Monday, July 28, 2008

Another reunion with a Batstone!

Kim and I drove up to Keystone a couple weeks ago to meet my cousin Linda and her husband, Steve, who were vacationing in Aspen. They drove over from Aspen on Wednesday, July 23rd. To our surprise and delight they had their daughter, Emily, with them as well as Emily's boyfriend, Louis. We haven't seen Emily since the 1993 Batstone family reunion. She was only 2 years old at the time. We had dinner together in our Ski Tip condo and a great time of conversation and laughter.
On Thursday, we spent several delightful hours hiking around alpine lakes up on Loveland Pass. It was a gorgeous summer day up there with the trickling streams and bright little wildflowers. Buffie and Sadie were with us and they loved romping around. Sadie looked very much at home like she was in the Scottish Highlands.
We had a late lunch at the Tiki Bar on the shores of Dillon Lake. Steve and Linda enjoyed getting to know Summit County since their son, David, is planning to be work at Copper Mountain this year as a ski patrol. One thing that dismayed us all, though, were all those trees dying of Mountain Pine Beetle. The mountainsides are covered with "red trees."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vacation in Chicago

Following the wedding, we spent a few days in the city enjoying my favorite 3 R’s: Relaxation, Rest and Freedom. It was a sweet little vacation in the fantasy world of downtown Chicago which offers excitement, stimulation, pleasure and amazement. The more flagrant beauty of the city is contained in a small area. As one moves further from the heart of it, one sees pockets of the other side of city life—dirt, urban decay, crowding, poverty (people unable to keep up with the high cost of living that the city demands). But along the lake and the river, there is beauty and wonder and the wealth to maintain it. The garden plots along Michigan Avenue were gorgeous. Huge pots of flowers and tiny plots of earth bursting forth with the colors and foliage of some of the nicest gardens you can imagine. We took an Architectural Boat Tour on the Chicago River where we learned about the many and varied buildings of Chicago—a cornucopia of architectural styles. We spent an evening on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building admiring the vast view of lake and city, ate at great restaurants like Frontera Grill, had a day at The Art Institute and did a little shopping.

Wedding in Chicago

Last week Kim and I took a trip to Chicago. We traveled there to attend a wedding of a friend of ours who is “schlick to schlick” (sp?) to Kim. I became acquainted with her when she happened to visit Sweden the same summer we did and gathered with the same group of relatives who showed us around Dalarna and gave us such a good time partying at midsummer. She is a wonderful person who was widowed by her first husband when he died of cancer. We wish and pray the very best for her and her new husband. The wedding was held at the beautiful Fourth Presbyterian Church which was used in the film My Best Friend's Wedding. And the reception was a bountiful celebration at the old Opera House, now City Tower. We drove Kim’s parents and aunt to the wedding and spent some time with them along with Kim’s brother, Lance. We visited Stockholm Inn in Rockford as usual. We love the new Carl Larson rooms.