Saturday, July 26, 2008

Final Friday in Illi

Here's a photo of one of my mom's many FAT cats. It is insane how large they are. I put my foot in the photo to give you a better idea of the scale of these animals...

Cats aside, I had a great last day in Illinois. My mom had taken the day off originally thinking we would be going to Chicago to visit my family. We all vetoed that idea when we thought about the cost of gas (we would have had to drive two separate vehicles) and the idea of adding three hours, each way, to my driving for that week. I am really sad I missed visiting my extended family though.

My mom took advantage of having the day off though. First thing in the morning (after coffee, of course), Alex, my mom and I headed out to the yard to tackle the weed forests that my mom has furiously been avoiding. I really regret not taking a before and after photo because these "gardens" were OUT OF CONTROL. Her weeds had TRUNKS. While I tackled the weeds, Alex tended to the bonfire where we were burning all the weeds and trimmed tree limbs from the last time my mom worked in the yard. I cannot get over how much crap there was. I'm pretty sure the neighbors were pissed because we didn't think about the clothes on their clothesline until the fire was in full burn, ashes flying through the neighborhood.

The whole thing was very satisfying. When Travis and I rewired the first half of our house, I felt slightly disappointed. I felt better knowing the electrical in my home is safe, but I was bummed that I couldn't see all the work we had done. Electrical is a hidden art. The less you see, the better job that electrician did. Weeding my mom's yard was the complete opposite. It went from a view of 6-foot green thistles and unwieldy vines to beautiful trees and actually being able to see the neighbor's fence. This took so much work that we only got one side of the house completed. I did go around to all the trees to trim off the lower branches. In doing so I came across some poison ivy that was more like a bush than anything else. I got lucky and only have three dots of rash on my arm and foot. I used to get that ALL the time as a kid. Horrible.

Anyhoo, after taking a break, we all showered and headed to the movie theater. We saw the Dark Knight and I thought it was as good, if not better, than everyone was hyping it up to be. Heath Ledger played the creepiest Joker I've ever seen, by far. Gives me the creeps just thinking about how he licked his lips. Ughhh.

Before dinner, we ran over to a Home Showcase. There were five houses to view and they were all amazing. I took advantage of seeing these new builds to get ideas for my own home. Most of them are too extravagant to do to our current home. We only want to stay in this house for a couple more years, so we are more focused on what will give us the most bang for our buck. These places had central vacuums, home theaters, matte finish pine flooring and the most beautiful appliances I've ever seen. Wow.

For dinner we went to this posh little restaurant and bar that has popped up since I've moved away. They were serving "sliders", which is some other word for small sandwiches. I guess slider sounds cooler. My mom's friend Sara spend the whole evening with us. It was nice because I haven't really spent any time with her since Travis and I got married at her property in 2006.

On the ride home, Alex spotted the strangest thing. There was some sort of a plane doing an air show in the middle of the night, with sparks and fireworks coming out of its wings. We parked on the side of the on ramp to see the show. It was so wild. None of us had ever seen anything like that.

It was a long last day and I was very sad to leave the next day. I had a GREAT week and I can't wait to go back at Christmas. This time I will get to meet Chrissie and Jordan's daughter Audrey!!!

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