It's not really vacation when you have two little kids with you.

We spent this past week in Wisconsin Dells with Stuart's family: his brother + wife + 2yo son + 7mo daughter, his parents, and his 95yo grandpa. It takes one heck of a special 95-year-old man to take a 20-hour train ride by himself, but Otto did it, all the way from his home in northeastern Montana to the depot in the Dells. It was a long trip, and he'll probably never do it again, but he made it and we're so glad he did.

Stuart's older brother was there, too, with his wife and two kids. We'd only met The Nephew once before, and this was our first time meeting The Niece, who was born right before Thanksgiving. They live far, far away in North Carolina, so visits with them are few and far between. Charlie, The Nephew, just turned 2 last month and is a little spitfire. It was hell in the airport, evidently, but he was hilarious to watch running around with Daniel, jumping off the furniture, and splashing in the pool. We rented a vacation house big enough to accommodate all of us, a vacation house that allowed us use of the community pool, and let me tell you how glad we were to have it. After a cool, wet spring in which it was barely warm enough to wear shorts outside, all of a sudden we were hit with a heat wave (it hit 95 on Tuesday), and all anyone wanted to do was go in the water and stay there. All the kids except Anya loooooooved the pool. Anya loved having her little swim suit put on and going to the pool, but it took all week before she even put her hand in the water. I have a feeling swimming lessons aren't going to go so well with her next month...

But anyway, I was saying that vacation with kiddies is hardly restful. We certainly had a good time hanging out with each other, going to the pool and watching the kids interact, but doing anything touristy was a challenge. There were naptimes and snack times and mealtimes to work around, and the heat made outings exhausting. So even though I had grand plans for us - or at least some of us - to take a boat ride in the Dells and visit the International Crane Foundation and perhaps tour a winery - none of that stuff happened. Keeping track of four kids under the age of four is like herding cats anyway. We did manage to visit the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, which included an hour-long one ring circus performance with some pretty amazing acrobatics and 3 performing elephants, so that was fun. It's okay, though. We live in Wisconsin, so hopefully we'll get around to visiting all those other places eventually.

Now we have the weekend to rest up from our vacation, ostensibly, anyway. I actually have to play for some scholarship auditions on Sunday, so I've got a couple rehearsals tomorrow and some last-minute practicing to do before spending most of Sunday at the School of Music, my old stomping ground, faking my way through popular string concertos for a little extra cash.


Mrs. Allroro said…
Accompanying scholarship auditions for somebody else, right?
Suze said…
Yes, that's right. The UW summer music clinic has auditions for undergraduate college scholarships every June. I usually accompany several people for that.
Animal said…
Even with ONE child, I've learned to tone down expectations of "time away." Our frequent trips to Mackinac Island used to involve daily bike rides, walks to town, and the obligatory evening drink at the 'Stang. Now, with Roz, it's much more along the lines of: walk to the park across the street, play with her in the cottage, and prep meals for her. I know it'll eventually change…but of course, when that happens, I'm pretty sure I'll long for "the old days" when she wanted to spend every waking second with us. "Wanna play? Les PLAY!"

I also love saying "Baraboo." "Baraboo baraboo baraboo!" (*giggles*)
Jessi said…
We ran just as much as normal on our vacation, but then I collapsed into a crying heap of exhaustion. Apparently, I'm a slow learner

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