Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bike The Drive 2007

As stated in my previous post I did Bike The Drive again this year. This is where Chicago closes down Lake Shore Drive for about 5 hours and opens it to bikers. Last year I was hot and sweaty. This year I was cold and wet. It was still fun. I started heading North as this route is more hilly. I only went a few miles before turning around as I was meeting up with my friend and her Dad at 7:30. Once I met up with them we went South. The South route ends up at The Museum of Science and Industry. This is the fun route as you go by the Field Museum, Soldier Field, McCormick Place and The Museum of Science and Industry. If you do both loops you end up doing 30 miles. I ended up biking 20. I felt great afterwards. Here are pictures of my day. Enjoy!!

This was the first picture I stopped to take after heading North on Lake Shore Drive. It is a self-portrait of myself with Navy Pier in the background.

The weather was really a downer this year. Look at the low cloud coverage over the John Hancock. Yuck!!

Here I am by the Chicago River. For those of you who know my fear of walking across bridges (especially Chicago Draw Bridges), I am standing on part of the bridge for this picture.

I met up with Darlene and her Dad, Bob. Here are Dar and I getting ready to start.

I had already biked North,then headed south and made it to the Mueseum of Science and Industry. Once there I ran up these stairs with my bike I felt like Rocky, so here I am doing my Rocky Pose. There was some annoying guy on a megaphone and when he saw me do this he yelled, "That woman is proud to be a biker."

Darlene ready to ride down the stairs of the Museum of Science and Industry.

My friends and I were heading back from the Museum of Science of Industry to finish our ride and we were having fun taking pictures while we were riding. This guys starts yelling at us, "NO TIME FOR PICTURES. PUT THE CAMERAS AWAY. THEY ARE REOPENING LAKE SHORE DRIVE." Because he was yelling at me for taking pictures I just couldn't resist taking a picture of him.

I would put my camera around my wrist, so I could take pictures while biking. Here is a cool picture of Soldier Field that I didn't even know I took. Look how the pillars are bending.

I saw these guys last year. Love their jerseys.

This is my friend Darlene. We had just finished the ride and were checking out the booths to see what we could get for free.

This bike had a puppet stage on back. I actually saw them riding in Bike The Drive with music on and puppets dancing. I also saw Superman on a very tall bike, but was unable to get his picutre.

Here I am before I head back to the train. I decided to stop by Buckingham Fountain. It was finally starting to warm up. I really enjoy doing this and despite the weather I still had a great time.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Yesterday I went to Bike The Drive, which is where Chicago closes down Lake Shore Drive for 5 hours and opens it to Bikers. If you bike the whole thing it is about 30 miles. I biked 20 of the 30. It was raining and cold at the beginning, but by the time we were done it was sunny and warm. I'm having trouble posting pictures to my blog right now, so they might be out of order.

I rode the train down to Chicago and on the way there met a man named George that was also doing Bike The Drive. I noticed his backpack was camoflauge and it said Operation Iraqi Freedom. I felt so priviledged to meet him and hear his story. One thing that stuck out to me were his eyes. He was telling me stories about how no one cares when they get home. He was telling me how hard it was in Iraq to watch the New York New Years Eve celebration on TV because it made them wonder if anyone was remembering them. The thing that stuck out to me was when he said, "we train ourselves out there not to expect anything when we get home because then we won't be hurt when it doesn't happen." He was travelling home from serving a year in Iraq, the airline asked if anyone would give up their seat for these soldiers to get home. No one did. When they did get on the plane because standbys didn't show up, no one would even make eye contact with them. He said it hurt. He was with three younger soldiers who he didn't know, but told them to get used to it and not to expect anything. His eyes showed me how hurt he is even though he says he's trained himself not to be.

Let's remember our soldiers this Memorial Day!! When you see a soldier thank them for serving our country. I always have my kids do this and only one time did we get a negative comment. Otherwise, it has always been greeted with a smile and a handshake. George told me that when people DO thank him it means the world to him. Let's not hurt our soldiers anymore. Which ever side you are on with this war let's put it aside and not forget our men and women serving. They need our support.

The best thing that I did was stop at a memorial for all the soldiers that have died in Iraq. It was right near Bike The Drive. They had boots of soldiers with their names, ages, where they were from, and some momento or picture for each soldier. It was very moving. Please remember our soldiers this Memorial Day. This is more than just a day off work, day to BBQ, day to go shopping and a day off school. Please take time to remember those who have died, those who have fought, and those who are fighting.

