Wedding Weekend: Part II
When we arrived at Ann and Dan's on Friday night,
Jason and Lisa and the kids were already there.
Karen and Robb and their kids Garret and Malea were there too.
The kids were having a great old time playing in the sprinkling worm.
and lounging in lawn chairs.
Is this not the ultimate picture of summer???
It was the perfect thing.
All wet and cold
Annalie decided that she did not
like the feel of the wet grass
on her feet.
Plus it was sticking to her feet.
Plus it was wet.
So she decided to chill
in the big lawn chair.
All that is missing in this picture
One of her favorite discoveries
was the fun
of dipping her pacifier
into Grandpa's lemonade.
She would dip it in,
take a big long slurp
and make this
as she got every last drop
before dipping again.
We were all very captivated by this.
Then on Saturday morning,
we went with Ann and Dan
on a little tour of Alton.
I am embarrased to say that I got lost
at least three times
in my own hometown.
Dan drove us downtown and then
through some of the older neighborhoods
shady brick streets, beautiful old homes
built up on the bluffs
overlooking the Mississippi River.
Ann had discovered that her either her
dad's parents or grandparents ( I can't remember now)
had lived on the street
overlooking the river
near the park we were visiting.
Here is the view looking down
a long stairway that leads to the next street over.
Here is a view of the River from the park.
It is just so big, the pictures dont give you the
Then we took a drive up the River Road.
We saw the Piasa Bird, a legendary bird painted on the bluffs
overlooking the river.
Then we drove on to Elsah,
my favorite little river town.
My grandmother was a schoolmate
of Alice Conditt...she was the post mistress years ago.
She had a wonderful house up in Elsah
and we both had great memories
of visiting Alice at her home.
Next stop: Pierre Marquette State Park
The lodge reminded me of the one at the Grand Canyon ,
huge, old and beautiful.
They had commissioned an artist
to create these fabric panels and they hang from the ceiling beams.
They are constructed of thousands of individual,
hand dyed and stitched pieces of cloth shaped like leaves, bugs, fish, birds...all of the nature of the river.
After the park, we drove north to Grafton in search of some antique stores. I think we must have missed some main street shops, because along the river road it was pretty much eateries and bars and just a handful of shops. I have heard that Grafton is an antiquer's paradise, but we did not find what we were looking for. We did find a wonderful place to eat lunch, and then decided it was too hot to look for antiques anyway.
We headed for home, ice cream and a nap before evening activities beckoned us out again.
It's good to go home, even after a long time away.
Lots of things have changed. I have changed.
But there is something grounding about going back to the place where you were born,
where you grew up, where your loved ones are buried.
I'm glad I got to go.
Tomorrow, a beautiful wedding.