Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chicken in the WHAT?

Ugh, I've neglected my blog for over a week and have much to write about.  School's out, Mother Nature has finally figured out it's summer, we celebrated a birthday, and we went on an amazing River Cruise around Chicago. 

May 24 is a special day in our household (Scott's birthday), and it was made even more special by the fact that our good friend Melisa celebrated her book launch on a Chicago river cruise.  After six years of research, she finally released her travel guide for families of tweens and teens.  After reading the book, I think that any age can appreciate the book.

The title of the book, Chicken in the Car and the Car Won't Go, is from an old folk poem? song? that starts out like this:  Chicken in the car and the car won't go; that's how you spell Chicago.  According to Melisa, her mom used to recite that to her and her sister when they were children.

Melisa wrote the book and it was a total family affair.  Her sister Julie took the author picture and her older son did the graphic work on the cover. 
Melisa's sister Julie, photographer extraordinaire
Our boys from left:  Nick, Melisa's younger son, her older son

My family and I drove up to the suburbs to meet them at their house to follow them into the city and to help carry things onto the boat.  I thought that since it was late afternoon the traffic wouldn't be very congested.  I'm naive.  Scott did a great job staying right with them, though, which can be nerve wracking when you're in city traffic.  It's a good thing he was driving.  He knows how to keep his cool, especially when you have three teen aged boys and one wife talking constantly.  ;)
driving into the city

We found a parking garage very close to the pizza place where we were to get the food for the cruise.  We met Jim, Melisa and Julie (Melisa's mom was waiting at the pier with the various accoutrement).  Scott was to go with Jim to pick up the pizza, but Melisa warned him that he shouldn't be around the bad karma in that vehicle on his birthday.  So, Jim, one of their boys, and Julie got the pizza and the rest of us walked to the pier.  I'm not going to lie, it got a bit hairy as we were taking wrong turns and having a bit of difficulty finding our way there. 
finally at the pier with a view of the Chicago flag, Illinois flag, and the US flag
 BUT, in the end, it was all good, we made it in plenty of time and as soon as the boat pulled in, we were able to board and set things up.

A few important people in Melisa's life were unable to come, including her father who was stuck in TN dealing with issues at his hotel, but she made a special extension of her name tag to honor them.

We enjoyed Chicago style deep dish pizza, along with other Chicago based specialities.

We cruised around Navy Pier...

and up and down the river and had amazing views of the city...

We had a fabulous time on the boat.  After the cruise, we loaded their SUV and were set to meet them at their house (because we had their boys with us!)  Hmmm, this is where it got interesting.  It was cold for May.  I had on sandals (bad idea) and no jacket.  Chicago is windy (duh) and we were walking all over the place trying to find that stupid parking garage.  We knew the intersection where it was located, the trick was to find one of the streets of the intersection.  Finally, I decided that we needed to go into a restaurant to get directions.  Sound familiar?  And, as luck would have it, we were 2 blocks from one of the streets and then another 2 blocks from that intersection.  YAY!

We got the boys home around 11:30ish and then drove the 1 1/2 hours back down here to Farm Country.  It was a wonderful day, and words can't describe how happy, proud, excited we are for our friend!

Melisa, you rock!

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