A Lovely, Long Layover: Rachel and Hollywood

>> Friday, June 22, 2012

We were planning on heading to Korea and had our plane tickets purchased when we found out that the classes we were to teach had been moved up a week.  We frantically tried to change our flights, but nothing worked.  We finally found tickets with a wonderful perk: a day layover in LA.  Our niece Rachel and her family live there!  It was a very happy, unexpected vacation! She lives in Hollywood, just down the street from Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood stars.  We spent a lovely day with her and her family.

We're walking..., we're walking...

A few of my favorite stars we saw on the walk:

Grauman's Chinese Theater:

Really, it's Matt, not Jean

Gene Kelly!

Sam was thrilled to share hand space with Harrison Ford.

There is a mall behind Grauman's Chinese theater, just close to the Oscar's theater where they were doing a promo event for Pixar's new movie Brave. Lots of fun stuff for the kids to do.

Here's Sam doing the archery activity

You can't see it, but he got a bulls eye!

Risa got long curly locks as a prize for playing. 

Like mother, like daughter

Eva joining Risa in the fun

We loved seeing Rachel and her family. It was so good to finally meet Stephen (and how did he not make it in to any of the pictures?!?) and Risa and Eva.

Goodbyes at the airport

 Love you, Rachel, Stephen, Risa, and Eva!


Long-Time Traveler

>> Thursday, June 21, 2012

We've had quite the few months of travel.  It's been wonderful and exhausting all at once, but I suppose that's just what traveling is.  It's worth it, though. Some trips I like better than others, but they're all good in some way.

It's been ages since I've written, but maybe having a few good trips is just the thing I need to get me writing again.  So, here goes.

First of Chicago/Michigan

Matt had a conference in Michigan and kindly offered to drive instead of fly so that we could accompany him.  (BTW, next time he offers that, kindly remind me that Michigan is far, far away from Minnesota and if you're gonna do it, make sure to stay long enough to really see some sights!)  We went the Chicago route and stayed with Matt's parents. They have been so good to us, and it was wonderful to see them. We love you Grandma and Grandpa!

Next came Michigan.  We really only had one and a half days there before we headed back.  Matt was at the conference, working.  Sam and I shopped a little the first day because I wanted to see what Pottery Barn had for our new little house.  Sam found one of those interactive mats and had a bit of fun with it.

The next day we headed out to the Henry Ford Museum and the Ford Factory.  It was spectacular!  Our first stop was a Titanic exhibit.  It was a closed exhibit with no photography allowed except the ones they took that cost a bunch of money.  No, thank you! We'll take memories instead.

After the Titanic exhibit, we toured the Ford factory.  Again, no pictures were allowed on the factory floor (union rules) but it was truly extraordinary to see the cars/trucks being manufactured.  I didn't think I'd like it, but I was captivated.  The process is unbelievably detailed. Each bolt put in at exactly the right angle and pressure. Each seam sealed and checked. Each part placed by hand or machine with precision.

After the factory tour, we took a minute to look at the cars on display. If memory serves me correctly, this is the first Ford Mustang. 

I may have stolen a few Sammy/Mommy pics on the shuttle bus back to the museum. I love that he loves me and wants to spend time with me. I may blackmail him with this picture during the teenage years.

We have a few minutes left before we had to pick Dad up, so we looked around the museum's collection of historic cars.  Among the most interesting was the bus that Rosa Parks sat on. Sam had learned about this in school and he was very excited to see it.

I love that he has taken an interest in this part of history.

Another car from this era: President Kennedy's limousine where he was assassinated.

The next day we drove from Michigan, back through Chicago for a day, and then back home to Minnesota.  Long trip in a few short days. However, it was good to see family, and the museum was wonderful.  If you are ever in Michigan, make sure to see the Henry Ford Museum.

Lots more to come but I MUST get to bed. Jetlag is a killer. TTFN.


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