Sunday, August 04, 2002

Illinois in Fall 2002

August 4th, 2002
We drove to Brevard, NC a beautiful part of the state to visit the Pisgah National Forest and the French Broad River. Driving down 276 through the Smoky Mountains was beautiful and adventurous. We took a picture of our family in front of the Looking Glass Falls after we froze ourselves in the river on the Sliding Rock. We stayed at the Hampton Inn located just outside of the entrance. We slept soundly since we had a long drive and ate too much.
August 5th, 2002
We drove to Naperville, IL where my Sister Cathy, her Husband Tom and my Nephew Ryan live. We missed seeing my Nephew Aaron since he is involved in an internship at Ball State, IN, however we did see my Brother Mike and his friend Al.
August 6th, 2002
We made ourselves at home at the Maney residence eating all of their popsicles and drinking their OJ. We picked up Russel and headed to Delevan, WI to visit my Grandfather Joe. We stopped in Beloit, WI to refuel and have lunch. We were lured into the Cheese and Fireworks Superstore and cracked up at thier mascot mouse while Russel and Jason waited outside. Steve and Kyle were disappointed that YOU MUST BE 18 to make a purchase though. It was great to see my Grandfather, and shared in missing my Grandmother. Jason hopped around the place. We putted golf balls for a while and Steve and Kyle begged my Grandfather for some of his hats. Their favorite was a modifed version of a fishing hat and he told them they could have them. My Grandfather has a beautiful pothos plant in his bay window. Steve and I were challanged when trying to stand a golf ball onto a golf tee encased in a globe filled with water. My Uncle Ralph came home and we got to visit with him before we started off to El Paso, near Bloomington, IL to visit my Cousin Tom and his Wife Theresa. Steve and Kyle really wanted to drive...NOT!!!
Our first stop was T.J. Toad's Model Raceway & Hobby Corner which was owned and operated by my Cousin Tom. We got to race model cars for a while on the raceway track, and then Theresa and Mary Margaret came by. Tom prepared to close down while Theresa let Steve and Kyle hold their bundle of joy. He showed me his new train set project for the front window and his remote control Punisher Truck. Tom was the model for "The Punisher" a Marvel Comic character. As you can see Tom is quite cool! We then went down front street for pizza night, caravanned over to Dairy Queen for desert, stopped by their house to see pictures of the christening and more of Tom's carpentry skills in his garage. They'll be moving into a new home across the street soon. Wow! We then drove back to Naperville, IL.
August 7th, 2002
Steve helped Cathy plant a bunch of stuff in their backyard around the new Maney waterfall. We zipped over to Villa Park, IL to visit with their Grandmother Kathy, Grandfather Ron, Cousin Joslyn, Cousin Craig, Mom Rachel, Aunt Lydia and Uncle Fernando. We took some family pictures, went on the swings in the park nearby and had Portillo's for lunch. Jason enjoyed the shade and we played horseshoes. We sat in the front yard. Here's a closeup of Joslyn. We went back to Naperville, IL, chopped up some fruit and went by my Aunt Lou and her Husband David for dinner on their outdoor deck with Cathy and Ryan. Here's some shots of Kyle, Steve and Jason, and some of us with my Aunt.
August 8th, 2002
Here's a picture of the Maney Rat Terrier Oscar. We had breakfast with Russel and Ryan at Grandma Sally's. We picked up Ken and drove to Tinley Park, IL to meet up with Rachel for the Area II Concert. We got to the Tweeter Center at 3:30pm and we saw Ash, The Blue Man Group, Busta Rhymes, David Bowie and Moby back to back. The concert lasted until 10:30pm and it was AWESOME! We spent the night in Tinley Park and Russel gave Ken and Ryan a ride back to Naperville. I was REALLY tired.
August 9th, 2002
We left around 9:30 am, had brunch in Indianapolois, IN and dinner in Huntington, WV and arrived home in Chapel Hill, NC around midnight. THAT was a looooooooooooooooooonnnng looooooooooooooooooonnnng drive.