Although we had a lot of family members not able to make it--due to new jobs, or newly married--we had a lot of fun with those who were there, and missed those who were not.
Wil (Wes' brother who hosted the reunion) has had a few health challenges of late and so we arrived concerned about his energy level.
We soon learned we did not have to worry! Our first day in town he marched us up and down the city at a fast pace for HOURS!!!! Every person you can see in the picture below is a family member. We walked as quickly as we could, with Wes pushing his mother in a wheel chair and Camille pushing Carly in a stroller, all over the city. By the end of the day we were calling it the "Chicago Death March" and decided Wil can run us all into the ground.
We went to the top of the Sears' Tower (I forgot to post that picture!!) and over to the Chicago Institute of Art.
We searched the city for the second tallest building (and discovered no one in Chicago can agree on which it is) rode the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier and took a boat ride on Lake Michigan. And we listened to a concert in Millennium Park. This picture was taken on our second day in town when we competed in the Chicago version of "The Amazing Race" We divided into groups and were sent into the city to complete certain objectives. One was to have a picture with all members of our group in it. This day we were tired from the day before and so drove our car into town. However, not wanting to park just to take this picture, my husband put the car in park at a RED light and we all jumped out, had the picture taken and ran back into the car while the people in the cars behind us all impatiently honked their horns.
After walking all day (the first day) we were allowed to stop for lunch (at 3:00) Wil suggested we wait until 5 to eat so other family members who were coming late could join us, but upon fear of mutiny, he agreed to let us eat earlier. We went to Ed Debevic's and loved their delicious shakes, burgers, sandwiches and smart mouthed waitresses.
Being as Carly is only six months old, Camille has not allowed her to eat anything sweet. However, when Camille went off to the bathroom, bad Grandpa offered her the milk shake glass. (Although she didn't get anything--we enjoyed teasing Camille with the picture.)
After three days of so very much fun, we said our final good bye to Illinois. Even the city looked a bit sad to have us go. Notice the fog in the distance.
Next time it will be our turn. Last time we held it in Colorado, but this time . . . who knows?! I am just so thankful for a family that takes the time and makes the sacrifice to get together. This has built such strong bonds over the years between cousins who mostly see each other only on these occasions. And that has brought great . . . joy to our journey.