Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Final Visit

While "The Final Visit" is probably a bit melodramatic, that was how this weekend visit with the family felt since I will soon be entering the MICU (medical intensive care unit) as senior resident thus probably won't see or talk to any of my family members for a month or so. In anticipation of this, Adam and I spent the weekend in Rockford (or more correctly, Loves Park and Cherry Valley) with my family. It was a whirlwind weekend of seeing all kinds of folks, which was great. On Saturday afternoon, after our long runs (my hot 20 miler), we drove out to Rockford with the top down on Elly.

Saturday evening we had dinner at my Dad's condo. In attendance were my Mom, Grandma Nelson, Uncle Paul, Aunt Trish and the 3 tasty bottles of wine pictured above. The left most bottle was a great Zin my Dad had. He has quite the wine collection and I always look forward to the bottles he has to share when we visit. The middle bottle was a Late Harvest Riesling from the Chateau Grand Traverse winery (the one we stayed at on our recent trip to Michigan). It was a bit too sweet for me but everyone else seemed to like it. On the right is a wonderful German Pinot Noir Paul and Trish brought. Thanks to my Mom and Dad for the delicious dinner and to my Grandma for her amazing blueberry cheesecake for dessert!

True to form, the evening involved good food, good alcohol, and all kinds of jokes. Many of the members of my family are hilarious without even realizing it. Case in point, my Dad trying to kill a fly with a rubber band. Seriously? Does that ever work? Well, it did this time!

We had initially planned on kayaking the Kish (Kishwaukee River) the next morning but there were supposed to be storms and Adam and I were really tired, so we lounged around watching a Nat Geo special on Zion and Bryce National Parks instead.

After the show, I ingested some liquid energy in the form and caffeine and enjoyed a delicious brunch at my Mom's house with my Grandma and Grandpa Monson. My mom made the biggest fruit salad I've ever seen with tons of variety including blueberries, strawberries, mango, and cantaloupe. It was delicious! (I really should say "is" delicious, because it was so big that I'm still enjoying it for lunches here in Chicago!) We also had quiche which was quite tasty.

Since it was my cousin Anna-Lisa's birthday, we sent her a picture message wishing her happy birthday. After multiple technical and organizational failures, we finally produced the above picture on my dad's cell which we sent to her. I think she appreciated the thought even if we are all completely blurry and she couldn't read the "happy birthday" sign I labored over for all of 5 seconds that my mom is holding in the picture!

All in all, it was a good weekend. From the family perspective, I feel better prepared to become MIA for a month in the MICU. However, I still have quite a bit of running, blog posting and general life maintenance to accomplish before Friday at 7 am!

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