On Sunday (5/18) we drove about 35 miles north to Plattville, WI to see the world's largest "M". The M was created by University of Platteville students back in the 1930's out of granite stone. Every year the incoming freshmen repaint the stones - I wonder if they tell them about this in their acceptance letters? We climbed the 266 stairs to the top and ran into some Amish young adults having a picnic. Marty asked them if one of them would take our picture (which I'm pretty sure is verboten in their culture), one young man said no but another (the rebel) said yes.
|266 steps but who's counting?|
|Waiting for the tournament to start|
One of Marty's clients called him last week to see if he was available for a job downtown. Since we aren't working in Iowa yet he said yes and scheduled it for Thursday (5/22). We drove to Crystal Lake on Wednesday to spend the night at Judy and Don's house and then drove into Chicago on Thursday morning. Judy was kind enough to watch Maddie and let us use their car so we didn't have to worry about driving our big dually in the city.
While Marty was working, I met my sister Donna and niece Sarah for lunch. After lunch Sarah went back to work and Donna and I walked over to the Farmer's Market at Daley Plaza. We checked out all the stalls and even bought some fudge. Maybe I didn't quite grasp the concept of a "farmer's" market or maybe I just didn't want to carry a bunch of vegatables around for the rest of the day.
Marty went back to the restaurant to finish up with some night-time shots and I took the red line over to Sarah's which is where we spent Thursday night. She lives in the DePaul area of Chicago, it was so strange to be back in the city without a home - thank goodness for family! I was a city girl for a long time but in the short time we've been gone they've changed things at the CTA. I felt like a tourist and had to ask for help buying my transit card and they've raised their prices - it cost $3.00 for a one ride ticket!
It was fun spending the afternoon downtown but boy was I tired from all the walking. I just wanted to get to her apartment and put my feet up. Which I did for a short while but then Sarah came home and we took a walk around her neighborhood and stopped for a bite to eat. Then we finally went back to her apartment and that was it for the day.
Sarah lives in a studio apartment in the DePaul area. The apartment is large for a studio but it doesn't have a kitchen - isn't that strange? She does fine without one, she has a few small appliances and a small refrigerator but no kitchen sink or stove. It works for her and it really is a nice apartment.
miss that place, they have such good prices and really fresh produce. We picked up some stuff for us and a few things for Judy and then hit the highway to Crystal Lake to pick up the pooch and our truck and head back to Galena.
My niece, Megan, graduated from Ripon High School on Saturday morning and we wanted to surprise her by going to the 11:00 A.M. ceremony. We had to leave Galena by 7:00 A.M. which meant we had to get up at 6:00!! It was 180 miles away and we got there around 10:30 for the 11:00 A.M. graduation, Tom was already there and had saved space for us. I drove there and it was the first time I've driven since November and the most I've ever driven the truck! It was an easy drive for the most part and I felt pretty comfortable in the driver's seat (not sure how Marty was feeling in the passenger seat). I still don't feel ready to drive the truck in Chicago.
It was about 1 1/2 ceremony sitting in the bleachers in the hot sun but no one was complaining, Wisconsin people seemed to be very happy to be warm again after their miserable winter. After the ceremony we searched thru the crowd of graduates for Megan. She saw her dad and started towards him for a hug but then she saw me and she blew right past him for me - I love that girl!
|Proud Aunt Mary with Megan|
|Proud Skinny Papa with all three of his girls - Amanda, Megan, & Liz|
We went over to Tom's for a quick visit but Megan needed to leave for her party at her mom's house. The Merkes party will be next Saturday at Devil's Lake so we'll have some more quality time with the whole family.
Tom has lost 50 pounds since we last saw him in January. He did it by two full weeks of juicing and then changed his eating habits and also started exercising. He has inspired more than a few of his siblings and soon there will be a juicer on our counter. I hope it works as well for me, although I'm still not sure about drinking green juice - it looks gross.