Friday, December 07, 2007

My Fall Vacation...The Cliff Notes.

Had a really, really SUPER FUN vacation in Illinois around Thanksgiving. No. 2 and I spent several days together just doing stuff that No. 2 needed to do. Her work and school schedules don't stop just because Texas Mama comes to town, ya know.

After a few days, No. 2 dropped me off at the home of my good friends, Jud and Bob. I'd gotten tickets for a concert near their home, but I needed to help chop vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner if I was to expect them to attend.

Bob and I slaved away in the kitchen while Jud slept. I exaggerate only SLIGHTLY, despite her objections. Heh.

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Had a really great dinner at the home of Bob's dad and got to see Jud's family, as well.

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Said farewell to my old friends with dinner at Davidson's.

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Jen M squeezed in some time for me that evening, too: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Then, it was back to No. 2's place to spend the weekend with #3 and Heather while No. 2 and her roommate went off to a wedding. They acquainted me with Wii. We played tennis, bowled, and a few other things. My favorite was bowling, although my thighs hurt for 3 days afterward.

My last day in No. 2's world, we went to Ikea's. We love to poke around at that store and there isn't an Ikea store anywhere near us here (Closest is Plano). As per usual, we ate lunch there, with No. 2 getting the Swedish meatballs and me the salmon. I think we have another tradition going on with lunch and a poke at Ikea's. I bought four more cloth shopping bags there. I absolutely LOVE their cloth shopping bags. They're larger than normal, accommodate heavy items readily, and have long shoulder straps ... all for the low price of $1.99. I'd purchased one of Jewel's cloth bags during a shopping trip when I first arrived (for $1.00) and use it for produce shopping. She dropped me at the Metra Station before she left for school and I spent the last night of my trip at HI Chicago.

HI Chicago had an outing on my last night in town ... to Smoke Daddy's BBQ place/jazz bar. I joined 13 others who took the elevated train there for dinner. Two of the 13 were guides from the hostel. The fun I'd been having with friends and family now extended to fun with strangers, and I spent my last day downtown with one of the folks I met that night, showing him the sites of Chicago. Good times... good times.


Diane said...

I KNEW I should have started my cloth shopping bag empire when that idea hit me while sitting in front of my sewing machine ten years ago...

So you liked the Wii? We're doing Christmas late this year, some time in January most likely, but we're considering getting the kids a Wii as their present this year. (Only if we can find the $250 version, rather than the jacked-up $500++ version out there now.) Shhh, don't tell the kids.

No. 2 said...

I can also offer up my video game recommendation. If you guys already have the PS2 (Play Station 2), you can try getting them the guitar hero game. It's gotten pretty popular.

I had a great time with Mama, and thankfully took my LAST final today for this semester. I think I finished with 2 A's, and 1 C. (The C was in accounting, so I'm not really disappointed!) So, now I'll be picking up more work shifts to try and pay for Christmas.

Also, Diane, have your kids come in contact with Webkinz yet? My BF's neices are obsessed and I just got my first one yesterday. It's a really educational website and gaming system for kids, but even I found some of it challenging. It does require Internet access, and lots of it, so if that's something that's not available then it may not be for you. But I think the stuffed animals are reasonably cheap, and they provide hours of online entertainment.

Oldnovice said...

I had fun with the Wii, but (whispering...I didn't have to pay for it). Maybe #3 can let you know whether he thinks it's overall worth the price paid to entertain the two of them (pulling out the sliderule, dividing purchase price by number of times used x hours used compared to cost of other forms of entertainment = yyy)?

I was just wondering today if you and #3 are doing finals week, No. 2. No. 1 had two finals last week and got 2 A's in those courses. This week, however, she has finals for the other two classes she's taking (the harder ones of the four for her). She's had study groups meeting the last several days, and was over here most of the day today (just left, really) as I was helping edit/type her last paper for one of the remaining courses. She needs an overall 3.5 GPA to maintain her scholarship. Pressure is an understatement. Fortunately, she's been able to make "friends" with several students in each of her classes and they work together well preparing for exams while simultaneously taking the edge off the pressure by throwing in humorous stories here and there. I spent some time observing one of her study group sessions Saturday at her place. They had lots of laughs, but they also seemed to ensure that everyone in the group understood the material. I SO wish I'd had that when I went to school! Like you, after this week it's work work work at the paying job to meet the bills for her.

How about some pics of your holiday decorations? We can use a little tinsel around here and you know what scrooges WE are.

Diane said...

We do have a PS2 but the guitar thing wouldn't be something my kids are into. Neither would the Webkinz, as cute as they are. They're some strange ducks, my kids. Thanks, though!

I'm thinking that the $250, divided up between the 5 kids, ain't too bad really. $50 per kid is cool in my book since they'll all enjoy it. They can use their own money to buy more games for it beyond what's included. That, combined with el cheapo clearance stuff I've bought and stashed throughout the year, should make a great bag o' loot for them. Now I just have to find the cheaper price for one which should be easier once Christmas has passed. (We're delaying Christmas by a couple of weeks here.)

So how'd the paper(s) and final grades come out for everyone?

Oldnovice said...

I'll keep an eye out on Fat Wallet for the cheap Wii. Looked over there last week for the cheap Wii for you guys and ended up buying a new chair for my office. Damn thing is made in China (we only found out as Em was in final steps of putting it together), but we both think it's probably the most comfy chair we've ever sunk our behinds into.

My old PC chair was broken so badly that No. 1 refused to sit in it. Well, she did make an exception to Email her paper to her prof, but she kept both feet on the floor to do that (something I NEVER do at the PC). As Em says, "You sit IN the chair ... not ON the chair."

I don't think the deadline has come yet here for when profs MUST post grades for this term. If there's no scholarship for next semester, the grades/papers weren't good enough. Bleh.