgeous.  Even the kids were drawn in. 

Oh yes!  Those kids...

Loving It
Turning In Tickets
His Loot

Today was our Grand Finale.  We leave tomorrow for my brother's house and then on to the east coast.  So, of course, we hit Chuck E. Cheese for lunch.  I never ever EVER go there in Toronto, so it's a real treat for these guys.  The games, the tickets and the prizes.  I don't think I've ever paid so much for a twisty lollipop in my life. 

But look at that face.  He's just so happy.

And part two of the finale?

Helium Trampoline Park

My kids are the three blurs in the foreground.  There is nothing more satisfying than burning off energy, and this is the place to do it. 

These videos kill me.  He's 3-1/2.  I had to drag him out kicking and screaming.

Happy almost Thanksgiving / Black Friday!!!!

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