A Very Busy Independence Weekend

My sister Sarah and her family came up to stay with us for the weekend of the Fourth. They only make it out to our house about once a year, so we packed as much fun as possible into the three days we had together.

On the fourth we went to our town's parade. It's a bit of a crazy event - the parade lasted for over two hours!

a patriotic little lady

my niece isabelle

watching little lady mother her baby dolls
makes my heart feel as if it could burst

After the parade, we spilt up. My sister and her family went to a nearby Super Target - maybe not a tourist hotspot for most but the closest one to their home is over an hour away - while we went to a sweet little friend's birthday party. Then that night it was fireworks.

sitting on top of the car makes watching fireworks even more fun

On Friday we headed to Santa's Village Azoosment Park for some rides and animal encounters. It's a small local theme park designed especially for young children.

the parakeet house was our favorite animal attraction

big buddy has no interest in dogs or cats but give him a reptile and he's mr. attentive 

this little guy was too cute

since the park is designed for younger kids mini man was able to ride
everything except the bumper cars - it was a hard couple of minutes

in the end, though, he had fun just watching these guys ram into each other

the vintage fire truck ride was another big hit

the kids were especially impressed with the "real" fire

funnel cake is great for herding kids

Since the park is close to our home we left mid day so the little girls could take naps. We went back late afternoon and, while only planning to stay two hours, we totally lost track of time and didn't leave until closer to ten.

By Saturday we were all pretty tired but had already promised the kids a trip to Lincoln Park Zoo and swimming in Lake Michigan. 

these two fell asleep on the way there

watching my little sister be a mom is amazing - she does a wonderful job!

never too old to be carried by dad
*my oldest niece and brother-in-law

The beach was probably the highlight of the weekend for everybody. All these kids are pretty crazy about water and sand.

my fish

mini man convinced everyone to help him build a water tunnel - he had
a very specific vision


We had plans to eat dinner in the city but we were so exhausted by this point that we picked up pizza from Giordano's and a chocolate cake from Portillo's instead. Good food, a comfy couch, and a movie was the perfect finale.

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