These two rows of boots are soldiers who have died from Illinois.

Happy Memorial Day to all the soldiers who have gone before, who have fought, and who are fighting to make America the best place to live. I appreciate you all very much and pray for you all.

Please remember our soldiers today and everyday!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

An email from my brother

I received an email from my brother Karl in Spanish. Here is his email:


Espero le y su familia y tener un rato muy maravilloso. Le faltamos
mucho y somos impacientes tenerle hogar. Tenga por favor un buen rato
y recuérdenos. Si venden el rocío de la montaña allí, cómpreme
lata o botella de a y tráigale el hogar con usted. Espero que usted
pueda leer esta nota, yo estoy un poco oxidado en mi español. Su
ordenador principal puede ayudarle quizá a leer esto. Estamos rogando
para usted y miramos adelante a oír sus historias cuando usted
consigue casero.

¡Le amamos!

Karlos y Sara y bebé Lucas

I had my friend Michelle translate it for me. It was a little hard, but she was able to give me the jist of the email, so I decided to put it into one of those great translators online and here is the translation:

Hello! I expect him and its family and to have a while very marvelous. We lack him a lot and we are impatient to
have him home. Consider favor a good while and recall us. If they sell the dew of the mountain there, buy me tin
plating or bottle from to and bring him the home with you. I expect that you can read this note, I am a little
oxidized in my Spaniard. Its main computer can help him perhaps to read this. We are begging for you and we look at
ahead to hear its histories when you obtain landlord. We love him! Karlos and Sara and baby Lucas

Thanks for the email bro. I'm just glad I had Michelle here to help me understand it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Zip lining through the Rainforest

Start at the bottom and read up for chronological order.

I give zip lining through the Rainforest a definite HUGE thumbs up!!

Jordy heading down the zip line by himself.

Aunt Michelle all ready to go

Check out that guide with my kids. He did that a few times. Pretty cool!!

There I go!! Wheeeeeeee!!

The kids are all harnessed up and ready to go with the guide.

I'm all harnessed up and ready to go. I was very happy to see a first aid kit.

We rode a tractor up the mountain and then had to hike to the first zip line.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

We are in Costa Rica. I might not come home!!

Hola mis Amigos,

We are in Costa Rica right now and having a great time. We have been here since the 9th. We left on the 10th to stay three days in the Rain Forest.

We just got back from our three day adventure to the Rain Forest. It was incredible. In 3 days Keith and I took about 350 pictures. We had to get up early and take a LOOOOOoooooong bus ride to a boat and then take a lOOOOOoooooong boat ride to our resort. It was fun and we saw a lot of neat animals.

Some of the things we saw included bulls having a bull fight, flamingo, toucans, a sloth, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, Caiman (which is like an alligator), lizards, Iguanas, butterflies, a deer in the water, lots of birds, and plants. It was great.

We were right by the Caribbean ocean, so I got some AWESOME sunrise pictures, but had to get up really early because the sun rises early here and sets early. By 6:00pm it's dark. It was crazy.

The kids are having so much fun. They loved the pool. It had a bridge to a littel island with palm trees. There was a manmade waterfall that they would turn on that went into the pool. Yesterday Jeff caught a tree frog and we got to play with it in the pool. It would swim to us and climb up our chests. He hopped from Jordan to Tricia. It was fun until someone told us to let him go because the chemicals in the pool could hurt him. Jeff just told me that there was a sign up at the pool that said, "do not touch the frogs and do not use flash photography." Opps, we didn't know. It was probaby the hotel pet tree frog. That is actually one of my favorite memories and I know this will be hard for you to believe, but I forgot my camera, but thought, "We'll be at the pool a lot, so it's ok if I don't have it." Of course that's the only day the tree frog showed up.

Tomorrow we are off to a Volcano and hot springs and a waterfall. I cannot wait. I'll blog about it when I get a chance.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Here is a picture of my little nephew, Luke, enjoying some early summer fun in California. Karl told me that Luke would have stayed in the pool ALL day if they had let him. Isn't he a cutie?

I got an email from Luke asking me if I could pick him up from the airport, so I called my brother and told him that I would pick up Luke, but they would need to find a ride. :-)