Friday, May 27, 2011

A Visit to Chicago, Part I

This is old news, but what does is matter if we went to Chicago last weekend, or last September? The point is we took a little road trip, about 5.5 hours due east of our home, to the Windy City (over Labor Day weekend 2010).

We had a blast. Obviously there is tons to do and see in this, the 3rd largest city in the U.S.

We stayed in a hotel outside of the city, and drove in each day to pack in as much fun as possible. Lots of walking and on-the-go napping and head-counting (note: we only lost one child and only for about 10 minutes) were necessary, but it was still a great destination for the whole family.

Tom and I did dream of a day when we could come back on our own and soak up even more of the sites, the museums, the food, and maybe even a show.

But the kids loved it, and still talk about all the fun things we did. I won't go into tedious details, I'll just offer a flood of pictures...


Tom made sure that he and Tyler saw a game at the legendary Wrigley Field. (kind of cool that the Cubs were playing our NY Mets that afternoon)

In the meantime I toured the Children's Museum with the girls.

We met up afterwards and walked to some of Chicago's famous landmarks.

The "Bean Statue." A large reflective structure, shaped like a kidney bean.

The Crown Fountains in Millenium Park, or the "Spitting Statues."

This was super cool--a projected image of a person on one side of a large structure makes faces, smiles and looks around....while you patiently wait and watch...

Until it finally purses its lips as a stream of water pours down from its mouth. Then it repeats with a new person on screen. You could stand there forever, watching the changing facial expressions, anticipating the next "show."

I better stop there, and save the rest of the photos for another post.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ansley--a peek at her current hair & personality

Ansley--curly girl chat at 2 from Marliese Ransom on Vimeo.

As the humidity increases here in the Midwest, so does the intensity of Ansley's curly hair. So cute on little ones...whether or not it's cute when you're older is debatable, I should know :). But we really can't fight the ringlets on Ansley's head, so we're embracing them, and loving them. They are fun and full of personality...just like her.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tulip Time

Who says there is nothing to do in Iowa? We have found there is actually quite a lot to do here that is interesting and entertaining. Last Saturday we drove 50 miles southeast of our home in West Des Moines to the town of Pella. You may have heard this name in association with the window and door manufacturing company, and yes it's headquartered there, but that's not what we went to see.

Pella was originally settled by Dutch immigrants, and that heritage has been preserved in the quaint downtown area, and in other ways in the community. Every year in May they host "Tulip Time," a festival with parades, performances, activities, and THOUSANDS of tulips decorating the roadsides and greens spaces throughout the town. It was beautiful and festive. We enjoyed watching the parade participants dressed in traditional Dutch clothing including wooden shoes--I can't imagine you could walk very far without terrible blisters, but they didn't seem to be in pain.

I think the Dutch word for these shoes is perfect, very descriptive: "klompen."

It was a great time, with lots of photo ops...and lucky for us we even ran into some friends there that were kind enough to take some pics for us.

Thanks J and E, you guys are handy with a camera.