Diary/Photo Journal

Week of August 10, 2003

Our next stop - Rochester, Minnesota to visit another cherished childhood friend.   Michelle, Kirk, Nathaniel, Autumn and Bumpo graciously welcomed us into their home.  Besides coming up with challenges for Nathaniel, a very intelligent eight-year-old (Michelle will have her hands full :-)), and watching the fearless Autumn, we got a chance to take a breather and just enjoy our visit. 

All the "kids"
and a little mud fun

We did have a chance to venture around town and got to see some Rochester landmarks.

St. Francis
house and
garden -
famous home


     Bumpo knows
how to pose
Silver Lake
9,999 lakes
to go
   Corn country
water tower

Only because of an appointment in Chicago, we left Michelle and family after only a few days.  On the way south, we were able to enjoy a wonderful lunch with the person that hired me into State Farm, Ross, and his wife Betts.  Not only did we get to trade stories, we fell into our old habit of trading books.  I think I got the better of the deal - I gave Ross the latest copy of Harry Potter and I received about 15 books in return.  It sure was great to see them after so many years.  Without Ross's keen insight to hire me, I don't think we would be living this dream journey.  Thanks Ross...

Ross, Louise
and Betts
The regal

We reached the Chicago area in time to visit the area I used to live, Streamwood, and to find a place to park overnight.  Unfortunately, the Chicago area is woefully inept in providing for the self-contained traveler and we had to ask permission of a recreation center to park overnight in their parking lot.  Fortunately, knowing how uptight the local police department is, we posted a sign stating that we received permission and listed the manager's name.  Nonetheless, at 11:30 p.m., we were bellowed at by the police to wake up and after they finished their alarm, they decided to read the notice on the window.  End result, "sorry to bother you" and "you can go back to sleep now."  Gee, thanks...and four spotlights and three police cars left the "dangerous" scene. 

We did have a chance to make a quick trip into Chicago and visit the Navy Pier. 

Clock Tower
that survived
the famous
Chicago fire
Just some pics
of the skyline
and Lake Michigan

The reason for our visit to the Chicago area was to sign some refinance documents and to take a look at our rental home.  We are fortunate to have a terrific family taking care of the home.

The rental
looks good

And, not passing up an opportunity to have a little fun, we camped out in the driveway of Shawn and Tami's dream home and indulged in a day on the Illinois River.  Shawn and Tami offered us a day of sun and wakeboarding and we had an awesome time.  Check out the home they are building on a private ski lake - it truly is spectacular.  Thanks Shawn and Tami (and Bella) for a great day.

A little
A little


Tami riding
Shawn surfing
Bella watching
   I call this
Wakeboard Gothic


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